NY Catholic Bishops "Pull out All the Stops" in Campaign against Abortion Bill
NEW YORK, NY, February 19, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Catholic Church in New York State has launched a full-fledged attack against some of the United States' most pro-abortion legislation - the so-called Reproductive Health and Privacy Protection Act (RHPPA), which was unveiled last April by Governor Eliot Spitzer. According to Governor Spitzer the bill was launched in response to the Bush Government's progressive "rolling-back" of abortion "rights" in America, which is especially exemplified by the ban on partial-birth abortion.
The RHPPA seeks, amongst other measures, to make a positive "right" to abortion in New York law. According to Kathleen Gallagher, spokesman for the New York Catholic Conference, in so doing the bill seeks to "shut down the legislative process in regard to abortion." The consequence, Gallagher told LifeSiteNews in an interview today, is that "reasonable regulations like parental notification, or restrictions on taxpayer funding, could never be enacted in the future."
According to a government summary of the act, the act would ensure that a woman has the "right…to terminate a pregnancy prior to viability or whenever necessary to protect her life or health."
The legislation, if passed, would also make an "emergency" exception to a current stipulation that there must be a second doctor present in the case of an abortion that is performed post-viability, opening the door to virtual abortion-on-demand throughout all nine months pregnancy. It would also authorize non-physicians to perform abortions, and would remove the age restriction for purchasing the over-the-counter morning-after pill.
However, in response to the mounting pressure from the governor to have the Act passed, the Catholic Church in the state has in turn mounted an escalating campaign against the Act. In the past few weeks the Catholic Conference of New York has released and sent out copies of an 15-minute educational video on the Act, has uploaded a shorter version of the video onto Youtube, has sent out over 100,000 pamphlets to be distributed in parishes, as well as post-cards, fliers, bulletin inserts and petitions.
Besides the Church's basic concern about a law that would sanction as a fundamental "right" the killing of thousands of unborn children, Church representatives have also expressed their concern that the legislation could be interpreted as having removed all conscience exceptions that would allow physicians and hospitals to opt-out of performing abortions.