Cuomo: New Abortion Tactic — Amend the NYS Constitution

The push to expand abortion in New York state by having it declared a “fundamental right” has been going on for years in the NYS Legislature. During each session, the so-called Reproductive Health Act is introduced, passes the Democratic-controlled Assembly, and ultimately — and fortunately — dies in the Republican-controlled Senate.

This year Gov. Andrew Cuomo has proposed a  new tactic. At a rally of some 1,600 pro-abortion advocates at the Empire State Convention Center on Jan. 30, he said he will offer an amendment to put access to abortion-on-demand directly in the New York State Constitution.

It’s not easy to amend the Constitution. To be a successful an amendment must pass in two consecutive terms of the NY legislature and then be approved by the voters.

The move is prompted by fear that new Supreme Court judges appointed by Pres. Donald Trump might reverse Roe v. Wade.  Read more here.


Atty General’s Opinion Would Expand Late-Term Abortion in New York

In the face of several failed attempts in the NY state legislature to change state law to expand third-trimester abortions, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is going the “legal opinion” route.

Holding that the U.S. Supreme Court rulings override existing state law, Schneiderman’s opinion now gives New York hospitals and clinics legal grounding to perform late abortions when the health of the mother — not just her life — is in danger.

The “health of the mother,” as defined by the World Health Organization, is “any condition that may impact her physical, emotional, psychological, or financial well being.”

The Supreme Court adopted this definition, effectively extending abortion on demand for the full nine months of pregnancy for nearly any reason you can think of, which is why on its face “health of the mother” is simply ridiculous.  Abortion should not be committed against an unborn baby for any reason at any time. And, according to the New York State Catholic Conference, Schneiderman’s move is an invitation for late-term abortion providers to “set up shop” in New York.

NYS Assembly Passes Stand-Alone Abortion Expansion

From NYS Right to Life:


[Note: All three Assembly legislators representing Rockland County voted FOR this pro-abortion bill: Ken Zebrowski, Ellen Jaffe, and James Skoufis. Skoufis and Zebrowski even co-sponsored it]

ALBANY – Today in a vote of 94-49 the New York State Assembly approved passage of AB 6221, the extreme stand-alone 10th point from the previously packaged 10-point Women’s Equality Act, which would expand third-trimester abortions and allow non-doctors to perform abortions. Since 2013, abortion advocates have been holding the Women’s Equality Act hostage to this single dangerous bill, refusing to break the 10-point bill up. This session, however, the will of the voters was finally heard, and the stand-alone bills have been considered. “Expanding cruel and brutal third-trimester abortions has long been a goal of the anti-life lobby who never met an abortion they didn’t like,” said Lori Kehoe, New York State Right to Life executive director. “With no regard for the fully developed unborn baby who is violently dismembered, or otherwise killed, the New York State Assembly once again put the abortion lobby above New York State women and their children.”  Continue reading

NYS Assembly Begins To Vote Separately on Women’s Equality Issues

Today the NYS Assembly unbundled the elements of the Women’s Equality Act (WEA) and passed an individual bill focused on toughening the penalties for sex trafficking and providing more support for victims.

This seems to signal a break from last year when the Assembly passed the entire 10-point WEA package — including the controversial abortion expansion bill — only to see the whole WEA die at the end of the session when the Senate eliminated the abortion measure but passed the other nine women’s rights components individually. The Assembly, in response, maintained that the abortion plank was an indivisible part of women’s equality and refused to vote separately on any of the individual bills the Senate presented them with. As a result, none of the WEA provisions became law last year.

Now that the Senate Republicans hold the majority in that house after winning in  November, the Assembly’s strategy of holding the whole WEA hostage to the passage of the abortion expansion bill has changed.

Again, it’s an example of how much your vote counts.

Today’s bill passed unanimously. The Senate has already passed their version of this bill.

Assembly breaks up Women’s Equality Act, passes sex trafficking bill ~ Politics on the Hudson

NYS Senate Passes Women’s Equality Agenda — WITHOUT Abortion Expansion

Back in session, the New York State Senate yesterday unanimously (62-0) passed all the planks of the Women’s Equalty Act (WEA) except for one — the controversial abortion expansion bill.

These same measures — including pay equality, curtailing pregnancy discrimination in the workplace, aid for victims of domestic violence, and strengthening laws against sex trafficking — passed the Senate last spring, but never became law because the House refused to consider them without also voting on the abortion legislation.

Now, again, the WEA will return to the House, where pro-abortion forces are pressuring the legislators not to vote on the bills passed by the Senate, but to hold out for the full package containing those bills plus the abortion expansion “10th point.”

It will be interesting to see what Governor Cuomo, who strongly supported the full WEA agenda in his State of the Union address last year, will say in his speech next week.

Senate Majority Leader and Coalition Co-Leader Dean Skelos (R) said in a statement supporting the passage of the non-abortion-related measures: “It is a new year and time to put progress over politics by passing effective measures that provide women with the protections they need and the opportunities they deserve.

For more about this, see Equality Clash Redux (The Times Union)

NYS Senate Passes Women’s Equality Package (Press release from the NY Senate)


NY Abortion Expansion Blocked!

The attempt to expand abortion — the “10th-point” of the Women’s Equality Act (WEA) — was again blocked this year in the New York state legislature.

Thank you everyone who made phone calls, wrote letters, sent postcards, talked up the issue, and organized your friends to become involved. We held off the attempts of pro-abortion advocates to ram this bill through the state legislature once again.

And a special thanks to Sen. Co-Majority Leader Dean Skelos, N. Rockland Senator William Larkin, and all the representatives in the Senate and Assembly who courageously stood up for Life.

Here’s how it happened.

In a replay of last year’s vote on the WEA, the Assembly (in January) passed the full WEA which included the abortion expansion measure. (Rockland representatives Ellen Jaffe, Ken Zebrowski and Jim Skoufis all voted in favor.)

However, the Senate did not take a vote on the abortion plank but did pass the rest of the WEA measures last week.

In view of the Senate’s action, several members of the Assembly pressed the body to take a re-vote on what they passed in January — voting on their 10 issues separately this time, so at least the 9 passed by the Senate could become law.

But the Assembly held to their “all or nothing” approach — insisting that the abortion plank was an integral part of the package. As a result, the entire WEA went down to defeat.  Unfortunately, the anti-human-trafficking bill and the other  8 bills protecting women’s rights did not become law.

The “boss bill” was not brought up for vote in the Senate and so did not become law even though it was passed earlier by the Assembly, again with Jaffe, Zebrowski, and Skoufis voting for it.

Supporters of abortion expansion say they will make the defeat of the WEA a major issue in the fall election, targeting prolife senators.

NYS Senate Still at Work

The NYS Assembly adjourned yesterday, as scheduled, and held fast to their 10-point Women’s Equality Agenda. The good news: the abortion expansion legislation will not become law. The bad news: neither will any of nine points.

The Senate continued to work into the night, reconvened this morning — and is still working away passing bills at this hour (8 p.m.)

As soon as they adjourn and the legislative session is officially closed, we will have a story on what took place regarding legislation with prolife implications over the past few days.