How to Reduce (Not Expand!) Abortion

Published on February 23rd, 2013

by Kathleen M. Gallagher

Since Governor Andrew Cuomo declared his intention to “fight for passage of the Reproductive Health Act” last month, abortion has been a hot topic at the Capitol. The Reproductive Health Act is an extreme piece of legislation that would expand abortion in New York by removing restrictions on late-term abortion, allowing non-doctors to perform abortion, and elevating abortion to the level of a “fundamental right.”

Abortion brings death, destruction, pain, heartache and regret. Our goal must always be less abortion, not more. Let’s work together to give women real choices and decrease the devastation that abortion brings.  Here are some suggestions for lawmakers:

  1. Drop efforts to enact the dangerous and unnecessary Reproductive Health Act. According to a recent poll, New Yorkers overwhelmingly (80%) oppose unlimited abortion on demand through nine months of pregnancy, which this legislation would enshrine in our law. If you haven’t already done so, send a message to your state representatives here.
  2. Restore funding for the Maternity & Early Childhood Foundation which funds      prenatal care and parenting assistance for single low-income young moms. The Foundation was zeroed out in the proposed Executive Budget and lumped in with 88 other health-related programs, which would have to compete for reduced funding in a restructured process. Government needs to put its  money where its mouth is and show at-risk mothers and infants that we can love them both.
  3. Make sure New York’s policies are family-friendly. Governor Cuomo gets it right  when he aims to reasonably accommodate pregnant women in the workplace. Of  course pregnant workers should be accommodated! We need to fix any  contradictions or discrimination in our law to ensure that our policies value childbirth and motherhood.
  4. Enact a “Woman’s Right to Know” law to give women considering abortion full      information regarding the risks, alternatives and facts about the procedure, and sufficient reflection time to think it over. Thirty-five states have such laws on the books; not New York.
  5. Promote  adoption as a positive choice. New York could enact tax deductions or credits for families who adopt. Or provide funding for agencies that provide pregnancy      counseling and supportive services to frightened young girls at no cost.  This cost is ultimately passed on in adoption fees, which can become prohibitive for prospective adopting families. Or how about a state-financed public relations campaign to encourage adoption, particularly of special needs kids and children in foster care? Let’s      communicate clearly that adoption is a viable option.

Those five steps would move New York State in the right direction.

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