Skip to comments.Alert: Urgent! Oppose Reproductive Health Act. Possible action by Friday. (New York State)
Posted on 06/19/2010 11:31:47 PM PDT by Sun
Alert: Urgent! Oppose Reproductive Health Act. Possible action by Friday.
The Reproductive Health Act would define abortion as a ?fundamental right,? making it impermissible to regulate it, even for minors and even very late in pregnancy.
Do what: Contact your Senator and Assemblyperson in Albany.
When: Immediately ? Monday! The current session would normally be expected to end on June 28, and if this bill is to see action it would be this week. If a budget is not passed, the session will be extended in some way, but we cannot count on that.
Why now: The Democrat leadership may be thinking that they can slip this bill in quietly and get it passed here at the very end of the session before there is time for opposition to develop. We need to voice our opposition immediately to counter the calls from NARAL, NOW and Planned Parenthood.
Message: ?I oppose the Reproductive Health Act, S.5808/A.11484. It will make abortion legal through the whole 9 months of pregnancy.?
Additional message, if time: ?It goes far beyond Roe v. Wade, removes some of the protections currently in place for pregnant women, and erodes conscience protection for doctors, nurses, hospitals, and other entities who want to have nothing to do with abortion.? In any case, please ask how the legislator plans to vote.
Call or fax Albany or the local offices. However, if you write, write immediately and to the local offices, not to Albany. Mail may be delayed in Albany by security procedures until it is too late. Note that you can also reach legislators by e-mail on their page at the Assembly or Senate website, but phone is better.
Additional information in this e-mail:
(A) Albany switchboard numbers
(B) A good analysis by the NYS Catholic Conference of the effects of this bill.
(A) Albany switchboard numbers Senate Switchboard 518-455-2800 Assembly Switchboard 518-455-4100
(B) Statement by the New York State Catholic Conference, a good analysis of the situation. (Sorry, it?s long, but there doesn?t seem to be a link I could give you instead.)
[Please note that RARTL has inserted the word [qualified] in the description of the removal of the requirement that only doctors perform abortions. This more closely conforms to the wording of the Act.]
MEMORANDUM OF OPPOSITION Re: S.5808, Stewart-Cousins/A.11484, Glick The ?Reproductive Health Act
In relation to abortion in New York State law The above-referenced legislation, Governor?s Program Bill (#41), would make radical changes to abortion law in New York State. An earlier version of this bill was developed and pushed forward by former Governor Eliot Spitzer as part of his platform in 2007.
The New York State Catholic Conference strongly opposes this legislation and urges that it not be considered. This legislation is being promoted as a mere codification of Roe vs. Wade in New York law. It has been introduced in the Assembly at the very close of the regular legislative session in an apparent attempt to bypass full and open debate. In fact, this bill does not simply ?update? the law or codify Roe, but would usher in extreme and sweeping changes to abortion policy in New York State.
The bill would establish a ?fundamental right of privacy? within New York State law, encompassing the right ?to terminate a pregnancy.? This change does not simply ?codify Roe vs. Wade? in New York law. It significantly diverges from the Supreme Court?s interpretation of Roe which rejected the view that a woman has a ?fundamental? right to abortion. Instead, the Court said that states may regulate abortion, as long as those regulations do not place an ?undue burden? on the right to an abortion. This bill says that abortion is fundamental and thus untouchable ? no regulations on abortion, ever.The bill would ensure that abortions, possibly even ?partial-birth abortions,? are legal throughout all nine months of pregnancy if they are deemed necessary to protect the life or ?health? of the mother. The U.S. Supreme Court has interpreted the term "health" so broadly as to include social, economic and emotional distress factors, rendering the term meaningless.Current state law says abortions are legal in New York through 24 weeks of pregnancy (Article 125 Penal Law), but outlawed after that unless they are necessary to save a woman?s life. This bill would repeal that law and permit all third-trimester abortions. This ignores the state's legitimate interest in protecting the life of fully formed children in the womb, and ignores the will of a majority of New Yorkers who oppose late-term abortion. Moreover, even though federal law now prohibits one particular method of later-term abortion known as ?partial-birth abortion,? that federal ban is limited in its reach, meaning this legislation could even permit partial-birth abortions in New York State.
The bill could undermine conscience protection in current law by requiring every institution licensed or funded by the state ? including religious hospitals, agencies and schools ? to support abortion, provide coverage for abortion, or to permit abortions. While this bill contains limited conscience protection, that protection is ambiguous and inadequate and appears to be extended only to individual health providers who do not wish to ?provide? abortions. The protection is not extended to hospitals or other institutions, nor to individuals who do not wish to be involved with abortion through counseling, referrals or insurance coverage. The legislation declares that ?the state shall not discriminate? against the exercise of the fundamental right to abortion in the ?provision of benefits, facilities, services or information.? It opens the door for state regulators, such as the State Health Department or State Insurance Department, to mandate support for abortion from any agency or institution licensed or funded by the state.The bill could be used to undermine the state?s maternity programs. These beneficial programs, which are working well to reduce infant mortality, could be ruled ?discriminatory? for favoring childbirth over abortion, if this bill were to become law.The bill would repeal the requirement in current law that says only doctors can perform abortions. While current law states that only a ?duly licensed physician? may perform abortion, this bill would allow any [?qualified?] ?licensed health care practitioner? to perform the procedure prior to viability. This dangerous and extreme change clearly puts women's health at risk, and mirrors a national abortion strategy to permit non-doctors to perform abortions due to the declining number of physicians willing to do so.Not only would the bill disallow any criminal penalties for abortion, but it removes language from previous versions of the bill which allowed for medical misconduct charges against those who would perform unauthorized abortions. The current version allows for absolutely no actions against doctors or non-doctors (see above) who perform unauthorized abortions. This does not protect women?s health.The ?Reproductive Health Act? is uncompromising in its terms and extremely sweeping in scope. The bill goes against the increasingly pro-life sentiment in this country, as evidenced by the most recent Gallup poll (May 2010). The Gallup Organization found that more Americans identify themselves as pro-life rather than pro-choice. The majority of Americans believe abortion should either be more strictly limited than current law or not permitted at all.
We strongly urge you to oppose this radical bill."
An easy way to contact your assembly person and state senator, http://www.nyscatholicconference.org/pages/home/home.asp
Then click “Take Action Now!”
Update from my assemblyperson via email:
“Thank you for sharing your concerns with me. The Senate bill remains in their Rules
Committee and the recently introduced Assembly bill is in the Health Committee. I will
share your thoughts with my colleagues should the bill be voted out of committee and
brought to the floor for debate and a vote”