New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo has vowed to pass the Reproductive Health Act in 2013. This bill would establish abortion and contraception as fundamental rights. If abortion and contraception receive ‘right’ status medical providers who do not refer women for them may be found guilty of discrimination and human rights violations. Making abortion a fundamental right opens the floodgates for litigation against ethical medical providers. In addition to being labeled discriminatory pro-life OB/GYN physicians who refuse to refer patients for abortion may be at risk for having their certification stripped for medical ethics violations.
Why is CompassCare talking about a legislative issue? The RHA poses a very real threat to CompassCare’s ability to accomplish our mission. This danger is not limited to pro-life Pregnancy Resource Centers (PRCs) either. It extends to ethical physicians and hospitals that refuse to refer women for abortion. The Hippocratic Oath states, “. . . I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy.” On behalf of the medical community, the women CompassCare serves and the babies we help them have to remain silent would be remiss. To that end this post will be the first of many educational pieces in the weeks and months that follow detailing the RHA and how you can join the fight to stop it once and for all.
The RHA has been termed Cuomo’s Coat-hanger Bill because it accurately depicts how despicable it is. The bill scours through the entire New York State legal code and surgically enacts, amends, revises and repeals everything that has anything to do with the limitation of access to contraception and abortion. In addition to putting CompassCare at risk some other heinous facts of this bill are:
-Increases tax payer funding of abortion through Medicaid by increasing the number and complexity of abortions through all nine months of pregnancy performed in NY. Currently 43% of all abortions performed on NYS residents are paid for by our tax dollars.
-Allows a teacher to dispense birth control to your son or daughter of any age by repealing section 6811 subdivision 8 of the educational code eliminating age restrictions and no longer requiring distribution by a pharmacist. This will place parental rights at odds with children’s right to access contraception.
-Usurps parental authority extracting parents from the supervision of health care decisions for their minor children (Section 2 of Public Health Article 1700). According to NYS law a minor cannot use a tanning bed even with parental consent because they cannot understand the lifelong implications of skin damage. But that same minor can get a surgical or medicinal abortion proven to increase risk of future pre-term deliveries and breast cancer?
-Reduces penalties for violent crimes against pregnant women (S 6 of the Penal law section 125.00). According to the Center for Disease Control domestic violence is the second leading cause of the death in pregnant women. If a pregnant woman is assaulted and the baby dies the perpetrator can no longer be charged with murder.
-Decriminalizes the murder of women by abortionists by removing from the penal law homicide and manslaughter related to abortion as well as not allowing a medical examiner to investigate a woman’s death who is suspected of dying from botched abortion (S 8 Penal law section 125.15 and S 9 of the Penal law section 125.20). Abortionists like Kermit Gosnell and his staff currently facing the death penalty in Pennsylvania would not even be prosecuted in New York under Cuomo’s Coat-hanger Bill.
-Legalizes back-alley abortion by totally deregulating abortion procedures and removing the ability to criminally prosecute abortionists for malpractice (S 5-11 Penal law section 125).
-Unchains the partial-birth abortion monster (S 2 Public health law section 1701) permitting abortion “at any time . . . to protect the female’s life or health.” Health is so broadly defined by the U.S. Supreme Court in Doe vs. Bolton as to legitimize any reason for abortion at any time.
These are the facts of Cuomo’s Coat-Hanger Bill. And when the dust settles after all the slick marketing, fancy rhetoric, and emotional maneuvering the stubborn facts will remain.
Cuomo and his mid-night militia will want you to ignore these facts, mind you. He will want you to ignore the fact that abortion has been found to increase a woman’s risk of future pre-term deliveries, increase a woman’s risk of breast cancer, and increase her risk of negative psychological effects like depression and suicidal thoughts. In the coming weeks and months Governor Cuomo and his underhanded legislative tactics will tell us that this ‘Reproductive Health Act’ is good for women, good for medicine, tougher on domestic violence, tougher on sex trafficking, and an act of good government. But we have the facts and we will not be fooled.
If decreasing protections for women were not bad enough Cuomo’s Coat-hanger Bill increases the protections for quacks. This heinous bill legalizes back alley abortions and insulates abortionists from any form of accountability whatsoever. What’s even more insidious is that Cuomo deigns to use pro-woman rhetoric to justify this exploitation.
As members of the medical community CompassCare is appalled at the patronizing way the public is being manipulated and the disgraceful way women are being demeaned. There is nothing pro-woman about Cuomo’s Coat-hanger Bill. The RHA is inhumane and fundamentally anti-human.
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