STATEMENT OF KRISTEN DAY,
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF DEMOCRATS FOR LIFE OF AMERICA
We oppose Governor Cuomo’s new abortion-expansion law, and we are concerned about the health, safety, and welfare of women in New York.
With unlimited public funding and an abortion rate twice the national average, abortion is big business in New York. The governor’s new law will not address the high abortion rate, nor will it help pregnant women who feel pressured or coerced into abortion. The law will help influential and financially flush abortion corporations increase their customer base and profit margin.
The New York budget allows for unlimited funding of abortions through the Medicaid program. According to the New York Department of Health, in 2016, New York tax dollars paid for 40,491 abortions. The average abortion costs $450, which would equal a minimum of $18 million in public funding of abortion and profit to corporations that perform abortions.
Over half – 60 percent – of the women seeking abortions had already had one or more prior abortions, and almost 70 percent of women seeking abortions were minorities. One of every three aborted children was African American, and one of every four was Hispanic. The new law further exploits women, particularly minority populations who are overrepresented in these numbers.
We call on New York legislators – particularly Democrats – to embark on a mission to make New York the state with the lowest abortion rate in the nation. The estimated $18 million that would be spent yearly on abortion could be put, instead, toward programs to prevent pregnancy, including contraception and sex-education, pre-natal and post-natal health care, public housing, affordable child care, and paid maternity leave. Furthermore, we recommend outreach to minority communities to eliminate the perceived racist targeting of minority women and babies.
We must remain true to Democratic Party principles and stop supporting the abortion industry. Instead, we should really start supporting pregnant women. As Democrats, we advocate for progressive solutions to problems facing the weakest in society: the poor, minorities, women, and children – even if they are yet to be born. New York should repeal this anti-women, anti-children law, and no other state should replicate it.
The Reproductive Health Act:
- removes abortion from the penal code, meaning that anyone who performs an abortion will not be held liable if she or he acts in bad faith. Arguably, Kermit Gosnell would have been within the law in New York. It will be legal in New York to “administer or take drugs with the intent to cause a miscarriage.”
- allows non-doctors, including nurse practitioners, midwives, and physician assistants, to perform an abortion. It also gives wide latitude requiring abortion providers only to use “reasonable and good faith professional judgment” to perform an abortion.
- Allows abortion up to nine months if it is “necessary to preserve the mother’s health or if the fetus isn’t viable.” The mother’s health exception has no specific definition, and it is unclear whether it means physical, mental, or emotional health, and how severe the health concerns should be to justify taking the life a viable infant.
- allows abortion even in the case of a viable fetus – meaning that the child could survive without the mother. The baby could be delivered alive instead of killed in the womb.