(Photo: REUTERS/Mike Segar)
Cardinal Timothy Dolan is blasting a proposal that would allow easier access to abortion in New York while also extending the legal time frame women are allowed to receive and abortion.
Governor Andrew Cuomo's yet-to-be-introduced Women's Equality Act he referenced in his State of the State address was stated to "protect a woman's freedom of choice by enacting a reproductive health act."
However, many pro-life advocates are warning that the bill will not increase women's health, but will increase the number of late-term abortions in a state with the highest abortion rate in the country.
In response to the proposed bill, Cardinal Dolan warned that the bill is "a killer."
"The second is the Woman's Equality Act. Of the ten proposals in this act, we're supportive of nine. Not bad. Sadly, the tenth is, literally, 'a killer,' as it increases access to abortion. In a state where 40 percent of babies are aborted," Dolan wrote in a press release.
Cuomo's proposal, while not having been made public yet, is expected to allow licensed health care practitioners the legal ability to perform abortions in a state where currently only licensed physicians are allowed to carry out such a procedure. The new measure is also thought to contain language that would shift oversight away from the state's penal law and shift that power to New York's public health law.
Currently under New York law, a woman can only receive an abortion past 24 weeks if the mother's life is in danger. The suspected proposals would make it easier for a woman to obtain an abortion after the 24 week period regardless if the mother's life is in danger or not.
The suspected changes to New York law has been met with fierce criticism from those who value the protection of the unborn in a state where nearly 40 percent of all pregnancies end in abortion, which is twice the national average, according to current health statistics.
"An abortion expansion in New York State will not foster women's health or women's dignity. New Yorkers want their leaders to take action to decrease the state's abortion rate and reduce the tragedy for women and families. We would like to work with them to do just that," Kathleen M. Gallagher, director of pro-life activities for the New York State Catholic Conference, said in a statement.