A statement from Senator Reverend Ruben Diaz. He is an outspoken opponent of abortion, which doesn't sit well with many members of his own party. The reference below to State Senator Andrea Stewart Cousins is because she introduced the bill in the state senate. It's still the Spitzer Abortion Bill!
Senate Bill 6045, introduced by NYS Senator Andrea Stewart Cousins (D-Westchester) and better known as the Reproductive Health and Privacy Protection Act, is one of the most dangerous and radical pieces of proposed legislation in New York State that I have ever seen. It contains extraordinarily broad language that will promote abortion throughout all nine months of pregnancy and open the door to extreme measures for women and health care providers. I urge all New Yorkers to become better informed about it, to contact their State legislators, and to work diligently to oppose this bill to ensure its defeat.
Under this Act, late-term abortions will be permitted in New York for any reason and without restrictions. Like most New Yorkers, I was relieved by the recent United States Supreme Court ruling which permits states to outlaw the gruesome practice of partial-birth abortion - a criminal act of killing children while they are being born. This Act will attempt to supercede the Supreme Court's ruling, and permit late-term abortions to be performed in clinics that do not even offer the full complement of support facilities necessary to assist women and any child born alive during a late-term abortion.
New York State's current law requires that only doctors can perform abortions. Unrestricted abortion, as proposed by this Act, would be permitted by "a qualified, licensed health care practitioner" to do such. Public Health Law defines "qualified licensed health care practitioner" to include chiropractors, dentists, physical therapists, nurses, podiatrists, optometrists, psychologists, social workers and occupational therapists. This Act is so radical it will not even propose requiring a non-doctor performing an abortion to have an assisting physician or even any necessary emergency equipment during the procedure. This presents a dangerous health and safety risk to women.
This measure will protect a man from criminal liability should he coerce a woman into getting an abortion or injure a woman with intent to cause an abortion, and it shields abortion providers from prosecution in cases of malpractice.
I also consider this Act to be a full-scale attack on our Constitutional guarantee of free worship. Under this Act, all hospitals, including religious-based medical facilities and others whose mission statements clearly oppose abortion will be forced to perform abortions. All insurance plans, including those of Catholic employers, will be forced to compromise their principles and pay for abortion - including late-term abortions. This Act could even require a physician to support abortions before a license to practice medicine is granted by the state!
This Bill will encourage public school sex education classes to promote abortion as a means of birth control. It will not prohibit any regulations to prevent the sale of abortion drugs such as RU-486 to minor children in school, and it will allow young girls to be able to get an abortion without the knowledge of their parents. These same young girls will, however, need parental consent for painkillers they will need after their abortion procedures are over.Furthermore, this Act will prevent the New York State legislature - the people's elected representatives - from ever enacting any reasonable and necessary regulations on abortion. Abortion will be immune from any reasonable State regulation such as parental notification or informed consent.
Our role as legislators - especially those of us who are democrats - should be to expand the safety net for expectant mothers, require health insurers to cover pregnancy, expand adoption tax credits and strengthen child support enforcement efforts to assure that deadbeat dads help provide for their children - not to encourage mothers to sacrifice their children's lives.
Fighting for a good educational system, good health services, job creation, affordable housing, and other important social services equally available to all human beings, are some of the reasons that I am a public servant. However, as I have said many times, an aborted baby will never be able to enjoy these services.
Unrestricted abortion promotes a further disregard for the grave moral disorder in our society. And to me it is obvious that no child could enjoy the programs and policies that good democrats support if he or she fell victim to abortion.
We have come to a crossroad in history. It is time for every New Yorker and every legislator to accept our responsibility to defend the sanctity of all human life, to stand up for the weakest members of our society - to stand up for our children - and offer them the liberties we all can enjoy.
Let's not let New York become the abortion capitol of the United States. Let's prevent abortion without apology and without regret - from ever passing in our State legislature. Let's defeat this Act.
Senator Reverend Ruben Diaz (D-Bronx) represents the 32nd Senate District in the South Bronx, including the communities of Castle Hill, Clason Point, Hunts Point, Longwood, Melrose, Morrisania, Parkchester, Pelham Parkway, Soundview, and Union Port.