Other New York State Bills for later action
Rochester Area Right To Life
The first bill of the current session is the Partial-Birth Abortion bill. Others are listed below. Action Alerts will be sent out when action approaches for each.
NEW YORK STATE LEGISLATIVE AGENDA 1999, as of January 26, 1999. These are bills that are somewhere in the New York State legislative process. The following is part of a communication from the New York State Right to Life Committee to the New York State Lawmakers. There will be specific alerts published as these bills come up for action.
OPPOSE FAMILY HEALTH CARE DECISIONS ACT
The New York State Right to Life Committee, Inc. strongly opposes this bill in its current form because:
(1) The bill allows a physician or other health-care provider to override the surrogate's choice for life-sustaining treatment, if the physician or other provider decides that the patient's quality of life is not worth preserving.
(2) The bill guarantees the right to reject life-sustaining care, but does not give equal treatment to a surrogates choice for life-sustaining care.
(3) The bill authorizes a physician, in some circumstances, to make a "Do-Not-Resuscitate Order" without the patient's knowledge, even though the patient is fully conscious and mentally competent.
This proposed legislation (a.k.a. Surrogate Decision Making bill) MUST BE AMENDED as it is dangerously one-sided.
The New York State Right to Life Committee has proposed amendments to protect against each of the dangers listed above. Our amendments simply provide that if a patient is denied treatment against his/her will, or that of his/her family, and such denial would in reasonable medical judgment be likely to result in the death of the patient, then the patient would be transferred to a doctor/facility that would provide treatment, and the patient must receive life-saving treatment until the transfer is completed.
We urge you to support our proposed amendments. If the bill that comes before you does not contain our protective amendments we urge you to oppose it.
RESTRICT MEDICAID FUNDING OF ABORTION
Presently N.Y.S. is paying for abortion-on-demand even though state law requires that we only fund those abortions that qualify as "medically necessary" [City of New York v. Wyman, 30 NY2d, 537, 538]. Millions of hard-earned taxpayer dollars could be saved if the "medically necessary" requirement was enforced.
Every day in New York State approximately 504 unborn babies are aborted. One-third of these abortions are paid for by the taxpayers. Of the over 50,000 abortions funded each year in our state some are late-term, some are repeat (second, third and fourth abortions), some are performed on minors with no parental knowledge or consent. The Alan Guttmacher Institute confirms that the vast majority of induced abortions are performed not for medical reasons but for convenience.
SUPPORT PARENTAL NOTIFICATION LEGISLATION
This bill would require 48 hours notification of one parent (custodial parent) prior to the performance of an abortion on an unemancipated minor (unmarried girl under 16 years).
Parental Notification legislation recognizes the guiding role a parent plays in the upbringing of a child, while at the same time acknowledges the agonizing pain that accompanies a teenager's unexpected pregnancy. It protects the parent's right to know while at the same time providing the minor girl with the support, counsel and advice she needs from her parents.
WOMAN'S RIGHT TO KNOW
This bill would require physicians to provide women considering abortion with information about the risks of abortion, its alternatives, and nonjudgmental, scientifically accurate medical facts about the development of her unborn child before making this permanent and life-affecting decision. Women deserve to have full information, including all risks, affecting their medical decisions. Women should be guaranteed the same power to make an informed choice that all Americans have for every other surgical procedure in this country. It addresses a "woman's right to know".
OPPOSE SCHOOL-BASED CLINICS
The principle pro-life objection to school-based clinics is that they "counsel" and "refer" pregnant girls for abortions. Despite claims to the contrary from school-based clinic proponents and staff members, the evidence clearly shows that even if the school clinic does not itself perform abortions, the staff will use their presence within the school to channel pregnant girls to abortion mills either through direct or indirect referrals. School-based clinics do not reduce adolescent pregnancy. School-based clinics undercut parental authority and have not been proven to reduce teen pregnancies.
Of concern to us also is the testing of the abortion pill RU 486. Clearly clinics located
inside schools would be in an especially advantageous position to distribute abortion pills. There is very limited information about the short-term effects of RU 486, and absolutely no data on the long-term ramifications of RU 486. This could put our teens at risk.
OPPOSE CLINIC A CCESS LEGISLAT ON
This legislation violates the first amendment free speech clause, as well as the equal protection clause, of the fourteenth amendment
The bill selects persons who will be guilty based on the content of subject matter of their conduct. Labor disputes, AIDS activists, and animal rights protestors who block or obstruct a person's ingress or egress to a medical facility are not covered by this bill. The bill would make being pro-life a "thought crime which is un-American and unconstitutional. This kind of discriminatory selection violates the free speech clause of the first amendment of the U.S. Constitution, as well as the equal protection clause of the fourteenth amendment.
The bill is unnecessary. New York State currently has laws (section 240.20 (5) or 240.25 of the Penal Law) without these constitutional impediments which already address the type of conduct the bill is trying to reach.
In the 1998 legislative session several bills were introduced that would prohibit the reduction or elimination of any service, including objectionable reproductive procedures (i.e. abortion) in the event of a merger or affiliation of a Catholic hospital with a non-Catholic facility. We oppose these proposed measures as they area a direct threat to the mission of Catholic health care and to its very existence.
The N.Y.S. Civil Rights Law must be amended to provide a private civil cause of action to protect those who suffer discrimination because of their refusal to participate in abortions, as a result of their conscientious objection based on ethical, but non-religious, grounds. This will conform the Civil Rights Law to the Human Rights Law, which grants a private cause of action to conscientious objectors whose objection is based on religious grounds. (See Larson. et al v. Albany Medical Center).
LEGISLATION TO ELIMINATE N.Y.S.'s "BORN ALIVE RULE"
This bill would provide that those who kill or injure an unborn child in any stage of gestation by the commission of any of a number of enumerated homicide or assault offenses may be held criminally responsible for their actions. Under the current New York State Penal Code - a rule that was the product of antiquated medical knowledge during the 16th and 17th centuries - one has to be "born and alive" in order to be the victim of assault or homicide. Ultrasound, fetal heart monitoring, fetoscopy and other advances available today leave no doubt but that the unborn child is the "second patient."
Nine other states have statutes imposing criminal liability for the homicide of an unborn child in any stage of gestation -- New York State is long overdue in addressing this matter. The New York State Legislature should pass this legislation and bring the State into line with current scientific knowledge. The "born alive rule" in the New York State Penal law must be eliminated.
CANCER RESEARCH LEGISLATION
Amend several sections of the Public Health Law in order to authorize and direct the Commissioner of Health to grant to bona fide scientific and medical researchers access to data and records in the possession of the Department of Health which are relevant to the causes of breast cancer, on condition that such researchers agree to maintain the confidentiality of the personal health data of identifiable persons.
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