From The Evangelist in Albany:
Officials at the New York State Catholic Conference are calling the Reproductive Health Act (RHA) “worse than we thought it would be.”
“It foresees a time in New York where it’s a crime to be pro-life,” said Kathleen Gallagher, director of pro-life activities and the Catholic Action Network for the NYSCC.
The RHA, which was introduced in the legislature this week (S. 240, A. 21) will expand access to abortion in the state, despite being promoted as simply codifying Roe vs. Wade. The RHA not only increases access to abortion across the board, including late-term abortions, but also goes beyond Roe, which left some limits in place.
“The RHA is a great blow to the pro-life community,” said Renee Morgiewicz, coordinator of Respect Life Ministry and parish services and for the Albany Diocese. “Many people in New York State have successfully held off the legislation for 12 years.”In the past, a bi-partisan legislature has helped keep the RHA at bay. With regard to life issues, so far, “the Republican party has helped a lot with” supporting the pro-life agenda, said Ms. Morgiewicz. Now, with a Democratic majority in the State Senate, many pro-life issues are anticipated to take a big hit — particularly abortion.
“The fact that we’ve held this off for 12 years gives me great comfort,” said Mrs. Gallagher. “It means we’ve saved some human lives, and we saved women from anguish.”
The RHA is expected to pass within the first 30 days of the legislative session, as promised by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Dennis Poust, director of communications for the NYSCC, said the numbers needed to prevent the bill from passing “just aren’t there.”