No Standing Ovation for Abortion, Please

Most Americans don’t want a standing ovation for abortions until birth. But Democrats do.

Ashley McGuire wrote the following opinion piece originally published by USA Today.

A standing ovation for abortion? That’s what New York’s Reproductive Health Act got in the Senate chamber when it passed last week. Lawmakers and bystanders stood and applauded a law that legalizes abortion all the way up until birth, for any reason.

The left may be celebrating the bill’s passage, but it is wildly out of step with American sentiment on the issue. American support for late-term abortion continues to decline; one poll last year found that a mere 13 percent of Americans support abortion all the way into the third trimester. And most Americans don’t think abortion is something to celebrate, or “shout” to borrow from the pro-choice lobby’s public relations campaign. A majority of Americans, in fact, say abortion is immoral.

I can only imagine then, that seeing Democrats vigorously applaud abortion for 7-pound babies makes most Americans queasy. The same goes for lighting up One World Trade Center pink.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signs the Reproductive Health Act on Jan. 22, 2019.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signs the Reproductive Health Act on Jan. 22, 2019. (Photo: Darren McGee/Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo via AP)

But the bill did more than extend abortion up until labor pains begin. The bill drops the requirement that only doctors perform abortion and decriminalizes violence against children in the womb. Even if it’s by a woman’s thug boyfriend.

“Safe” … scratch that. Legal and rare? Scratch “rare,” too. In New York City, one in three babies are aborted.

In legalizing and then celebrating the brazen removal of protections for not just unborn children, wanted or unwanted, but women as well, New York dramatized something the left is increasingly struggling to hide: they are only interested in legal abortion, full stop. Safe and rare be darned.

Abortion extremism grows even as use fades out

Strangely enough, the left’s litany of extremism on abortion continues to grow as its political efficacy wanes. Just this month, Democratic leaders in Congress announced they would push to overturn the Hyde Amendment, which bars the use of taxpayer funding for abortion, despite the fact that a solid majority of Americans support it. Co-chair of the Pro-Choice Caucus, Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., promised the “boldest pro-choice legislation in history” and called the new Congress an opportunity to unleash a “a new era of reproductive rights.”

It certainly is a new era, one in which the Democrats are further away from the American people on abortion than they’ve ever been in history, and one in which American views on abortion are more nuanced than ever before. A slight majority of Americans continue to support legal abortion, but primarily in the first trimester, and it’s something that makes them morally uneasy. Democrats who have been tossed out of office for their extremism on the issue can see this.

In a recent podcast interview with The New York Times, former Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-MO, who voted against the 20-week ban on abortion, lamented the party’s emphasis on the issue, saying Democrats should “shut up” about abortion. “It was not an issue that was going to bring me more votes,” she said.

The left celebrates death itself

No doubt former Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., who became known as “High Five Heidi” for her infamous high-five with Senate Democrat leader Chuck Schumer after voting against the 20-week ban, would agree.

Already, the four women who have entered the presidential race for the Democratic party from the U.S. Senate have made their abortion bonafides plain: All are in the New York school of abortion extremism. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., gets special kudos for her efforts to undermine crisis pregnancy centers in her home state while acting as attorney general, before the Supreme Court stepped in to protect their free speech rights.

What happened in New York last week is somber and tragic. But it was a teaching moment for us all in that it made plain the left’s position on a deeply divisive issue. As the bishop of Albany wrote in a letter to his parishioner, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, pleading him not to sign the bill, “Do not build this Death Star.

The reality is that the left has moved past building Death Stars to celebrating death itself.

Bishop’s Letter to Cuomo

Bishop’s Letter to Gov. Cuomo

The Bishop of Albany wrote the following open letter to his parishioner, Gov. Andrew Cuomo:

Dear Governor Cuomo,

Although in your recent State of the State address you cited your Catholic faith and said we should “stand with Pope Francis,” your advocacy of extreme abortion legislation is completely contrary to the teachings of our pope and our Church. Once truth is separated from fiction and people come to realize the impact of the bill, they will be shocked to their core. By that time, however, it may be too late to save the countless lives that will be lost or spare countless women lifelong regret.

The so-called Reproductive Health Act (RHA) will expand abortion under the pretenses of choice and progress, which, in fact, it will do little to enhance. At the same time, this legislation threatens to rupture the communion between the Catholic faith and those who support the RHA even while professing to follow the Church, something that troubles me greatly as a pastor.

Contrary to what its proponents say, the RHA goes far beyond Roe vs. Wade in its aggressive extremism. Granting non-doctors permission to perform abortions does nothing to advance the security and health of women. Condoning coerced or involuntary abortions by repealing criminal sanctions even in cases where a perpetrator seeks to make his partner “un-pregnant” through an act of physical violence does not represent any kind of progress in the choice, safety or health of women. Removing protection for an infant accidentally born alive during an abortion is abject cruelty, something most people of conscience would deem inhumane for even a dog or cat. Finally, allowing late-term abortions is nothing less than a license to kill a pre-born child at will.

It is very difficult to understand how you can align yourself with Pope Francis and so vehemently advocate such profoundly destructive legislation.

I find myself wondering how it can be viewed as “progress” to have gone from a society working to make abortion “rare” to one that urges women to “shout your abortion” as some advocates of this bill boldly announce.

How is it progress to ignore the harm that this will do, not only to innocent infants, born and unborn, but to their mothers? Does the heartache of so many New York women who have been pained by their abortion decisions matter? Is anyone listening to them? How is it really “pro-choice” when a law, which claims to guarantee choice, moves to expand only one option for women?

If abortion is deemed a fundamental right in New York State, will the State then still be able to issue licenses to pro-life nurses or physicians? Will health facilities which do not provide abortions be certified? Will the law allow that even one dollar be given to maternity services without offering women the “choice” of abortion? These are unanswered questions, but I shudder to think of the consequences this law will wreak. You have already uttered harsh threats about the welcome you think pro-lifers are not entitled to in our state. Now you are demonstrating that you mean to write your warning into law. Will being pro-life one day be a hate crime in the State of New York?

Our young people especially, who have seen their sonograms and who follow the discoveries the sciences have made, know the lies and the despair that proponents of such dangerous and death-dealing legislation are promulgating, even if blindly or unwittingly.

Giving up on life is no excuse for us as a responsible and compassionate people. In so doing, we evade the challenge of accompanying women and the families they are trying to nurture on the long journey. They deserve our courageous and ongoing support in creating conditions under which they will be free to bear and provide for their children.

As a society, we can and must do better. The teaching and intuition of our common faith readies us to help. It is an essential part of our mission to support the lives of all, especially the voiceless, the most vulnerable and marginalized, as Pope Francis always reminds us to do.

Let’s not bequeath to our children a culture of death, but together build a more humane society for the lives of all of our fellow citizens.

Mr. Cuomo, do not build this Death Star.

Sincerely yours,

Most Rev. Edward B. Scharfenberger
Bishop of Albany

Ironically, Andrew Cuomo and Trump have a lot in common

Opinion: Ironically, Andrew Cuomo and Trump have a lot in common

In an Opinion piece published in the New York Post, John Podhoretz begins as follows…

Gov. Andrew Cuomo took to the stage at his third inauguration to express his horror at President Trump, which is pretty funny when you think about it: The politician Trump most resembles is . . . Andrew Cuomo.

Cuomo attacked Trump on New Year’s Day for sowing discord. “America’s only threat is from within,” he said. “It is the growing division amongst us.” But wasn’t it Cuomo who, in 2015, said that pro-life and pro-gun conservatives were ­“extreme” and “have no place in the state of New York”?

He is their governor too.

Thirty-two percent of New Yorkers identify as pro-life. A majority of upstate voters in 2015 opposed new gun-control ­restrictions. Do these people “have no place in the state of New York”? And just who in this case was responsible for widening the divisions between us but this state’s governor? Doesn’t this make it sound like Trump was taking lessons in how to ­divide us from . . . Cuomo?

You can read the full piece at the New York Post.

Editorial: Don’t expand abortion in New York

Editorial: Don’t expand abortion in New York published the following editorial by Michele Sterlace-Accorsi, executive director of Feminists Choosing Life of New York.

Women’s rights continue to be front and center in our body politic. As they should. Abortion rights, however, continue to dominate, especially here in New York. Rather than focus our energy on matters most feminists agree upon, such as equal pay for equal worth, considering women in New York continue to be paid nearly 13 percent less than men for the same workplace performance, according to the New York Women’s Foundation, pro-choice feminists are pushing hard to expand abortion in New York.

Despite the fact that New York law already permits abortion for any reason during the first 24 weeks of pregnancy and the fact that an overturned Roe vs. Wade would not affect this “right,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo and others are pushing hard to enact the Reproductive Health Act (RHA). Apparently, it is also irrelevant that, according to the Guttmacher Institute, New York already has an abortion rate (29.6 per 1,000 women) that is twice the national average (14.6 per 1,000). Abortion advocates claim the passage of the RHA will be a first priority when the New York state Legislature convenes Jan. 9.

To be clear, the RHA legalizes abortion “on demand” during the third trimester of pregnancy. The RHA’s legislative intent ushers in a broad health exception for late-term abortion, which courts have interpretedto allow women to abort fully viable fetuses for essentially any reason, including economic or familial health. The RHA, by repealing a section of Public Health Law, also would allow for viable infants born alive during an abortion to die without treatment.

In addition, the RHA potentially endangers women’s lives by permitting the performance of surgical late term abortions in facilities other than hospitals, and by individuals other than duly licensed physicians. According to studies, including “Risk Factors for Legal Induced Abortion-Related Mortality in the United States,” published by Obstetrics & Gynecology, the “risk of death … for women obtaining legally induced abortions … increase[s] exponentially by 38 percent for each additional week of gestation.”

The RHA also potentially re-victimizes victims of sex trafficking and domestic violence by completing gutting abortion from New York’s penal laws. Relevant abortion related provisions in New York’s criminal statutes allow women to hold abusers accountable for the death of wanted unborn children and for coerced abortions. If the RHA act is enacted, women can no longer hold violent partners criminally accountable for killing wanted unborn children. While pregnant, my now ex- husband tried to push me down the stairs. If he had, and my unborn child had died because of my fall, I would not have been able to prosecute him for the death of my Noah, if the RHA had been the law.I’m not the only one. Studies, including “Acknowledging a Persistent Truth: Domestic Violence in Pregnancy,” published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, show that domestic violence escalates in pregnancy, with significant consequences for women and their unborn children, including death.

Further, studies also show that victims of domestic violence and sex trafficking undergo coerced, but otherwise “safe and legal,” abortions. These studies, include, respectively, “Associations Between Intimate Partner Violence and Termination of Pregnancy: A Systemic Review and Meta-Analysis,” published in PLOS Medicine, and “The Health Consequences of Sex Trafficking, Their Implications for Identifying Victims in Healthcare Facilities,” published in Beazley Institute for Health Law & Policy.

Rather than fight for ways to disempower women, jeopardize women’s health and destroy viable humans in utero, as well as children born alive, all feminists and legislators should be focusing on real women’s issues — none of which are contained in the Reproductive Health Act. Otherwise, New York surely will become a dark place in which to live.

Pro-lifers Not Welcome in NY

Pro-lifers Still Not Welcome in NY

Gov. Cuomo’s insistence on the Anti Pro-Life Act shows he continues to act on what he said in a 2014 radio interview, that pro-life conservatives are not welcome in New York State.

For all it’s claims of tolerance and pluralism, the secular state is increasingly demonstrating its intolerance of Christianity. Perhaps most of our secular legislators are well-meaning people who are simply convinced that Christians are “wrong.” But if that is so, why attempt to legislate Christian organizations out of existence?

In his 2018 State of the State address, Gov. Cuomo declared, “The New York way is that tolerance is expected from all.” Apparently tolerance is expected from pro-life Christians, but not toward pro-life Christians.

This year, let us show that at times of trouble and anxiety, the premise that made America great still guides us. That we do not seek to raise ourselves by pulling another down, but rather believe we succeed by raising each other up.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Governor Cuomo, will you continue to attempt to raise yourself up by pulling down pregnancy centers and their supporters?  Or will you stand by your word, and refuse to sign the Anti Pro-Life Act?