On January 22, the Reproductive Health Act (RHA) (Bill S.240 – Krueger/A.21 – Glick) passed both houses of the New York State Legislature and was signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The Senate voted 38-24 to pass the RHA, and the Assembly vote was 95-49. (Curious how your elected officials voted on the RHA? Please view the Senate and the Assembly vote records below. Unsure which elected officials represent you? Please visit New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms’ Legislative Action Center to find out.)
In his recent Ellis Island address, Gov. Cuomo declared, ‘“[Our] credo is not only do I Love NY, but New York loves you.”’ Unfortunately, with respect to unborn children, the passage of the Governor’s long-sought abortion expansion bill proves otherwise.
While various abortion expansion bills have passed the Assembly for many years, the Republican-led New York State Senate has blocked these extreme, unnecessary, and callous bills for over a decade. Sadly, a majority of the current Senate—led by Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-Yonkers)—supports the RHA.
- Removed abortion-related crimes from the books in cases where pregnant women miscarry after being assaulted;
- Allows third-trimester abortions for any reason (removing ambiguity that was present in existing law);
- Allows abortions to be performed by medical personnel other than physicians; and
- Made it legal for viable babies born alive following late-term abortions to be denied medical care.
By passing the RHA, the State of New York has embraced the proposition that some living human beings do not deserve the protection of our laws. This proposition flies in the face of our American tradition of respect for human life. Without the right to life, the other rights guaranteed in the Constitution have no meaning. Contrary to the rhetoric of RHA advocates, abortion access does nothing to advance the rights of women; rather, it invites both women and men to view unborn children—their own unborn children—as disposable objects.
Instead of celebrating the passage of the RHA as a milestone, New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms views the passage of this bill as an occasion for mourning. Our state needs a course correction—not just legislatively, but also morally and spiritually.
May God have mercy on our benighted State of New York, on women, and on the unborn.