Hands down, Governor Andrew Cuomo, Attorney General Letitia James, and Mayor Bill “abortion is a sacred choice” DeBlasio are among the fiercest and most radical abortion-minded top state officials in America.
Who could forget the obscene celebrating last January, when the state legalized abortions up to the moment of birth and denied care for babies surviving an abortion attempt, thereby legalizing infanticide?
As America’s beacon of commerce, New York impacts the rest of America. Therefore it is worth noting that in spite of the Reproductive Health Act’s dark victory, efforts for further radical abortion expansion in New York and America are thankfully being stymied by the Trump Administration.
In February, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released new, revised rules for the distribution of federal Title X family-planning funds: no recipients could perform or refer for abortions, and there must be “clear financial and physical separation between Title X funded projects and programs or facilities” which offer them.
In response, AG Letitia James joined Planned Parenthood’s national concerted effort of retaliation.
She spearheaded a court injunction in U.S. District Court of Oregon with Oregon Governor Kate Brown and 20 other state attorneys general in an attempt to stop the new HHS rules from being enforced. However, in July the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals allowed the federal regulations to be implemented following a three-judge panel decision which overturned preliminary injunctions of lower courts (including Oregon).
As reported widely, faced with this, Planned Parenthood decided to “opt out” of the approximately 60 million dollars of federal funds its clinics have been receiving under Title X.
In an added blow to Cuomo, James, et al. who are waging smear campaigns meant to harm pregnancy centers — because centers do not make referrals to Planned Parenthood and affiliates — $1.7 million of Title X money has now been awarded to a Christian pro-life chain of centers, Obria. And just recently it was announced that $9 million will be sent to programs in three states which address obstetric care for mothers in rural areas.
The Title X fight is still not over as the cases filed in California, Oregon, and Washington have been scheduled to be argued this week before the Ninth Circuit Court, but will this time include an 11-judge panel representing those states.
Separate from this, there is another area of contention with HHS that has tremendous implications for New Yorkers and Americans, specifically doctors, nurses and other health professionals.
The HHS released in May its final rule “Protecting Statutory Conscience Rights in Health Care; Delegations of Authority,” to enforce existing federal provisions that protect the moral conscience beliefs of those in the medical profession. AG James again was again quick to lead and, along with 23 states, cities, and municipalities, filed a lawsuit against granting moral conscience exemptions to healthcare providers.
Then HHS announced in June that the “conscience protection” rule, which was to have taken effect July 22, would be delayed at least until Nov. 22, so that the Trump administration could have time to thoroughly address the pending lawsuit.
Nevertheless, HHS has recently taken a strong stance in support of conscience rights.
In 2017, a Catholic nurse at the University of Vermont Medical Center (UVMMC), who had informed her superiors that she would not participate in an abortion, was deceptively coerced into doing just that. Entering the room where she was called to treat a patient who had experienced a “miscarriage,” the doctor said, “Don’t hate me,” and informed her it was actually an elective abortion. Her request to be replaced was refused and, fearing for her job, she stayed. She then filed a complaint with HHS, which initiated an investigation.
In late August 2019 the Office for Civil Rights at HHS put UVMMC on notice for noncompliance with federal law. The notice gives UVMMC 30 days to announce they will comply, otherwise putting their federal grants at risk. But Chairman of the Board Allie Stickney — who has a decades long history of senior positions in Planned Parenthood — has pushed back, claiming it was within the medical center’s full rights to force the nurse to go against her religious beliefs.
This case shows how critically important it is to enforce conscience regulations, especially in states like Vermont — which is preparing to pass an abortion at any time and for any reason bill even more radical than the RHA — and New York. As Roger Severino, head of HHS’ Office of Civil Rights, said, “This should never happen in America. There is room for disagreement on these issues without having to coerce people to choose between a career dedicated to supporting life versus instances or circumstances where they are being forced to take a life.”
Maria McFadden Maffucci is the editor of the Human Life Review, www.humanlifereview.com, a quarterly journal devoted to the defense of human life, founded in 1974 by her father, James P. McFadden, Associate Publisher of National Review. She is President of the Human Life Foundation, based in midtown Manhattan, which publishes the Review and supports pregnancy resource centers. Mrs. Maffucci’s articles and editorials have appeared in the Human Life Review, First Things, National Review Online, National Review, Verily, and Crux. A Holy Cross graduate with a BA in Philosophy, she is married to Robert E. Maffucci, and the mother of three children. Her interests include exploring opportunities for individuals with special needs. To read more of her reports — Click Here Now.
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