Religious leaders and anti-abortion activists spoke out on Thursday against state leaders who are working to pass several bills to protect and expand access to abortion in New York in the wake of the leak U.S. Supreme Court draft decision to spill Roe vs. Wade.
State lawmakers are expected to pass multiple pieces of legislation to expand access and increase public funding for abortions with an expected influx of foreigners coming to New York for reproductive services if the highest court repeals the 1973 law . deer decision to place responsibility on state governments.
The New York State Catholic Bishops have called on state officials to work on policies that would support pregnant women in crisis and avert the surge in abortions.
“Elected officials are constantly falling over themselves as they rush to announce new initiatives to further expand abortion in order to garner votes,” the bishops said in a statement, criticizing Gov. Kathy Hochul’s decision to codify a provision in the last state budget to require all health insurance plans to cover abortion with limited exemptions for religious employers.
“Many political leaders tend to speak more to abortion providers and advocates than to women who might well make a different choice, if only they knew about it and had other options,” they added.
The state’s Catholic bishops released a new statement supporting ‘a pro-life future in the Empire State’ two days after Governor Hochul announced an investment of $35 million in state funds to support healthcare providers. abortion across New York.
“We will defend this right to have an abortion with the full powers of the New York State government,” Hochul said Tuesday.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany has railed against Hochul after it promised to redirect $35 million to support abortion clinics as a misuse of public resources.
Senators and members of the assembly weigh equally a sweeping constitutional amendment enshrine gender and sexual orientation rights in the state constitution. The parts of the Roe vs. Wade decision were codified in the state constitution when former Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Reproductive Health Act into law in 2019.
“We fully understand that no Supreme Court decision will reduce the availability of abortion in New York City,” the Bishops said. “With this reality as a backdrop, the state government has nothing to lose and everything to gain by working to reduce the abortion rate. There is common ground to be found, even in a state like New York.”
New York Archbishop Timothy Cardinal Dolan signed the statement along with Bishops Edward B. Scharfenberger, of Albany; Robert J. Brennan, of Brooklyn; Michael W. Fisher, of Buffalo; Terry R. LaValley of Ogdensburg; Salvatore R. Matano, of Rochester; John O. Barres, of Rockville Center; and Douglas J. Lucia, of Syracuse; on behalf of all state bishops, including auxiliary and emeritus bishops.
The State Catholic Conference will release statements with the hashtags #WeEnvision and #HelpForMoms as part of an ongoing anti-abortion campaign on social media in the coming days.
State Catholic bishops have also launched a new pregnancy resource webpage for services to mothers and expectant mothers as the national debate continues.
The bishops stressed that every religious community and every Catholic parish, charitable program, health facility, school, college or university in New York must come together in the effort to stop the expansion of abortion.
“Let us work to make New York a state where even if abortion is not illegal, it will one day be unthinkable,” the bishops said.