NRL News

Behind Cuomo’s Reproductive Health Act

by | Feb 19, 2013

By Dave Andrusko

Pro-abortion New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Pro-abortion New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo

A quick “thank you” for the tremendous response to the numerous stories we’ve written about New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s and his yet-to-be-finalized-but-oh-so-anticipated Reproductive Health Act (RHA).

Cuomo voiced (loudly and often) support in his State of the State message in January in language that sounded like it’d been sprung from a time-capsule. You’d think the Huns (that would be us) are at the gates, “threatening” the “right” to abortion in a state where the blood of unborn babies flows unchecked by even the most marginal limitations.

As we discussed yesterday, the new territory that the Reproductive Health Act would commandeer would be to have even more non-physicians perform abortions, one of those moves which is not a mere gesture but a proposal that would both increase the number of abortions and heighten the risk to women. Physician’s assistants may currently perform first-trimester abortions. Cuomo would add, for example, Nurse Practitioners to the list.

So pro-abortionists have an interesting choice. Descry the imaginary limitations on abortion (there are essentially none) or admit the RHA has, for the most part, another agenda—or some combination thereof.

Kate Pickert, writing for TIME magazine, today adopts the third option. I have yet to see the full dimensions of the “right” to abortion in New York laid out better. Not only did New York “liberalize” its abortion laws prior to Roe (1970, to be exact)

“Access today is already widespread and New York does not impose restrictions on abortion that are increasingly common elsewhere. Women seeking abortions in New York to not have to undergo waiting periods, parental consent or notification procedures or mandatory ultrasounds. New York is one of a handful of states that voluntarily provides coverage for abortion under Medicaid. In part because abortion is publicly funded for women on Medicaid and because the state has more abortion providers per capita than many others, the abortion rate in New York State is nearly twice the national rate, with about 39 abortions per 1,000 women age 15-44 in 2008, the last year data is available from the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive rights organization whose statistics are cited by both pro-life and pro-choice activists. In 2008, abortions that took place in New York state represented nearly 13% of all abortions in the U.S. According to Guttmacher, just 7 percent of women in New York state live in counties the lack an a bortion provider, compared to about 30 percent of women nationwide.”

(Does that make it seem as if abortion is marginalized in New York? Obviously not.)

Pickert writes that what Cuomo is doing “is more about symbolism than changing much of anything for women’s reproductive health—in New York state or anywhere else.” Besides all that we just quoted, the pretend excuse for RHA—that there is some sort of limitation on “late term” abortions in New York—is obviously not true.

Whether abortionists choose to abort late, late, LATE in pregnancy (late second AND third trimester) is, for lack of a better word, a prudential judgment. It is dangerous to women, as the recent death of a woman who had been aborted in the abortion clinic of LeRoy Carhart in Maryland tragically made clear.  That notwithstanding, “if Cuomo’s proposal takes effect,” Pickert writes hopefully, “some providers may be more willing to perform late-term abortions.”

However, greasing the skids for killing additional numbers of huge babies is the furthest thing from a symbolic act as you can possibly imagine.

Pickert’s argument boils down to an elaboration of her opening sentence: “There are two Americas when it comes to abortion—one in which it’s nearly impossible to terminate an unwanted pregnancy, and one in which access to the procedure is mostly unfettered and often publicly financed.” The inference is that the former could spell bad news for the latter, even in a state like New York where abortion is deeply embedded.

The laws pro-lifers are passing at the state level may be upheld, she argues, by a sympathetic Supreme Court “which is why abortion rights groups want governors like Cuomo to make it explicitly clear that abortion will be available in states even if the procedure is no longer protected by federal law.” Pickert seems to be alluding to the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which the Pro-abortion Establishment has shied away from testing, at least to date.

Wouldn’t that be something to behold? If this law was to be challenged and upheld by the Supreme Court, we’d have the spectacle of states like New York shouting to the world,

“Come here and abort your unborn baby whom the Supreme Court has just agreed is so developed she is capable of experiencing pain of unimaginable proportions as we slice her arms off and sever her head from her torso.”

Kind of reverse Ellis Island, where instead of welcoming newcomers, New York would kill them before they landed/were born.

Is there nothing these people won’t stoop to?

Please join those who are following me on Twitter at Please send your comments to

Categories: Legislation