Catholic bishops respond to New York’s proposed abortion policy

The following statement was released Jan. 17 by New York state’s Catholic bishops regarding the state’s proposed abortion policy, the Reproductive Health Act.

“Words are insufficient to describe the profound sadness we feel at the contemplated passage of New York State’s new proposed abortion policy. We mourn the unborn infants who will lose their lives, and the many mothers and fathers who will suffer remorse and heartbreak as a result.

“The so-called “Reproductive Health Act” will expand our state’s already radically permissive law, by empowering more health practitioners to provide abortion and removing all state restrictions on late-term procedures. With an abortion rate that is already double the national average, New York law is moving in the wrong direction.

“We renew our pledge to offer the resources and services of our charitable agencies and health services to any woman experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, to support her in bearing her infant, raising her family or placing her child for adoption. There are life-affirming choices available, and we aim to make them more widely known and accessible.

“Our Governor and legislative leaders hail this new abortion law as progress. This is not progress. Progress will be achieved when our laws and our culture once again value and respect each unrepeatable gift of human life, from the first moment of creation to natural death. Would that not make us truly the most enlightened and progressive state in the nation?”

Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York

Most Rev. Edward B. Scharfenberger, Bishop of Albany

Most Rev. Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of Brooklyn

Most Rev. Richard J. Malone, Bishop of Buffalo

Most Rev. Terry R. LaValley, Bishop of Ogdensburg

Most Rev. Salvatore R. Matano, Bishop of Rochester

Most Rev. John O. Barres, Bishop of Rockville Centre

Most Rev. Robert J. Cunningham, Bishop of Syracuse

And the Auxiliary and Retired Bishops of New York state

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