By Lori Kehoe, executive director, New York State Right to Life
Today Governor Andrew Cuomo will visit Seneca Falls, site of the 1848 women’s rights convention, to discuss his so-called Women’s Equality Act.
This is a shameless act comparable to defamation of character.
The Seneca Convention was organized by strong, pro-life feminists such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton. To them, pro-life feminism would have been a redundancy. Stanton’s articles in The Revolution spoke against the “murder of children, either before or after birth” (February 5, 1868).
Like Stanton, true feminists today reject violence as an answer to social problems. We are horrified by the governor’s push for enshrining third trimester abortion in New York State law and worse – including it in something that pretends to defend the equality of women. Alice Paul, author of the original Equal Rights Amendment (1923), once asked, “How can one protect and help women by killing them as babies?”
Worldwide, when unborn children are aborted for sex selection reasons, it is overwhelmingly little girls who die. The Governor has still failed to embrace a ban on sex-selection abortion in our state.
In fact, if New York State had protections against sex-selection abortion the Governor’s absurdly named Women’s Equality Act would overturn them.
The Governor’s newly released abortion expansion agenda seeks to enshrine third trimester abortion into state law and withdraws the requirement that a physician perform them. Current law protects children after 24 weeks and states that only a duly licensed physician may perform an abortion. This bill repeals that section and allows anyone to perform an abortion (Article 125.05 Penal Law).
According to the Centers for Disease Control, New York already has the highest level of induced abortion in the nation. In 2009, 119,996 of New York’s children lost their lives to induced abortion. New York does not need more abortion. If anything, we need to address the underlying issues that make women feel like they have no other choice than to end the lives of their children.
As modern day feminist Frederica Mathews-Green put it so well, “No woman wants an abortion as she wants an ice cream cone or a Porsche. She wants an abortion as an animal caught in a trap wants to gnaw off its own leg.”
New York State can and must embrace both the mother and her child. We can and we must love them both.