Debating the Reproductive Health Act
In his State of the State address in January, Gov. Cuomo called for changes to New York’s abortion law.
“The New York law was before Roe v. Wade,” said Sara Hutchinson, the domestic program director for Catholics for Choice. “It just needs to be modernized and updated to meet federal standards.”
As part of a 10-point Women’s Equality Agenda, the Reproductive Health Act would update state law to allow an abortion after 24 weeks of pregnancy if a woman’s health is in danger.
Catholics for Choice supports Cuomo’s Reproductive Health Act. Hutchinson said the law currently states a late-term abortion is only allowed if a woman’s life is in danger.
“If a woman in New York needs an abortion after 24 weeks, she has to leave the state to get it, and that’s not what New Yorkers want. It’s not what New York Catholics want,” she said.
In fact, Hutchinson said recent polls conducted by Catholics for Choice show out of the more than 600,000 Catholics in the Buffalo area, 72 percent of them support Cuomo’s Reproductive Health Act.
However, Cheryl Calire, the director of pro-life activities with the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo, disagrees.
“When they re-did some of the statistics, 80 percent of the people polled came back and said they were not fully aware of what the Reproductive Health Act contained,” said Calire.
Calire said those same people also thought there was already enough access to abortion in New York State.
“There’s not really provisions in there to restrict such things as late-term abortions or who would be performing those abortions,” she said. “We have found that it’s not safe and rare. It’s becoming more commonplace and more available and more dangerous.”
Lawmakers in Albany are expected to vote on the Reproductive Health Act on June 20.
This piece was originally published by Your News Now.