Pro-life advocates in New York State have a big challenge before them in the new legislative session as pro-abortion Democrats are expected to leverage newly acquired power to advance legislation posing significant assaults on life.
Democrats took control of the New York State Senate last fall. They won eight Republican-held seats by unseating five Republican incumbents and winning three open seats.
Rabidly pro-abortion New York Governor Andrew Cuomo also won a third term, promising “the most progressive agenda this state have ever seen – period.”
For the first time the New York legislature has a super-majority of Democrats, and minus meaningful opposition the pro-abortion Dems are expected to pass two bills hazardous to life this month.
One bill would deregulate abortion and elevate the procedure to the level of a “human right,” creating a major threat to the work of pro-lifers.
The Reproductive Health Act (RHA) has been publicized as simply “codifying” Roe v. Wade in state law. It’s been pushed for passage in New York over years, previously passing in the Assembly but then been blocked in the Senate.
New York state abortion law precedes Roe v. Wade by three years, legalizing abortion in 1970. But New York's law has abortion in the criminal code, and presently does not allow non-physicians to perform abortion.
Now with President Donald Trump in office and the resulting changes in the United States Supreme Court, pro-aborts are pushing for the procedure to be codified into state law.
However beyond establishing a so-called right to abortion in New York law, pro-life supporters say, pro-aborts seek through the Act to raise abortion to the same or greater level than the freedom of religion and speech they rely upon to offer life-saving assistance to mothers in crisis pregnancy and their unborn children.
The RHA is expected to put the religious liberty of medical providers at risk, as well as quash parental rights, allow non-doctors to perform abortions, increase tax money spent on abortions, permit abortion through all nine months of pregnancy, threaten closure of hospitals and clinics refusing to refer for abortion, decriminalize botched abortions and reduce penalties for violent crimes committed against pregnant women.
Because the law would also put the existence of medical providers who refuse to refer for abortion in jeopardy, pro-lifers say, it would have detrimental effect on the quality of medical care for women experiencing unplanned pregnancy.
Cuomo, who had said in the past that pro-life supporters have no place in New York, pledged passage of the RHA in the first 30 days of the session.
The other proposed legislation, Assembly Bill 11150, was introduced in June of last year, and would target pregnancy centers for legislative investigation.
Local pro-life advocates see it as laying the groundwork to regulate them out of existence.
The bill would provide for taxpayer-funded investigation of pregnancy centers by the state’s Consumer Protection Division, presuming the guilt of pregnancy centers and thus overthrowing due process.
Other aspects of A11150 are its assumption that abortion is medical standard of care, and the claim that pregnancy centers are dangerous and guilty of deceptive advertising.
“At crisis pregnancy centers, pregnant people are misled, shamed, and pressured to not seek prenatal care or abortion services,” it states.
Should Roe actually be overturned, pro-life advocates expect New York’s increasingly radical abortion laws would make the state an abortion tourism destination since most states would continue to limit the practice.
New York’s legislative session opens January 9.
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