Conservatives are outraged at leaders in New York after the state's legislature approved a bill that makes abortions legal up until a baby's due date.
The state's Democrat-led Senate and Assembly passed the Reproductive Health Act on Tuesday. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Catholic, marked the occasion by ordering several New York City landmarks to be lit in pink that evening.
"Cheering for the legalization of the murder of babies one moment before they enter the birth canal, as well as legalization of harming a fetus, is simply ghoulish," conservative commentator Ben Shapiro wrote on Twitter.
New York legislators and visitors in the chamber erupted in applause when the bill was passed, which prompted former NFL player Benjamin Watson to tweet this:
"It is a sad and evil day when the murder of our most innocent and vulnerable is celebrated with such overwhelming exuberance. We SHOULD be supporting and encouraging the building of families which are fundamental to any society. By not doing so, we invite consequences untold."
Bishop Edward Scharfenberger of the Diocese of Albany wrote an open letter to Gov. Cuomo over the weekend when it was clear the abortion legislation would pass. Scharfenberger called into question Cuomo's Catholic faith because of the church's strong opposition to abortion.
"Although in your recent State of the State address you cited your Catholic faith and said we should 'stand with Pope Francis,' your advocacy of extreme abortion legislation is completely contrary to the teachings of our pope and our Church," Scharfenberger wrote.
The bishop referenced some of what the law allows, including non-doctors to perform abortions and late-term abortions up to the due date — "nothing less than a license to kill a pre-born child at will," he wrote.
"It is very difficult to understand how you can align yourself with Pope Francis and so vehemently advocate such profoundly destructive legislation."
Nine other states have already put protections for abortion rights in their state statute, giving them a legal backstop should Roe v. Wade be overturned.
Abortion rights supporters had pushed for years to update the law to reflect those rulings only to be blocked in the state Senate, long controlled by Republicans. But big election gains put Democrats in charge of the Senate this year, and the act easily cleared both chambers. Supporters said the election of Republican President Donald Trump — and his nomination of conservative justices — helped galvanize the effort.
Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.
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