The governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, has responded to those who wish to see him excommunicated from the Catholic Church over his signing of a late-term abortion bill. Cuomo, who refused to approve the state’s latest budget until the progressive Reproductive Health Act reached his desk, said that he “did not represent the Church” in his political choices.
“With the signing of this bill, we are sending a clear message that whatever happens in Washington, women in New York will always have the fundamental right to control their own body,” he said last week.
The bill, which has been widely condemned, offers women the “fundamental right to choose to carry the pregnancy to term, to give birth to a child or have an abortion.” Basically, subject to certain flexible requirements, the unborn child can be destroyed at any point during the pregnancy.
In light of this horror, many bishops outside of New York have suggested that Cuomo, a lifelong Catholic, should be excommunicated over his position on abortion:
Someone asked me today if I would issue an excommunication of a Catholic Governor under my jurisdiction if the Governor did the same as in New York. I think I might do it for any Catholic legislator under my jurisdiction who voted for the bill as well as the Governor.
— Bishop Rick Stika (@BishopStika) January 24, 2019
However, Cuomo does not appear to be particularly bothered by this. In an interview on WAMC radio, he noted his desire to “incorporate Roe vs. Wade” into the laws and constitution of New York.
The Catholic Church “doesn’t believe in a woman’s right to choose,” Cuomo noted.
“Yes, I understand their religious view,” he said, “I understand their religious view when it comes to marriage equality. But, I’m not here to legislate religion. I happen to be Catholic,” he said, “but you’re not a Catholic governor — you’re just governor.”
“You can have religious views, but different legal-civil views,” he said.
Cuomo then qualified, “I’m here to represent all the people and the constitutional rights and privileges and limitations for all the people, not as a Catholic.”
The most senior Catholic clergyman in New York, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, has called the law “ghoulish, grisly and gruesome.”
Appearing on Fox News, Dolan said, “Any thinking human being that would want a baby, allow a baby, to be aborted right up to the moment of birth…anybody who thinks that a baby who survives a gruesome abortion procedure and that a doctor is no longer required to attempt to save that baby’s life – you don’t have to be a Catholic to abhor those types of things.”
Why is the new legislation so horrifying?
Simply put, the RHA will allow for the termination of fully formed babies. The killings can take place if the patient is 24 weeks from the commencement of pregnancy, if there is an absence of fetal viability, or, if “the abortion is necessary to protect the patient’s life or health.”
Critically, however, the intentional ambiguity of that last part allows for the destruction of the baby at any point during pregnancy should the doctor deem the mother’s wellbeing is at risk. The term “wellbeing” is, in itself, terrifyingly non-specific. So, with regards to these life and death decisions, physicians will be asked to assess “all factors — physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age — relevant to the wellbeing of the patient.”
Effectively, abortion will be available “on demand” up until birth — if the woman wants to terminate her fully-formed child because she claims it is too much for her to deal with financially, emotionally or otherwise, she will be allowed to do so.
“Every individual who becomes pregnant has the fundamental right to choose to carry the pregnancy to term, to give birth to a child, or to have an abortion,” the new legislation declares.
And so, New York State now has legislation that permits murder for convenience.
— 📢 PPNYC Action Fund (@PPNYCAction) January 22, 2019
How is that legal?
The new act, which was subsequently signed by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, will mean that the killing of a late-term baby will no longer be criminalized but instead will be governed under the public health code. Previously, the termination of an unborn child over 24 weeks could result in arrest on charges of homicide. Now, pre-born babies will be stripped of legal protection and mothers will have limited legal options should their unborn children come to harm.