NY Reproductive Health Act: A Case of Political Schizophrenia?

It appears that New York government has a case of political schizophrenia. Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins in a recent interview insists that Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s radical abortion agenda (RHA) is merely a housekeeping measure to align state law with federal statue.

By way of stubborn fact two things should be pointed out:

  1. The Reproductive Health Act goes way beyond updating. A recent comparison of the Federal statute and RHA Codifying Roe is smoke and mirrorsCuomo’s proposed legislation cuts through the smoke and mirrors.
  2. Cuomo himself says it’s not about merely updating New York law to Federal law.

On February 17th the governor admitted to Jessica Bakeman of the Democrat and Chronicle that the purpose of the Reproductive Health Act is to ensure unlimited access to abortion if Roe is overturned. “‘Maybe not this year, but it could happen,’ he said, ‘and if you have a state law, you’re protected.’”

The RHA (or whatever Cuomo wants to call it) is about abortion expansion, not about reconciling current NY State law with Federal statute. How do Cuomo’s words square with bill sponsor Stewart-Cousins’ portrayal of the measure as merely sauntering through the meadow of women’s reproductive health, updating here, trimming back there?

One would think if Cuomo was concerned about keeping NY law in lockstep with Federal statute he would be seeking to repeal recent gun control measures and the marriage equality act. In fact, Cuomo said in his recent State of the State address he wants New York to be the progressive leader of America. No, says Cousins, he just wants to keep things updated.

For the RHA at last we can take Cuomo at his word. He is only interested in a radical abortion expansion agenda. We are left to presume Stewart-Cousins’ notion of merely codifying Roe is political propaganda designed to misguide NY citizens and cement NY as the abortion capital of the U.S.

It would be nice if Cuomo consulted the New Yorkers he represents. If he cared to read this poll he would find a super-majority opposed to his abortion expansion agenda. I guess people don’t think allowing non-physicians to perform surgical procedures, pitting parental rights against the state by making contraception a fundamental human right, threatening discrimination lawsuits for medical providers who refuse to refer for abortion, and reducing penalties for crimes against pregnant women are good ideas. Even medical clinicians have voiced their opposition.