By Jessica Easthope
These are some ways pro-life leaders in New York are describing the Women’s Health Protection Act: The worst case scenario; unheard of; radical.
“It’s the New York State Reproductive Health Act, the abortion expansion law on steroids,” said Director of Pro-Life Activities for the New York State Catholic Conference’s Kathleen Gallagher,
In a 218 to 211 vote Friday, Sept. 24, the House passed the bill which advocates say would go far beyond just codifying Roe vs. Wade. The bill would allow for an abortion up until birth, would allow a baby to be denied any medical treatment if it were born alive during a botched abortion and one of the most dangerous aspects: a provision that would take away the right for doctors who are morally or religiously opposed to participate in abortions.
“Is that what we want to do to our healthcare workers who we just lauded for their heroic efforts during this pandemic?” asked Kathleen. “Do we want to take their moral and religious liberties away from them?”
Many advocates are not very optimistic that much can change. That’s because in 2018, more than a quarter of all pregnancies in New York ended in abortion and though rates have been on a steady decline, the state has accounted for more than 100,000 every year since 2005.
But there are plenty of ways Catholics can fight the bill and it starts with the device that might be in your hand right now. Advocates say getting on social media and personally promoting the pro-life message has the power to change someone’s mind and make a call to your elected officials.
“I think that’s why it’s just incredibly important that people use their ability to make phone calls and write letters to get the word out there about how extreme this bill is so it’s stopped in the Senate,” added Kathleen.
Abortion rights aren’t just getting national attention. This week, Pope Francis spoke about the ‘throwaway culture’ that leads to the killing of children.
“There is the discarding of children that we do not want to welcome with the law of abortion that sends them to the dispatcher and kills them directly,” Pope Francis said. “And today this has become a ‘normal’ method, a practice that is very ugly. It is is really murder.”
The Women’s Health Protection Act is unlikely to pass in the Senate. It would need all Democrats and 10 Republican senators to advance.