Editorial: NY abortion bill is nothing to celebrate


was a hideous image: the top of One World Trade Center — a structure literally built on the ashes of men, women and children killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks — glowing pink in the New York City night sky Jan. 22 as a disturbing symbol of victory following the passage of the state’s abhorrent and profoundly misnamed Reproductive Health Act. The building shone pink along with three other structures, New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo stated proudly, to “celebrate this achievement and shine a bright light forward for the rest of the nation to follow.”

The buildings weren’t the only indications of pro-abortion triumph. Applause and cheers rang out in the New York State Senate chamber as legislators passed the measure, and Gov. Cuomo wore a pink tie to sign it into law. Even the date chosen by lawmakers to vote on the measure was a point of twisted jubilation: Jan. 22 marked the 46th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision. Happy days, indeed.

So what does the so-called Reproductive Health Act allow?

Far from providing real health care to mothers and their children, the Reproductive Health Act, through the hazy language of “at any time when necessary to protect a woman’s life or health,” now enables women to procure abortions up until the moment of birth in New York state. It also permits non-physicians to perform some abortions, and it removes abortion from the state’s criminal code — meaning that any attack on a child within the womb will be considered by law an attack on the mother alone. The unborn child is henceforth inconsequential.

The passage of the Reproductive Health Act also assures that, should Roe v. Wade ever be overturned, abortion “rights” will still be guaranteed in New York. Notably, the state already leads the country in numbers of abortions performed; it truly is the abortion capital of the world.

The law also emboldens other states to adopt similar measures. On that same Jan. 22, newly elected Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker of Illinois signed an executive order that also ensures the state’s abortion laws will remain intact if Roe v. Wade is overturned. It also allows taxpayer funding for abortions. As he signed the order, Pritzker vowed that Illinois “will be the most progressive state in the nation when it comes to guaranteeing women’s reproductive rights” — continuing the celebratory language that, most unfortunately, has now become the norm when it comes to abortion. This is a far cry from the apparent “good old days” when even Bill Clinton campaigned on making abortion “safe, legal and rare.”

This is not to say that there are no signs of hope for the pro-life movement at the state level. The new governor of Ohio, Republican Mike DeWine, has verbally committed to signing the “heartbeat bill” that former Gov. John Kasich vetoed at the end of last year. If made law, this bill would not allow abortions to take place once a baby’s heartbeat has been detected (anywhere from six to 12 weeks after conception). Lawmakers in Iowa, Florida, Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi, Arkansas, Minnesota and Tennessee have introduced similar legislation, though the Iowa measure recently was struck down by a state judge.

As we near the 50-year mark since the passage of Roe v. Wade, the abortion wars sadly show no sign of slowing. But despite the passage of the Reproductive Health Act, neither does the pro-life movement. And those of us in it know that the only thing worth celebrating is when every life is protected, from conception to natural death.

This article comes to you from OSV Newsweekly (Our Sunday Visitor) courtesy of your parish or diocese.


Catholic News & Perspective

Provides information on the Church, the nation and the world from OSV, America's most popular and trusted national Catholic news source


Opening the Word: Blessings and woes

Friday, February 15, 2019
By:  Timothy P. O'Malley In this column, I often have cautioned against our mishearing of familiar scriptural passages. When we hear the... Read More

Canon lawyers debate excommunication

Wednesday, February 13, 2019
By: Brian Fraga If it were up to many frustrated Catholics who follow the news, Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York already would be excommunicated.... Read More

Winter musings

Monday, February 11, 2019
BY: Robert P. Lockwood Four items plus one in search of a late-winter column: 1. Plasma therapy: Ambrosia Health offers “young plasma... Read More

Opening the Word: The least of these

Friday, February 8, 2019
By: Timothy P. O'Malley Jesus, the one who has come to fulfill the messianic prophecy of Isaiah, seeks out missionary companions. But instead of... Read More

Editorial: NY abortion bill is nothing to celebrate

Wednesday, February 6, 2019
By: OSV Editorial Board was a hideous image: the top of One World Trade Center — a structure literally built on the ashes of men, women and... Read More

A breath of fresh air

Monday, February 4, 2019
By: Teresa Tomeo The last few weeks in the media have been like none I’ve ever seen before, and I’ve been in this industry for nearly... Read More

Opening the Word: Prophetic discipleship

Friday, February 1, 2019
By: Timothy P. O'Malley OSV Newsweekly Jesus’ prophetic career seems to get off to a rocky start. Standing up in the synagogue in Nazareth,... Read More

‘We must keep marching for life every day’

Wednesday, January 30, 2019
By: OSV Staff OSV Newsweekly Hundreds of thousands of peaceful protesters attended the 46th annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 18,... Read More

Celibacy as choice

Monday, January 28, 2019
By:  Msgr. Owen F. Campion OSV Newsweekly This may surprise some people, even Catholics. When deacons looking ahead to the priesthood are... Read More

Opening the Word: Salvation is real

Friday, January 25, 2019
By: Timothy P. O'Malley OSV Newsweekly If you’re a frequent user of Twitter, you are aware of the internecine squabbles that break out among... Read More

Online Giving

Online Giving

Secure and Convenient Donate now!