Roundup: Reproductive Rights Play into Most New York Races in 2010

Robin Marty

In New York state abortion is becoming a key talking point in numerous legislative runs.

Access to abortion is now becoming a key talking point in numerous races in New York, from the governor’s mansion to the attorney general.

Right-wing hothead Carl Paladino, who has no issues speaking his full, untempered opinion on many issues that face the state, has made it abundantly clear that he opposes abortion in all cases, including even rape and incest.  That declaration has made him a particular target of pro-choicers, with NARAL Pro-Choice New York endorsing his opponent, Andrew Cuomo.


“In the past, what you’ve seen is that even Republicans in New York held very moderate views,” said Kelli Conlin of NARAL Pro-Choice New York. “As you know, in the Legislature in Albany, NARAL has been able to work across the aisle with Republicans and Democrats to pass important legislation. But under Carl Paladino’s leadership, that will no longer be the case, which is why we’re supporting Andrew Cuomo so strongly in this election.”

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Reproductive rights is becoming a hot button issue in the senate race, as well, according to New York Daily News:

Using NARAL Pro-Choice New York’s attack ad on anti-abortion GOP gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino as a springboard, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s campaign is out with a slap at Republican rival Joe DioGuardi on the same topic.

“As NARAL Pro-Choice New York speaks out resolutely against Carl Paladino’s anti-choice positions, New Yorkers should know that former Congressman turned lobbyist Joe DioGuardi also opposes reproductive rights even in cases of rape and incest. In fact, Joe DioGuardi voted to ban funding for reproductive care even when a mother’s life is in danger,” emailed Team Gillibrand.

“Right to Life groups have enthusiastically endorsed DioGuardi and testified to the fact that he does not support any exceptions for reproductive rights – even cases of rape and incest. Note this endorsement from Right to Life Party – 9th Judicial District, which specifies certain candidates that do support exception. According to the Right to Life Party, DioGuardi does not support exceptions.”

Even the attorney general’s race is getting in on the action.  Via Capitol Confidential:

Democratic attorney general candidate Eric Schneiderman is up in Albany today receiving the endorsement of Planned Parenthood and continuing to whack G.O.P. nominee Dan Donovan on the abortion issue.

“Even in New York, we can never let our guard down,” Schneiderman says. “As a pro-choice Attorney General, I will stand up for all civil rights and challenge anti-choice injustice wherever it exists.”

The endorsement comes as some wonder—including Donovan himself— how much a state attorney general can effect abortion policy, since, at the moment at least, abortion is a federal issue. But advocates of a woman’s right to choose note that A.G.’s can aggressively prosecute those who block access to abortion clinics, oversee hospital mergers, and can stand as bulwark against legislators who try to overturn abortion rights (an unlikely occurrence in New York, admittedly.)

Those who wonder how much influence an A.G. can have on state abortion policies really need to take a look at Virginia to find out.

Mini Roundup: Senator Mike Johanns introduced a “fetal pain awareness” bill in senate, demanding doctors tell women seeking abortions after 20 weeks that the fetus will feel pain.  Of course, fetuses can’t feel pain at 20 weeks.  But when have they ever let science get in the way?

September 29, 2010

Topics and Tags:

Fetal Pain, Nebraska, New York

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