Questions regarding abortion expansion in NYS

Published on June 4th, 2013

imagesFive months after initially proposing it, and with less than three weeks left in the legislative session, Gov. Cuomo today will finally make public his abortion agenda.

Statements from the administration indicate the bill would significantly ease restrictions in state law on late-term (third-trimester) abortion, a policy completely out of step with the attitudes of most New Yorkers.

The Catholic Conference will offer a full analysis of this proposal shortly, but in the meantime, we put forward five questions New Yorkers need answered before any abortion legislation moves forward:


  1. Why is the abortion rate in New York State so much higher than the rest of the country?
  2. If the aim of the legislation truly is to codify federal law with regard to abortion, will there be a statewide version of the Hyde Amendment prohibiting taxpayer funding of abortion, a statewide ban on partial birth abortion or legal protection of unborn victims of violence, all of which exist in federal law? Or is the Governor being selective by only codifying the areas of federal law that would expand abortion?
  3. Why would abortion after 24 weeks ever be necessary to protect a woman’s health, when delivery or caesarian section are medically safer procedures at that stage?
  4. How do we know abortion is safe in New York when the state Health Department has offered no records of clinic inspections?
  5.  What is our government doing to ensure that New York doesn’t have its own version of Philadelphia abortion butcher Kermit Gosnell practicing his trade here?

New Yorkers overwhelmingly believe there is sufficient access to abortion in the Empire State. And they overwhelmingly reject late-term abortion on demand, as this bill would allow. Elected officials should focus less on abortion expansion, and more on decreasing the alarming abortion rate and ensuring safety for women and children.

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