Former Gov. George Pataki, the Roman Catholic Church, and now Fox
News host Bill OReilly have joined a growing chorus of voices
blasting New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) for championing an abortion
bill that would provide access to late-term abortions if a womans
health is endangered or the fetus is not viable.
The latest opponent to join the ring, Mr. OReilly, called
Governor Cuomo barbaric last Thursday on the Glenn Beck show and
said he wants to legalize late-term abortion for any reason ... a
migraine headache, a hang nail, a panic attack.
Its no surprise the governors proposed Reproductive Health Act is
gaining so much attention. The chorus of protests began after Cuomo
outlined the proposed legislation in his January State of the State
address, as part of a broader package of women's rights initiatives.
One of the countrys most liberal pieces of abortion legislation, the
bill goes against the national tide, attempting to relax abortion
controls at a time when many other states are seeking restrictions.
Last year 19 states enacted 43 provisions restricting abortion
access, according to the Guttmacher Institute, an abortion advocacy
and research group. Not one measure was adopted to expand abortion
access. In 2011, a record-breaking 92 abortion restrictions were
Pretty much all of the energy, all of the momentum, has been to
restrict abortion, which makes what could potentially happen in New
York so interesting, Elizabeth Nash of the Guttmacher Institute,
told The New York Times. Theres no other state thats even
contemplating this right now.
Cuomos office has said his Reproductive Health Act is an effort
to reinforce Roe v. Wade to protect the reproductive rights of women
should the Supreme Court overturn the courts landmark abortion
"The governor would simply realign our outdated state laws to
federal law and existing state practice," said Cuomos counsel, Mylan
Denerstein, in an Op-Ed. "The Supreme Court could always change and
we want to protect a womans current right to choose."
Cuomos office has said the legislation would not expand state
laws beyond federal standards. New York States existing law, which
was passed in 1970, currently allows abortions after 24 weeks of
pregnancy only if a womans life is at risk, while federal law allows
late-term abortions to protect a womans health even if her life is
not in danger.
The bill one plank of a 10-part Womens Equality Act that would
also seek to install equal pay, anti-trafficking and anti-
discrimination legislation would allow licensed health-care
practitioners, not just physicians, to perform abortions. …