Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos outlined his opposition to the state Reproductive Health Act on Tuesday, calling it an “extreme measure” from the “radical left.”
Cuomo included the bill as part of a women’s-rights package in his State of the State. The Reproductive Health Act would, supporters say, codify a women’s ability to have an abortion in state law and allow late-term abortions if a woman’s health is in danger. But conservatives and the Catholic church have issues with the legislation, which they say would greatly expand late-term abortions to an unpalatable level.
“The way I look at this legislation is, No. 1, it is really an expansion of late-term abortion and partial-birth abortion,” Skelos told reporters Tuesday. “That’s the main accomplishment of this.”
“I think it’s not a well-thought-out piece of legislation. The bottom line is in New York state, abortion is legal. It’s safe the way it’s been. All of the polling that we’ve done that nobody in New York state, or very few, believe the laws will be changed and abortion will be made illegal in this state.”
In a speech to the state Conservative Party on Monday, Skelos said the Reproductive Health Act would not be brought to the Senate floor for a vote, according to attendees.
Senate Independent Democratic Leader Jeff Klein, who shares control of the chamber with Skelos, said he’s discussed the act in “very general terms” with the Republican leader.
“I think one of the important things that we need to get done is the Women’s Reproductive Health Act,” Klein told reporters. “This is something that is crucial in the lives of women and I think to make sure to codify the decision of Roe v. Wade in the state of New York.”
Here’s a clip of Skelos’ chat with reporters Tuesday: