Albany, NY -
Recently Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that the abortion legislation he intends to propose would differ from the Reproductive Health Act (S.438 - Stewart-Cousins). While Gov. Cuomo declined to lay out the specific differences between the RHA and his impending proposal, the Governor did state that his abortion bill would simply codify Roe v. Wade
. (As recently as last week, Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins tried to assert the same claims
about her RHA.) According to the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
, Gov. Cuomo cautioned reporters
not to even refer to his bill as the Reproductive Health Act. Today, the Governor's Counsel, Mylan Denerstein, has been dispatched to defend an agenda that recent polling indicates a vast majority of New Yorkers oppose.
Jason J. McGuire, Executive Director of New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, made the following comments in response:
Gov. Cuomo's recent remarks represent an about-face from his statements concerning abortion at last month's State of the State Address. During the State of the State, the Governor clearly expressed his support for the Reproductive Health Act, calling on the Legislature to "Enact the Reproductive Health Act, because it's her body, her choice." Perhaps the unmistakably clear polling data indicating the voters' opposition to key elements of the Reproductive Health Act is causing the Governor to distance himself from this problematic legislation, which has failed to pass either the Assembly or the Senate since it was first introduced in 2007 by then-Governor Eliot Spitzer. NYCF finds it difficult to believe that Gov. Cuomo's abortion proposal will, in fact, be materially different from the Reproductive Health Act introduced by Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins. In any event, abortion expansion legislation-by any name-is abortion expansion legislation. And abortion expansion legislation means more abortion, which is the last thing New York needs.
A recently-released comparison chart from New Yorkers for Life makes it abundantly clear that the Reproductive Health Act, as presently constituted, goes far beyond Roe v. Wade in expanding abortion access in New York. If the Governor wants us to believe something different concerning his abortion-expansion agenda, then show us something different. Until then, we'll take him at his word as stated in his State of the State Address.
New Yorkers for Life's "A Comparison Chart: Federal Law and the RHA"