As most people are now aware, New York Governor Eliot Spitzer was caught trafficking in prostitution across state lines. This morning’s news reports indicate that he will step down effective Monday.
What does this mean for the Reproductive Health and Personal Privacy Act (RHAPP) – the radical pro-abortion bill currently pending before the New York legislature?
For those unaware of what this bill will do, AUL staff attorney Maggie Datiles will have an excellent summary on the AUL web site later this week. In short, this bill will remove every abortion regulation that exists in the state and prohibit any new ones from being enacted. It is similar to the federal Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) that’s been under consideration for years.
In the NY bill, any female as young as age 12 will be able to get an abortion from any health care provider for any reason in all nine months of pregnancy. Forget laws requiring the abortionist to be a qualified doctor. Your dermatologist would now qualify. In fact, forget needing to be a doctor at all. And forget laws requiring emergency equipment to be present whenever an abortion is performed. Those things aren’t necessary.
And forget about opting out of performing the procedure. With RHAPP, no doctor, nurse or hospital, regardless of moral views or religious affiliation, can decline to perform abortions. Additionally, any and all employers and insurance companies will be forced to pay for them. And that’s not all. Publicly-funded sex-ed programs must encourage abortion and contraception, and state money would be prohibited from being used for abortion-alternative programs.
However, with Spitzer’s personal shenanigans, one of the bills biggest backers is now toast. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the state legislature is no longer functioning. “‘Everyone’s on death watch,’ said John McArdle, spokesman for Republican Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno. ‘We’re trying not to get caught up in it but it’s brought everything to a standstill.'”
The new governor, David Paterson, is reportedly far more liberal than Spitzer. He is known for his support for embryonic stem cell research, and abortion. He’s also more willing than Spitzer to negotiate across the aisle and with opponents in his own party. This means that we are probably less likely to get the full version of RHAPP but could be more likely to get a stripped down version that will cause havoc and destroy women’s lives anyway.