08/19/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Democrats: Oppose the "Reproductive Health Act”

Democrats throughout New York State: Call upon your lawmakers today to oppose one of the most radical and dangerous pieces of legislation, the Reproductive Health Act S5808/A11484.  This bill contains broad language that would open the door to extreme measures that will harm women and children. Some are promoting the Reproductive Health Act S5808/A11484 as a mere "update" to New York's laws.

It is not.

The Reproductive Health Act S5808/A11484 would repeal New York's current law that requires doctors to perform abortions and allow any "health care practitioner" to provide it.

The Reproductive Health Act S5808/A11484 would legalize abortion through all nine months of pregnancy, for virtually any reason and make abortion immune from any reasonable state regulation such as parental notification or informed consent. It would make legal late-term abortions that are now a criminal offense under current Penal Law.

Some supporters say this bill would allow "freedom of choice."

It will not.

We know that lost in the politics is the surprising evidence that MOST - not some - abortions are unwanted, coerced, and even forced. 64% of abortions involve coercion.

Up to 83% of abortions are unwanted. Most are due to lack of support, inadequate information or coercion, which can escalate to violence.

As democrats, we need to support legislation that helps to keep our families intact and our children healthy.  The Reproductive Health Act S5808/A1184 does not.

We know that the billion-dollar abortion industry preys upon Black and Hispanic families and we know that  the Reproductive Health Act S5808/A11484 will sacrifice more of our children on the government's altar of convenience. The Reproductive Health Act S5808/A11484 will result in more abortions in Black and Hispanic communities.

The Reproductive Health Act S5808/A11484 could compel doctors and nurses to counsel for abortion, refer for abortion and otherwise facilitate abortion against their own conscience and wishes.  It would deny freedom of choice to individuals and institutions that prefer not to support or condone abortion.

Because the bill declares that the state "may not discriminate" against the exercise of abortion in providing "benefits, facilities, services or information," the Reproductive Health Act S5808/A11484 could compel every institution licensed or funded by the state to support, cover and/or allow abortions.

We know that the Reproductive Health Act S5808/A11484 would serve as an extreme measure to prevent the legislature - the people's elected representatives - from enacting any reasonable and necessary regulations on abortion.

We cannot afford to let our legislators in Albany slip through this anti-woman/anti-life piece of legislation at the very end of their legislative year.

Call your legislator in Albany today and make sure your voice is heard. Tell them to prevent the Reproductive Health Act S.5808/A.11484 from getting on the floor for a vote.

Women deserve better and so do our families.

(Leslie Diaz resides in the South Bronx and serves as spokeswoman for Democrats for Life of New York.)

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