Currents News Staff and Melissa Enaje
PROSPECT HEIGHTS – In response to the upcoming ruling, which may affect the status of Roe v. Wade by the Supreme Court, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed into law new measures that would elevate the state into an abortion safe haven for locals and out-of-state abortion seekers.
“Make no mistake, this is not just an attack on reproductive health and freedom,” Gov. Hochul said during a June 13 press conference, “it’s an attack on the very values that make New York what it is. And that’s why with a stroke of a pen, I will say: Not here. Not in New York. Not Ever.”
The New York State Catholic Conference called the governor’s new abortion-related measures, including the task force that will be “created to study the impact” of pro-life pregnancy centers, harassment.
“This package of bills seeks to encourage abortion tourism,” the Catholic Conference said in a statement, “rather than helping women and children who may be in need. New York should stop presenting abortion as the best and only option for struggling women and harassing any pro-life pregnancy center that may help women keep their babies.”
The signing comes after both houses of legislature passed bills strengthening not only the right to abortion care in the state, but transgender care for patients.
The six bills passed by the legislature include:
- Protecting medical professionals from misconduct charges for providing legal abortions
- Preventing extradition of defendant in abortion related cases if they’re charged in another state
- Protected the address information of employees and volunteers working with abortion providers.
- Creating a task force to study the impact of “limited-service pregnancy centers.”
In May, Hochul and state Democrats doubled down their efforts on abortion rights after the controversial leak of a document from the Supreme Court on the Roe v. Wade decision. Hochul pledged that the state would invest $35 million to support abortion providers across New York while New York Attorney General Letitia James pushed for $50 million for a Reproductive Freedom and Equity Program, a total of $85 million, both to be funded through state health department grants.
“The women of New York will never be subjugated to government mandated pregnancies,” Gov. Hochul said, “because that’s what will ensue if Roe v. Wade is overturned by the Supreme Court.”
The New York Bishops have pledged that “regardless of what the Court decides” they are taking on a “renewed pastoral effort” for expectant women facing unplanned pregnancies as well as those in need of services to carry their baby to term.
They launched a new pregnancy resources page, Help for Moms, where women can find services available to them. They’re also calling on Catholics and elected officials to work towards a New York that is more supportive of women in crisis pregnancies.
“Any woman — regardless of age, religious belief or affiliation, marital status or immigration status — who is pregnant and in need, can come to the Catholic Church and we will give you the services and supports you need to carry your baby to term, regardless of your ability to pay,” bishops said in the statement.
Furthermore, we will not abandon you and your baby after delivery, but, rather, we will see to it that you have the resources that you and your child both need and deserve. No one will be turned away from life-affirming care. If you have had an abortion that you regret, whether recently or in the distant past, please come to us as well, so that we may offer you services to help you to heal.”