Update, January 23, 2019: The New York State Assembly approved the legislation on Tuesday, January 22. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) then signed the measure into law.
New York state is on the verge of passing what may be the most anti-Life bill in the country. The Reproductive Health Act (RHA) is fast-tracked for passage by the Democrat-controlled Senate, which has historically been a more Pro-Life check against the radically anti-Life State Assembly. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is expected to sign the bill on January 22, the 46th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.
State Senator Liz Krueger introduced the RHA as Senate Bill S240 on January 2, with 35 cosponsors. An identical bill in the State Assembly is sponsored by Assemblymember Deborah Glick. Together, they represent an unprecedented attack on Life, going even further than Roe v. Wade.
The RHA would make late-term abortions available for life and health of the mother, with “health” meaning basically anything.
The bill would also remove the requirement that abortionists be licensed doctors, allowing nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and others to commit abortions. Additionally, the bill would remove the requirement that a second abortionist be present during a late-term abortion.
The RHA also removes protections for accidental live births, meaning a child who survived an abortion could be murdered outside the womb. Criminal penalties for illegal and involuntary abortions, such as when a perpetrator attempts to cause a miscarriage by drugs or physical violence against a mother, would be removed.
The most concerning portion of all, though, comes in the RHA’s Section 1, on Legislative Intent, with the statement “The New York Constitution and United States Constitution protect a woman’s fundamental right to access safe, legal abortion…”
This language of a “fundamental right” carries a special meaning in jurisprudence.
Labeling abortion “a fundamental right” could supersede everything, even the right of conscience and religious freedom. The policy could be used as a weapon to silence Pro-Life and religious groups, and force doctors and health professionals to commit abortions despite religious or moral beliefs.
Given Gov. Cuomo’s radically anti-Life track record, his work with twice-failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in support of this bill, and still more extremist endorsements of a culture of death is hardly surprising. On January 7, he tweeted “This year I am calling for a Constitutional Amendment that writes into the NY Constitution protection for a woman’s right to control her own reproductive health. In this crazy political environment, we can’t take Roe v. Wade for granted. #RHAin30Days”
The anti-Life movement zealously pursues pro-abortion legislation, prioritizing these policies above all else. If your state legislators are genuine about their Pro-Life convictions, they must prioritize prudent life-saving legislation with just as much zeal during the Regular Session of the 86th Texas Legislature.