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New York Catholics hail defeat of abortion proposal

By on Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Gov Andrew Cuomo proposed the Women's Equality Act (Photo: CNS)

Gov Andrew Cuomo proposed the Women's Equality Act (Photo: CNS)

The New York State Senate has rejected the abortion-related section of a 10-point women’s equality bill, prompting the New York State Catholic Conference to call the decision a “remarkable victory for unborn children”.

Governor Andrew Cuomo, who put forward the bill, said the language in it would merely have codified current abortion rights into law, but pro-lifers warned that it would have opened the door to more late-term abortions.

In a statement the Catholic conference said that if this element of the bill had passed it would have been “the most radical expansion of abortion since the state legalised it in 1970.”

The fact it was rejected, the statement continued, “was 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.”

The Women’s Equality Act, with all 10 provisions intact, easily passed through the Democrat-led state Assembly. But although the state Senate has a slight Democrat majority, two Democrats joined Republicans in helping to defeat the bill by voting against the abortion provision. One senator then tried to attach the abortion point to a medical-related bill, but that effort was defeated by one 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,” the statement continued.

“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.”

The abortion votes in the Senate came at the scheduled close of the legislative session. However, it has been suggested that members of the assembly could vote in the future on a Women’s Equality Act without the abortion provision. Among the remaining nine points are provisions on sexual harassment, domestic violence and human trafficking.