(CNS) – The New York State Senate rejected the abortion-related plank of a 10-point women’s equality bill, prompting the New York State Catholic Conference to call the action a “remarkable victory for unborn children.”
The Catholic Conference called the provision the “Abortion Expansion Act.” Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who labeled it the “Reproductive Health Act,” said the language would merely have codified current abortion rights into law, but pro-lifers warned in their campaign against the measure that it would have opened the door to more late-term abortions.
The Catholic Conference termed it “the most radical expansion of abortion since the state legalized it in 1970.”
What transpired in the state Legislature is, “quite literally, the answer to prayer,” the Catholic Conference said. “More accurately, it is the answer to millions of prayers by men, women and children of every faith from every section of the state who believe in the inalienable right to life of the baby in the womb.”
The Women’s Equality Act, with all 10 provisions intact, easily passed the Democratic-led state Assembly. Although the state Senate has a slight Democratic majority, two Democrats joined the Republicans in the Senate to vote against the abortion provision in the bill.
One senator tried to attach the abortion plank to a medical-related bill, but that effort failed by one vote.
Silent Pro-Life Majority
“The movement to pass this bill awoke a sleeping giant, a silent pro-life majority that had been discouraged and disheartened from living in the state with the highest abortion rate in the country,” the state Catholic Conference statement said.
“The powerful lobbyists for the abortion industry already are vowing to wage this battle again next year, and to punish legislators at the polls who dare stand up for both the dignity of women and the right to life of innocent children in the womb,” it continued.
“We believe this effort will fall short, too, because the overwhelming majority of New Yorkers, including those who say they are ‘pro-choice,’ are disgusted by late-term abortion and are shocked that abortion clinics would seek to employ non-doctors to perform surgical procedures on women and girls.”
The conference added: “We will continue to stand up for innocent human life from the moment of conception until natural death, and we continue to pray for our opponents that their eyes may be opened to the evil of abortion.”
The abortion votes came at the scheduled close of the legislative session. However, some have suggested that members of the Assembly return to Albany to vote on the Women’s Equality Act without the abortion provision.
Among the remaining nine points are provisions on sexual harassment, domestic violence and human trafficking, all of which are supported by the Catholic Conference.
Here’s How Your Albany Representatives Voted on Abortion
Locally, the senators who voted to block the abortion bill included Martin J. Golden (518) 455-2730 and Simcha Felder (518) 455-2754.
Local senators who voted in favor of abortion were: Eric L. Adams (518) 455-2431, Joseph P. Addabbo Jr. (518) 455-2322, Tony Avella (518) 455-2210, Martin Malave Dilan (518) 455-2177, Michael N. Gianaris (518) 455- 3486, Velmanette Montgomery (518) 455-3451, Kevin S. Parker (518) 455-2580, Jose R. Peralta (518) 455-2529, John L. Sampson (518) 455-2788, James Sanders Jr. (518) 455-3531, Diane J. Savino (518) 455-2437, Malcolm A. Smith (518) 455-2701, Daniel Squadron (518) 455-2625 and Toby Ann Stavisky (518) 455-3461.
The Assembly members who voted ‘No’ on the women’s agenda with abortion were: William Colton (518) 455-5828, Nicole Malliotakis (518) 455-5716 and Michael A. Simanowitz (518) 455-4404.
The Assembly members who voted for the abortion-included agenda were: Peter J. Abbate Jr. (518) 455-3053, Jeffrion L. Aubry (518) 455-4561, Inez D. Barron (518) 455-5912, William F. Boyland Jr. (518) 455-4466, Edward C. Braunstein (518) 455-5425, James F. Brennan (518) 455-5377, Alec Brook-Krasny (518) 455-4811, Karim Camara (518) 455-5262, Barbara M. Clark (518) 455-4711, Vivian E. Cook (518) 455-4203,Steven Cymbrowitz (518) 455-5214, Michael G. DenDekker (518) 455-4545, Rafael L. Espinal Jr. (518) 455-5821, Phillip Goldfelder (518) 455- 4292, Andrew D. Hevesi (518) 455-4926, Rhoda S. Jacobs (518) 455-5385,Ronald T. Kim (518) 455-5411, Joseph R. Lentol (518) 455-4477, Alan N. Maisel (518) 455-5211, Margaret M. Markey (518) 455-4755, Michael G. Miller (518) 455-4621, Joan L. Millman (518) 455-5426, Walter T. Mosley (518) 455-5325, Francisco Moya (518) 455-4567, Catherine T. Nolan (518) 455-4851, Felix W. Ortiz (518) 455-3821,Nick Perry (518) 455-4166, Annette M. Robinson (518) 455-5474, Nily D. Rozic (518) 455-5172, William Scarborough (518) 455-4451, Aravella Simotas (518) 455-5014, Michaelle C. Solages (518) 455-4465, Michele T. Titus (lead
House Passes Bill to Ease The Pain to the Unborn
WASHINGTON (CNS) – The U.S. House June 18 passed the Pain Capable Unborn Protection Act to prohibit abortion nationwide after 20 weeks of gestation, approximately the stage at which scientists say unborn babies are capable of feeling pain.
After heated debate on the floor of the Republican-led House, the bill passed early in the evening with a 228-196 vote.
“We are far outside the global mainstream” with regard to abortion, U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), a co-sponsor of the bill, said in comments on the floor earlier in the day. Smith, a Catholic, is co-chair of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus.
“It may come as a shock to many, but according to the Americans United for Life Legal Defense Fund, the United States is one among only four nations in the world that allows abortions for any reason after viability, and is currently one of only nine nations that allows abortion after 14 weeks gestation,” he said.
“That subset consists of Canada, China, Great Britain, North Korea, the Netherlands, Singapore, Sweden, Vietnam and the United States.”
At a morning news conference June 18, Penny Nance of Concerned Women for America called the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act “the most important pro-life bill to be considered in the last 10 years.”
Though the Democratic-controlled Senate will most likely table the passage of the bill, pro-life advocates still claimed the House vote as a victory.
Other pro-life legislation has survived a tough fight in Congress, said Marilyn Musgrave, vice president for government affairs at the Susan B. Anthony List, an organization that works to get pro-life women elected to office. She pointed to the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003.
In the 1990s, Congress had twice passed a ban on partial-birth abortions. Both times the bills were vetoed by President Bill Clinton. In 2000, the Supreme Court struck down a Nebraska ban on partial-birth abortions.
In 2003, Congress again passed a ban on partial-birth abortions, and the bill was signed into law by President George W. Bush. The law withstood several court challenges on constitutional grounds, but the U.S. Supreme Court upheld it in 2007.
“I believe this bill will eventually become law,” Musgrave said about the Pain Capable Unborn Protection Act.