August 27, 2014

Advertise with Stand Firm

January 21, 2013


New York Governor: Abortion Is the Greatest Thing EVAH! (UPDATED)

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who is widely expected to run for president in 2016, has apparently decided that the road to the White House lies through the most abortion-worshipping wing of the Democratic Party. According to Democrats for Life of America:

Democrats in New York are championing the most sweeping abortion legislation in the nation. Governor Andrew Cuomo added the strong abortion language to a Women’s Equity bill aimed at addressing human trafficking, pay equity for women, and domestic violence.

The abortion language would allow late-term abortions, allow non-doctors to perform abortions, and supersede any reasonable restrictions such as parental notification, in a state that already has one of the highest abortion rates. It is out of touch with the views of most Americans, out of touch with the views of most Democrats, and could hamper real reform for women’s rights.

Now, some might think this just pro-life hyperbole. So I checked out the “Reproductive Health Act,” which has been essentially added to the bill the Dems for Life mention. Here’s what it says (sorry about the all-caps; the New York General Assembly apparently feels the need to shout about everything):

ARTICLE 17
REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH ACT
SECTION 1700. STATEMENT OF POLICY.
          1701. AUTHORIZED PERFORMANCE OF ABORTIONS.
          1702. STATE REGULATION.
          1703. DEFINITIONS.

S 1700. STATEMENT OF POLICY. THE LEGISLATURE DECLARES THAT EVERY INDIVIDUAL HAS A FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT OF PRIVACY WITH RESPECT TO CERTAIN PERSONAL REPRODUCTIVE DECISIONS. ACCORDINGLY, IT IS THE PUBLIC POLICY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK THAT:

1. EVERY INDIVIDUAL HAS THE FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT TO CHOOSE OR REFUSE CONTRACEPTION; AND
2. EVERY FEMALE HAS THE FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT TO DETERMINE THE COURSE OF HER PREGNANCY, WHICH INCLUDES THE RIGHT TO CARRY A PREGNANCY TO TERM OR TO TERMINATE A PREGNANCY: (I) IN THE ABSENCE OF FETAL VIABILITY; AND (II) AT ANY TIME IF SUCH TERMINATION IS NECESSARY TO PROTECT THE PREGNANT FEMALE’S LIFE OR HEALTH.

The reference to health is, of course, a weasel word meant to say, in essence, “any time she wants to.” So abortion-on-demand will now, if Gov. Cuomo has his way, become a “fundamental right” in New York State. Implications of that declaration below.

S 1701. AUTHORIZED PERFORMANCE OF ABORTIONS. THE PERFORMANCE OF AN ABORTION BY A QUALIFIED, LICENSED HEALTH CARE PRACTITIONER, ACTING WITHIN THE SCOPE OF HIS OR HER PRACTICE, IS AUTHORIZED:

1. IN THE ABSENCE OF FETAL VIABILITY; AND
2. AT ANY TIME, IF IN THE GOOD FAITH MEDICAL JUDGMENT OF A PHYSICIAN, SUCH TERMINATION IS NECESSARY TO PROTECT THE FEMALE’S LIFE OR HEALTH.

Amazingly enough, the expression “qualified, licensed health care practitioner” is not among the terms defined in Section 1703. Those terms include “abortion,” “contraception,” “gestational age,” “pregnancy,” “state,” and “fetal viability” (the latter of which is basically left up to the attending “health care professional”). So they felt it necessary to define “pregnancy” so that there would be no question that they were talking about real pregnancies and not, you know, women walking around with pillows under their blouses, but couldn’t be bothered to state what constitutes a “qualified, licensed health care practitioner.” So, can RNs do abortions? How about LPNs? Midwives? Physician assistants? Chiropractors? These are all “licensed health care professionals,” so presumably if they take courses in performing abortions, they would then be “qualified.” Abortion is already less regulated than almost any other form of medical practice. This drops the standards even more.

S 1702.  STATE REGULATION. 

1. THE STATE SHALL NOT DENY, REGULATE OR RESTRICT THE RIGHTS SET FORTH IN SECTION SEVENTEEN HUNDRED OF THIS ARTICLE BY ANY LAW, ORDINANCE, REGULATION OR POLICY EXCEPT BY LAW, REGULATION OR POLICY THAT IS NARROWLY TAILORED TO SERVE A COMPELLING STATE INTEREST AND EXCEPT AS SET FORTH IN SUBDIVISION THREE OF THIS SECTION.

The use of the term “compelling state interest” here lays down the marker. This provision essentially says that New York will undertake no restriction or regulation of abortion whatsoever except where it can discover an interest of such overwhelming importance that it requires such. For instance, the state could presumably mandate that abortions not be performed using dynamite, because such use would violate the state’s interest in having the woman be alive at the end of the procedure. For all practical purposes, however, what this means is that New York state is going to take a lot more interest in whether the chefs at a Poughkeepsie greasy spoon wear hairnets than it is in the conditions at the local abortuary.

2. THE STATE SHALL NOT DISCRIMINATE AGAINST THE EXERCISE OF THE RIGHTS SET FORTH IN SECTION SEVENTEEN HUNDRED OF THIS ARTICLE IN THE REGULATION OR PROVISION OF BENEFITS, FACILITIES, SERVICES OR INFORMATION.

I other words, pretty much any propaganda that Planned Parenthood wants state funding for will be approved, as will state funding for any abortion, no matter what the circumstances. In addition, this raises real questions about whether hospitals that refuse to perform abortions will be eligible for state funding. The Troy Record reported on assurances given by various legislative leaders, and they are in no way reassuring:

Senate Democratic leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Comptroller Tom DiNapoli also spoke at the rally. Stewart-Cousins said it was “absolutely not” true that the measure under consideration would endanger the operating licenses of Catholic hospitals that do not perform abortions.

The issue, of course, is not licensing, but funding. Few hospitals can survive financially solely on what they receive from patients or insurance companies; virtually all receive significant amounts of money from the federal or state governments, for instance, for treating Medicaid patients. But if the state is prohibited from “discrimination against the exercise of the rights” (not, notice, against women; discrimination is usually defined as being against persons, not legal abstractions), it would seem to follow that the state is also prohibited from funding those who discriminate “against the exercise of the rights” to abortion and contraception. Needless to say, the Catholic Church is up in arms, saying in a memo on the bill:

“What is not provided in the bill are protections for institutional providers, such as religious hospitals and other agencies that do not wish to be involved with abortion,” the conference said. “The bill declares that ‘the state shall not discriminate’ against the exercise of the fundamental right to abortion in the ‘provision of benefits, facilities, services or information.’ In other words, it would permit state regulators, such as the State Health Department or State Insurance Department, to require support for abortion from any agency or institution licensed or funded by the state.”

Finally, there’s this:

3. NOTHING IN THIS ARTICLE SHALL PROHIBIT THE ENFORCEMENT OF GENERALLY APPLICABLE STATUTES, RULES OF LAW AND REGULATIONS GOVERNING MATTERS SUCH AS PRACTITIONER LICENSING,  PHARMACEUTICALS AND MEDICAL DEVICES,  AND MEDICAL PROCEDURES.
4. NOTHING IN THIS ARTICLE SHALL BE CONSTRUED TO CONFLICT WITH ANY APPLICABLE STATE OR FEDERAL LAW OR REGULATION PERMITTING A HEALTH CARE PROVIDER TO REFRAIN FROM PROVIDING ABORTIONS DUE TO THE PROVIDER’S RELIGIOUS OR MORAL BELIEFS.

And that’s meaningless boilerplate. Translated, it says, “if you want to practice medicine and not do abortions, fine, but don’t expect us to pay for any services you provide to non-abortion patients whom you are legally required to treat.”

All in all, this bill is a declaration of war on those who seek to perform invaluable medical services for millions of New Yorkers in pursuit of a religious calling that the state has now deemed beyond the pale. It’s also a good old-fashioned Bronx cheer for those who think that abortion is somewhat less important in our constitutional scheme of things than freedom of speech or religion, or who think that abortion mills should be at least as well policed as your average pizza parlor. It may go down well on the Upper West Side, but I suspect fly-over country may have a somewhat dimmer view of it.

UPDATE: As Cindy T. points out in the comments, osteopaths really are doctors. I’ve changed my reference above to refer to a “licensed health care professional” whom one would not normally associate with abortion.


Share this story:


Recent Related Posts

Comments

Facebook comments are closed.

14 comments

“The abortion language would allow late-term abortions, allow non-doctors to perform abortions,...”

I thought one of the major arguments for Roe vs Wade was that legalizing abortion would allow doctors to perform the procedure, rather than allowing “back-alley” abortionists to operate. Now they’re going to allow the back-alley abortionists to operate legally?

[1] Posted by The Little Myrmidon on 1-21-2013 at 03:28 PM · [top]

The irony is that Catholic politicians are stripping the Catholic Church of its freedom.  If the Bishops don’t excommunicate him I don’t want to hear them complain.

[2] Posted by Br. Michael on 1-21-2013 at 07:06 PM · [top]

Cuomo has always been pro-abortion, pro-gun control, pro-regulation of the internet, pro-gay, pro- every liberal cause that comes along.  And as a legislator and as NY Attorney General, he has been eerily effective at getting his agenda through.  Years before people began speculating about the current occupant of the White House being the anti-Christ, I already had my eye on Cuomo (not seriously, but not entirely joking either).  And don’t think we won’t see this guy’s hat in the presidential ring someday in the not too distant future.

[3] Posted by ToAllTheWorld on 1-21-2013 at 08:31 PM · [top]

I think I am suffering from liberal overload.

[4] Posted by Fr. Dale on 1-21-2013 at 09:46 PM · [top]

“PROTECT THE FEMALE’S LIFE OR HEALTH.”


Does “THE FEMALE”  =  the baby’s (ooops - sorry - the fetus’)  XX parent, sometimes known as “mother”? 

Looks like there’s no way they’re going to say “protect the mother’s life or health.”

[5] Posted by maineiac on 1-21-2013 at 11:10 PM · [top]

What a hypocrite - to fret about the Newtown schoolchildren murdered by that confused young man, but to encourage, further, and foster the murder of children too young to go to school.

[6] Posted by sophy0075 on 1-22-2013 at 12:49 AM · [top]

I wish I understood why the right to kill any baby at any time, up to including birth, has become so vitally important to the left. It seems like the rhetoric has changed so quickly from being about “legal and rare” to being an overwhelming necessity that the left cannot live without. Why the almost desperate need to fund Planned Parenthood at all costs? What changed? What gives me hope is the fact that so many young people see abortion for the murder that it is—and maybe that awareness is what has instilled fear in the left’s coal-black hearts.

[7] Posted by polycarp on 1-22-2013 at 11:48 AM · [top]

2 and 6, AMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is just beyond me how the Romans can allow folks like Cuomo and Pelosi to continue to call themselves Roman Catholic when everything thing they do sets them at cross-purposes to what their Church claims to stand for.
desert padre

[8] Posted by desertpadre on 1-22-2013 at 11:59 AM · [top]

Sorry ‘bout that—too many “things” in the above.
d.p.

[9] Posted by desertpadre on 1-22-2013 at 12:01 PM · [top]

I copied these from the Democratic Party plafform. Perhaps there are varying measures of support for abortion and so called same sex marriage within the Democratic party, but the official platform of the party there in black and white. The Democratic Party is a champion of intrinsic evils:


Protecting A Woman’s Right to Choose. The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to make decisions regarding her pregnancy, including a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay. We oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right. Abortion is an intensely personal decision between a woman, her family, her doctor, and her clergy; there is no place for politicians or government to get in the way. We also recognize that health care and education help reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and thereby also reduce the need for abortions. We strongly and unequivocally support a woman’s decision to have a child by providing affordable health care and ensuring the availability of and access to programs that help women during pregnancy and after the birth of a child, including caring adoption programs


Freedom to Marry. We support the right of all families to have equal respect, responsibilities, and protections under the law. We support marriage equality and support the movement to secure equal treatment under law for same-sex couples. We also support the freedom of churches and religious entities to decide how to administer marriage as a religious sacrament without government interference.

We oppose discriminatory federal and state constitutional amendments and other attempts to deny equal protection of the laws to committed same-sex couples who seek the same respect and responsibilities as other married couples. We support the full repeal of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act and the passage of the Respect for Marriage Act.

[10] Posted by via orthodoxy on 1-22-2013 at 12:47 PM · [top]

Just one tiny nitpick… osteopaths are physicians, just like MD’s.  Maybe you meant chiropractors, which are not physicians.  Very different…

[11] Posted by Cindy T. in TX on 1-22-2013 at 01:22 PM · [top]

Thanks, Cindy. I’ve changed the text accordingly, and noted the change.

[12] Posted by David Fischler on 1-22-2013 at 02:09 PM · [top]

Cuomo would do anything and say anything to get elected.  He has no moral compass.

[13] Posted by Scuba Steve on 1-22-2013 at 04:31 PM · [top]

Cuom is clearly working on becoming president. He’s covering all bases. Here’s a question: if the abortionist doesn’t even have to be a doctor, isn’t tha kind of a step backward, toward store-front abortions or back alley abortions> I know the proovider is supposed to be “qualified,” but I think that’s a joke.

[14] Posted by Nellie on 1-24-2013 at 11:59 AM · [top]

Registered members are welcome to leave comments. Log in here, or register here.

Comment Policy: We pride ourselves on having some of the most open, honest debate anywhere. However, we do have a few rules that we enforce strictly. They are: No over-the-top profanity, no racial or ethnic slurs, and no threats real or implied of physical violence. Please see this post for more explanation, and the posts here, here, and here for advice on becoming a valued commenter as opposed to an ex-commenter. Although we rarely do so, we reserve the right to remove or edit comments, as well as suspend users' accounts, solely at the discretion of site administrators. Since we try to err on the side of open debate, you may sometimes see comments which you believe strain the boundaries of our rules. Comments are the opinions of visitors, and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Stand Firm site administrators or Gri5th Media, LLC.