Pro-life group: Cuomo holding women’s rights bills “hostage”

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New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, a conservative group with Christian leadership, lobbied at the Capitol Tuesday, fighting against a bill that opponents argue would expand abortion in New York.

The bill, which Gov. Andrew Cuomo has not yet released, aims to codify women’s federal abortion rights. It is staunchly opposed by conservative groups and the Catholic church.

Jason McGuire, the group’s executive director, said Tuesday Cuomo is hurting the chances of nine bills dealing with women’s issues by packaging them with the controversial abortion measure. Other bills will crack down on human trafficking, pregnancy discrimination and housing discrimination, for example.

“If the governor wanted to pass any one of those nine points through this Legislature I guarantee you he can do it, even all nine of them,” McGuire said. “But he is holding all of it hostage to an abortion agenda, and that is what has to end.”

Melissa Ohden, an Iowa woman who said she survived a late-term abortion attempt, joined the group in speaking against the bill. She argued that allowing late-term abortions is never necessary for the health of the mother or the child.

Abortions to preserve the health or life of the mother during any stage of pregnancy is currently allowed under federal law. The bill would amend state law, which currently only allows for the life of the mother and is trumped by Roe v. Wade.

“We’ve lived in a society that has said that somehow abortion makes women’s lives better, that some how then we’ve reached equality,” Ohden said. “I have to say, where were those people when my life was supposed to be ended in an abortion?”

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