31-January-2013 -- EWTNews Feature |

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Radical New York abortion law proposal draws opposition

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposed radical abortion legislation has strong support in the New York State Assembly but could face insurmountable opposition in the New York Senate.

Senate Republican leader Dean Skelos said the proposed Reproductive Health Act is "not a well-thought-out piece of legislation" in a state where abortion is legal, the Wall Street Journal reports.

"I don't understand what the issue is," he said. "In New York state, you have Medicaid spending on abortion, there is no parental consent, there is no parental notification, you can pretty much have an abortion any time you want."

He said he thinks the bill is "really a non-issue."

The legislation would create a "fundamental right" for a woman to end a pregnancy in New York law.

Opponents of the bill say it would allow almost unrestricted abortion in New York including late-term abortions. The legislation would allow any licensed "health care practitioner," including non-doctors, to perform abortions. It would also prevent any regulations such as parental notification for a minor considering abortion.

An abortionist who kills a woman during an abortion would no longer be charged with manslaughter if it passes.

Critics say the bill's conscience protections are so narrow that they could bar continued state funds to hospitals and clinics if they refuse to perform abortions. Some provisions could decertify Catholic hospitals on the grounds they "discriminate" by not performing or referring for abortions.

New York's Conservative Party, a key player in state politics that normally provides key election votes for Republicans, has opposed the legislation. The 30 Republican senators presently control the Senate in a coalition with the five-member Independent Democratic conference and one Democrat who votes with the Republicans. The Senate's 27 unified Democrats are in the minority.

At least two Democratic senators have previously voted against expanding abortion.

Gov. Cuomo has packaged the abortion legislation with other women's legislation including equal pay, workplace rights and abuse against women.

Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi said state law needs to be updated "so that it is consistent with federal standards and once and for all makes a woman's right to choose unassailable."

"This is not an expansion of abortion rights. It's a codification of existing federal law," he said, according to the Wall Street Journal. Sen. Jeffrey Klein, the Independent Democratic conference leader, has said he will make sure the bill goes to the floor if 32 Democrats agree to vote for it.

The New York State Catholic Conference has opposed the bill, calling it "radical and outside of the mainstream." Democrats for Life of America also opposed the legislation, saying it will not help women who are in financial difficulties or lack family support and "turn to abortion as a last resort."

Read more: http://www.ewtnnews.com/catholic-news/US.php?id=6936#ixzz2JZMCpcX4

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