A bill pushed hard by Gov. Andrew Cuomo that would have given New York women the “right” to abort their babies after 24 weeks of pregnancy has failed in the State Senate, killing the measure for now. The measure was a central plank of Cuomo's supposed “women's equality” platform that he touted in his January 9 State of the State address and which he promised to push in the spring legislative session.
Bloomberg News reported that the state legislature's Independent Democratic Conference (IDC), “a group of four Democrats who run the senate with Republicans, introduced nine of Cuomo’s 10 Women’s Equality Agenda (WEA) measures [June 16], including enhanced penalties for human traffickers and increased legal damages for women who aren’t paid equally.” But, added the report, the group of liberal lawmakers “left out the governor’s abortion plank.”
The abortion bill would have effectively legalized abortion in New York after 24 weeks in cases where a woman's health is supposedly in danger. Pro-life leaders argued that the measure would have given abortionists de facto authority to perform abortions late into a pregnancy.
Cuomo, who is being mentioned as a potential 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, insisted that the measure would protect women from a possible Supreme Court reversal of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. But reporting before the bill was killed, World magazine noted that the measure would have gone further, “removing criminal penalties for abortion. It removes homicide charges for the baby if a murderer kills a pregnant woman. The proposal also would repeal the criminal code against second-degree abortion — a statute, for example, that resulted in a guilty plea for a man who attempted to abort a woman’s baby by putting a drug in her drink.”
An angry Cuomo said the IDC move was a mistake that could come back to haunt the lawmakers. “This is going to be an electoral decision, and it’s going to be in the re-election campaigns of these senators,” he warned.
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Photo of Gov. Andrew Cuomo: AP Images