Andrew Cuomo's office kicked-started the day by spreading word that the Governor had published an op-ed in The Huffington Post titled "Restoring New York as a Leader in Women's Rights.” The timing seems right: women's groups are rallying this noonhour at the State Capitol in Albany, on the heels of Cuomo's mid-morning press event the 10-point "Women's Equality Act" which includes strengthening abortion rights in New York.
In March of this year, the Roman Catholic bishops of New York met with Cuomo, himself a Catholic, to discuss their objections to his abortion stance. In short, the bishops told Cuomo that “abortion is not the answer.”
Kathleen Gallagher, director of pro-life activities for the New York State Catholic Conference of Bishops, says the group sees any attempt by Cuomo to strengthen abortion rights as an expansion of late-term abortion.
Also in March, New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, a conservative group with Christian leadership, lobbied at the Capitol against expanding abortion in New York. Jason McGuire, the organization's executive director, says the last thing that New York needs is to invite late-term abortionists to set up shop in the Empire State.
McGuire adds that he believes Governor Cuomo is holding the other elements of his Women's Equality Act hostage to late-term abortion expansion. Speaking to reporters this morning Cuomo says the coalition has voted to push his entire policy package.
With less than 3 weeks left in the legislative session, observers think the Women's Equality Act will fly in the Assembly, but warn it faces an uncertain future in the Senate.
The Tax-Free New York "push" carries on without Cuomo: he's sent a couple of cabinet members out to press events scheduled for today.