The following is a statement from the New York State Catholic Conference, which represents the bishops of New York on public-policy matters:
The failure of a last-ditch hostile amendment to try to effect passage of the Abortion Expansion Act is a remarkable victory for unborn children, as well as vulnerable women and girls who so often face unrelenting societal and family pressure to abort. The result is, quite literally, the answer to prayer. 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.
We are grateful to Senate Co-Leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) for his steadfast opposition to this bill, and to the members of his Republican conference who were united with him in that position, as well as to the two pro-life Democrats who denied the abortion proponents a majority in the Senate. We are grateful, too, for those courageous and principled Republicans and Democrats in the Assembly who voted against abortion expansion despite it being a losing cause in that chamber. This victory is shared with them as well, and they should know that pro-life New Yorkers will remember their vote.
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. Facing the most radical expansion of abortion since the state legalized it in 1970, thousands of New Yorkers contacted their legislators and made repeat trips to Albany to be a pro-life presence at the Capitol.
In the meantime, positive legislation to enhance women’s dignity were long held hostage to the abortion expansion agenda. We are pleased that the Senate is now poised to pass the other nine planks of Gov. Cuomo’s Women’s Equality Act, and we call on the Assembly to do the same. These measures include protections for victims of sexual harassment, domestic violence and human trafficking, and should never have been used as a pawn to pass legislation that cannot stand on its own.
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. 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. 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.
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