Statement on Gov. Hochul's Comments on Court of Appeals Ruling

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Statement on Gov. Hochul's Comments on Court of Appeals Ruling

May 21, 2024

Below is a statement from Dennis Poust, executive director of the New York State Catholic Conference:

Following today’s Court of Appeals decision upholding an abortion insurance mandate on Catholic and other religious employers, Governor Kathy Hochul could have simply put out a statement supporting the court’s ruling. Instead, she delved into name calling, referring to the plaintiffs in the case as “right-wing extremists.”

To be clear, this case had nothing to do with the legality of abortion; it only involved the question of whether the state could force religious employers to violate the tenets of their faith by mandating coverage for abortion in employee health insurance plans. 

Last week Governor Hochul met Pope Francis at the Vatican during a conference on the climate crisis that he hosted, and she spoke fondly of the experience. But by the Governor’s definition, Pope Francis himself would qualify as a “right-wing extremist” because he does not share her views on abortion.

Governor Hochul’s words regarding the plaintiffs are divisive and offensive. She should apologize.

Among the plaintiffs in this case, deemed “right-wing extremists" by Governor Hochul, are:

  • Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany

  • Roman Catholic Diocese of Ogdensburg

  • Sisterhood of St. Mary

  • Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Brooklyn

  • Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Albany

  • Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Ogdensburg

  • St. Gregory the Great Roman Catholic Church Society of Amherst, NY

  • First Bible Baptist Church

  • Our Savior’s Lutheran Church

  • Teresian House Nursing Home

The Catholic Conference represents the Bishops of New York State in public policy matters.