.- More than two weeks after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a law expanding legal protection for abortion, his battle with New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan continues in the op-ed pages of New York newspapers.
In a Feb. 6 op-ed in the New York Times, Cuomo accused President Donald Trump and the “religious right”, including Dolan, of “spreading falsehoods about abortion laws to inflame their base.”
“Activists on the far right continue to mislead with the ridiculous claim that the act will allow abortions up to a minute before birth,” he wrote.
According to the law’s wording, the Reproductive Health Act will allow for abortions “within 24 weeks from the commencement of pregnancy, or (when) there is an absence of fetal viability, or at any time when necessary to protect a patient’s life or health.” The bill also removes act of abortion from the criminal code, and instead places it in the public-health code, and strips most safeguards and regulations on the procedure. Non-doctors will now be permitted to perform abortions.
“While Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the archbishop of New York, and the Catholic Church are anti-choice, most Americans, including most Catholics, are pro-choice,” Cuomo said. “While governments may very well enact laws that are consistent with religious teaching, governments do not pass laws to be consistent with what any particular religion dictates.”
Cuomo, himself a Catholic, said he signed the Reproductive Health Act “to protect against” the “extreme conservatives” who want to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in the U.S.
“The decisions I choose to make in my life, or in counseling my daughters, are based on my personal moral and religious beliefs,” Cuomo said, but the “oath of office is to the Constitutions of the United States and of the State of New York – not to the Catholic Church. My religion cannot demand favoritism as I execute my public duties.”
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