Cuomo’s latest attack on life

There was a time when the mantra of abortion supporters was that abortion should be safe, legal, and rare. Now with the passage of the Reproductive Health Act, Gov. Andrew Cuomo along with supporters of infanticide, as I prefer to call them, have dropped all pretense that abortion is safe or rare.

The Nuremberg Laws was a benign name given to hide the evil intent of a set of antisemitic laws, passed by the Nazi controlled German Reichstag in 1935. In the same way the Reproductive Health Act is a benign sounding name that serves to hide the murderous intent of a law passed by the New York Legislature on Jan. 22. According to Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins the law is merely a housekeeping measure to align federal and state statues. The Nazis made a similar claim that moving Jews into ghettoes was just a housekeeping measure to protect them from non-Jews. We know now what a lie that was.

The actions of the Democratic members of the State Senate as they rose and cheered the passage of the bill reminded me of 1939 newsreels of German Reichstag members rising to cheer Hitler’s declaration of war on small and weak Poland. The passage of the Reproductive Healthcare Act, in many ways, was also a declaration of war — on the small, weak and defenseless unborn by the state of New York.

Left unsaid by its supporters is that the primary purpose of this evil law is to expand the availability of abortions in the third trimester of pregnancy better known as partial birth abortions. A partial birth abortion is generally performed using a procedure called an Intact dilation extraction. The infant, at this stage with a rapidly developing brain, able to feel pain and survive outside the womb is first injected with a feticide to kill it. The baby is removed from the uterus by dismembering its parts and mechanical crushing of the fetal skull if it is too large to fit through the cervical canal.

Previously abortions could not be performed in the third trimester of pregnancy unless there was danger to the mother’s health. With the new law a health exception added to the rewritten Public Health Law includes factors such as age, economic, emotional and social factors as possible dangers to a woman’s health, effectively allowing universal access to abortions up to the due date of the child.

Sadly, because of the Reproductive Healthcare Act there is no longer any reference to abortion in the penal code, meaning that women who are coerced into or have unwanted abortions have no legal recourse against those who violated their rights.

The new law also states that abortion is now a fundamental right. Could this mean that doctors, who as a matter of conscience refuse to perform abortions, be in danger of losing their license to practice?

The new law could make abortion less safe. Besides physicians, the new law allows the performing of abortion by nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and midwives. Do they have the skill and knowledge to safely perform abortions?

Many supporters of this legislation are mothers and fathers who have held new life in their arms. Some, like Cuomo and Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, were raised in the Catholic Church, a staunch defender of human life from birth to natural death. That so many Catholics ignore the Church’s teachings on the sanctity of life is a disturbing fact and one which the Church needs to address.

Cuomo is the product of 16 years of Catholic education, capped by a bachelor’s degree from Jesuit run Fordham University. How he could now be so radically prochoice after a Catholic education culminating in a Jesuit education at Fordham is beyond my understanding. Having attended another Jesuit college all I can think is that he either cut or slept during religion and ethics classes, or perhaps is he not the brightest bulb on the marquee.

Hochul is also Catholic and received her law degree from Catholic Universities school of law. But seeing her standing as the presiding officer of the State Senate applauding and smiling at the bill’s passage and later, with the glow of victory on her face, standing behind the Governor as he signed the bill, was disturbing.

The passage of the Reproductive Health Act is nothing but a further step down the road in the devaluing of human life. Other states have passed similar legislation and some have enacted doctor assisted suicide laws. Many no longer seem to value the wonderful gift and miracle of human life. We devalue human life in many other ways today. Genocide, practiced on a large scale in the last century, continues in Africa and the Middle East. Wars are still with us and poor aliens who troop in increasing numbers to our borders are often the victims and tools of the drug cartels, violent coyotes who prey on them, and others who finance the caravans through Central America and Mexico to make their own political statements.

We are facing a moral crisis in our nation and in the world. With the forces that are institutionalizing abortion, assisted suicide and mercy killing on the march the pro-life movement must continue to uphold the sanctity of human life in all its outcomes and at all stages. We should understand that a future where respect for life is no longer important will not be a better place to live.

Thomas Kirkpatrick Sr. is a Silver Creek resident. Send comments to