Cardinal Dolan, Governor Cuomo In a War of Words Over Abortion

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The archbishop slammed Cuomo’s remarks

Media is reporting a literal war between church and state. Andrew Cuomo, the Governor of New York, is fighting a fractious battle with once cordial acquaintance now foe, Cardinal Timothy Dolan. The issue in question is abortion.

The first public spat between the two happened in the February 6 edition of The New York Times when the governor accused the “religious right,” President Donald Trump, and Archbishop Dolan of “spreading falsehoods” concerning abortion laws to mobilize their base. On his op-ed piece, he wrote that far-right activists continue their mission with the misleading claim that the Reproductive Health Act will permit abortions up to the last minute before birth.

Cardinal Dolan called out Cuomo, who incidentally was an altar boy when he was young, on Twitter. He slammed the politician for clubbing him with the term “religious right” due to his pro-life beliefs. The archbishop pointed out the governor did not give him the moniker when the latter wanted his help on matters like prison reforms or minimum wage increases.

The governor was correct: the wording of the mentioned Reproductive Health Act permits abortions within a space of 24 weeks from pregnancy commencement, or if there is no fetal viability. The act can also be done if it is required to protect the health or life of a patient. The bill takes away the action of abortion from the criminal code and now puts in the public-health code. It also strips the majority of the regulations and safeguards imposed on the procedure. Now abortions can also be done by non-doctors.

It is to be mentioned Cuomo himself is a Catholic. Historically, New York has been a pro-choice state and in 1970 was the first U.S. state to legalize abortion, three years before the Roe V. Wade decision. The city has the highest abortion rates in the United States.

According to Cuomo, even as governments could enact laws consistent with the teaching of religion, the same governments are under no compassion to pass laws which can be said under the dictatorial attributes of defined doctrine. He said one of his motives to sign the Reproductive Health Act was to protect against “extreme conservatives” wanting to overturn the 1973 decision of the Roe v. Wade case. That decision led to the United States adopting legalized abortion practices.

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