By Jessica Rodgers, Legislative Director, New York State Right to Life
After two years of pushback against Governor Andrew Cuomo’s radical abortion-expansion legislation, New Yorkers sent a clear message to Albany on November 4: No.
Tuesday’s election will send a pro-life majority to the New York State Senate and create pro-life leadership, a clear repudiation of Cuomo’s agenda.
For two years, Gov. Cuomo has attempted to package an extreme expansion of third trimester abortion with nine other points that are related to a myriad of issues, including equal pay, housing discrimination, and protections for victims of human trafficking.
These 10 disconnected pieces of legislation were joined as one bill that Cuomo lumped together as the “Women’s Equality Act.”
In the pro-abortion controlled state Assembly, they passed the full package as one single bill, in both 2013 and 2014.
However, in the state Senate, where a power-sharing deal had been struck among the minority Republicans and five pro-abortion Democrats, they opted to split the 10 points into ten separate bills. They passed the non-controversial nine, with the 10th failing by a single vote.
The senate sent the 9 points back to the assembly which refused to split the bills. And there it has stayed for two years, with the pro-life officials holding a finger in the dam as the pro-abortion side held hostage 9 popular pieces of legislation in an attempt to force passage of abortion-expansion.
Throughout the state, abortion, lumped as a “women’s equality” issue, took center stage as pro-life incumbents battled unceasing attacks. In the end, not only did pro-lifers hold the line, but they managed to flip seats in multiple districts, ensuring outright pro-life leadership and majority in the senate.
New York State Right to Life has been on the frontlines of this battle, and fought hard for pro-life senators. We conducted thousands of calls, distributed thousands of pieces of literature, and activated our grassroots base to turn out for these vital races. As a result, out of 91 NYSRTL-supported candidates, 80 won their elections.
While Gov. Cuomo won reelection, his pro-life opponent, NYSTRL-endorsed Rob Astorino, won over 40% of the vote, a far larger margin than Cuomo’s challenger carried four years ago. This was no easy task. New York City, the abortion capital of the United States, alone accounts for just over 40% of New York state’s overall population.
We know that we still have an uphill climb ahead of us. But after the incredible wins of November 4, we are rejuvenated and ready to face this upcoming legislative session knowing that a clear message has been sent to Albany.
Pro-lifers are watching.