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Public Policy - Oppose Abortion Expansion Bill




The Radical Abortion Expansion Bill

On June 21, 2013, the New York State Senate defeated an effort to enact Governor Cuomo's radical abortion expansion bill, which was part of a large multi-purpose bill called the "Women's Equality Act" (teh abortion provision was previously known as the "Reproductive Health Act" or "RHA").  Sadly, the New York State Assembly had previously voted in favor of the bill.

We applaud those legislators who voted to defend human life.  We urge people to contact their legislators to thank those who defended life, and make your opinion known to those who voted to expand abortion.  Please visit the Catholic Action Network to send these important messages.  For an overview on the reasons that this bill was defeated, see here.

This is a radical bill that would expand abortion in New York.  It would:

  • Establish a “fundamental right of privacy” within New York State law, which would make abortion virtually immune from any regulation or restriction,
  • Ensure that abortion is legal throughout all nine months of pregnancy,
  • Permit non-doctors to perform abortions,
  • Prevent the passage of reasonable regulations on abortion (e.g., parental notification laws, bans on sex-selection abortions)
  • Allow post-viability abortions to be performed on an out-patient basis in clinics that go virtually unregulated by public health authorities, endangering both women and unborn children, and
  • Endanger conscience protections under current law, which could force Catholic hospitals to perform abortions, and could even force Catholic schools and charitable agencies to promote or refer for abortions and contraception.

Here is a flyer in English and Spanish), and a more detailed Fact Sheet with information about this bill (also available in Spanish).   Here are also some sample bulletin blurbs you can use (in both English and Spanish).

Here are numerous blog posts that will give you more information about the abortion expansion bill.



Important Poll Results

A recent poll of New Yorkers shows that the great majority of New Yorkers are opposed to an expansion of abortion, and to the provisions of the RHA.  For more details, see here.

Some of the most significant findings:

  • Only 17% approve of unlimited abortion on demand through the ninth month of pregnancy (which is the current law, thanks to the Supreme Court, and which would be confirmed by the Reproductive Health Act.);
  • 80% disapprove of such a policy, 61% strongly.

A large majority of New Yorkers oppose the following, which would be permissible under the Reproductive Health Act:

  • 92% oppose abortion for selecting the sex of a baby;
  • 89% oppose abortion for reducing triplets or twins to a single child;
  • 75% oppose allowing non-doctors to perform abortions; and
  • 71% oppose forcing Catholic hospitals to allow abortions.

Large majorities also support the following reasonable regulations of abortion, all of which would be impermissible under the Reproductive Health Act:

  • 87% support providing information about options and risks to pregnant women before they make an abortion decision;
  • 78% approve of a 24-hour waiting period prior to an abortion; and
  • 76% approve of parental notification for minors’ abortions.


Take Action to Stop the Reproductive Health Act

A broad-based coalition has been formed to fight against the Reproductive Health Act -- New Yorkers for Life.  Please "Like" their Facebook page, and "Follow" them on Twitter.

Here are some steps that you can take to stop this expansion of abortion in New York:

  • Get Informed.  Here is a flyer in English and Spanish and sample bulletin blurbs. Please distribute them as widely as possible.
  • Don't Fall for False Information.  The Governor and the pro-abortion advocates are spreading false information about the legal implications of this bill. Please read the blog posts linked above, which you can use to correct the falsehoods.
  • Write your legislators. We strongly urge you to contact your legislators about the bill. You can use the Catholic Conference's Action Network for this: go to the Catholic Conference webpage and click on "Take Action".   Or, you can use this sample letter.
  • Visit your legislators. Visits to the legislators' local district office are very important. It would be particularly helpful to have priests, medical personnel and women make these visits.
  • Organize local rallies. We believe that local rallies in key districts would be very helpful.
  • Write letters to the editor. Letters to local newspapers can be very effective in shaping opinion and influencing legislators.
  • Use local media. Call in to your local radio talk and news shows to express your opinion on the bill.
  • Use social media. In addition to the New Yorkers for Life Facebook and Twitter, you should spread the word about this through your own social media contacts.


Sample Homilies

We have asked several priests to draft sample homilies, so that priests and deacons can have ideas on how to preach about the Reproductive Health Act:



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Edward T. Mechmann, Esq.,
Public Policy Coordinator



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