New York’s New Catholic Governor: Come to NY for Abortions

Hochul
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In January 2019, a year before COVID-19 descended upon New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo and a beaming group of New York progressives enacted a hideous piece of legislation. They made abortion possible right up until the moment before delivery and even stripped the baby of protections if he or she accidentally survived the scalpel. Their legislation also expanded the field of lawful abortionists, creating a broader array of “reproductive health” specialists in New York to perform abortions.

One might think this was done stealthily, behind closed doors, with a measure of shame. Not at all. It was a moment of joy for New York liberals. In celebration, Cuomo ordered the city’s Freedom Tower (among other monuments) to be lit up in jubilation over the triumph.

“I am directing that New York’s landmarks be lit in pink to celebrate this achievement and shine a bright light forward for the rest of the nation to follow,” said the lifelong Catholic and former altar boy. “Today we are taking a giant step forward,” he declared with an unusual grin as he signed the legislation into law.

Can you imagine anything quite so sickening from a Catholic governor?

Well, at least the good news is that Cuomo is gone, right?

Alas, his replacement, his lieutenant governor, Kathy Hochul, is also a pro-choice Catholic. She proudly stood right behind Cuomo with a giant smile as he signed that abortion legislation in 2019. Two lifelong Catholics in tandem, governor and lieutenant governor, leading the way for abortion in the Empire State. 

In fact, when it comes to abortion, Hochul might be worse than Cuomo.

Four weeks ago, at her swearing-in ceremony following Cuomo’s resignation in disgrace, Hochul paused to thank her “big Irish Catholic” family in forming and supporting her. She is the daughter of a Buffalo steelworker and union organizer, and she received her law degree from The Catholic University of America.  She promised a “fresh, collaborative approach” to state government. “I want people to believe in their government again,” she said. “It’s important to me that people have faith.”

Hochul expressed that faith last week by stepping forth to tell the women of Texas—yes, Texas, some 1,800 miles from Albany—that if their state tells them they can’t have abortions there, well, New Yorkers welcome them with open arms and open doors right into their abortion clinics. 

After all, New Yorkers believe in “healthcare.”

“For women in Texas, they need to know: we will help you find a way to New York and we are right now looking intensely to find what resources we can bring to the table to help you have safe transport here and let you know there are providers who will assist you in this time of your need,” said a smiling Hochul in a softball interview with an appreciative MSNBC. 

Yes, she even wants to arrange transport for them.

This is an “enlightened” action, she avers: “You are not alone. Your sisters and brothers, enlightened brothers, in the state of New York will help you in any way we can.”

In any way. This is an act of solidarity—of brotherly and sisterly love. Loving thy neighbor, helping thy neighbor.

“Abortion access is safe in New York,” Hochul ensured, “the rights of those who are seeking abortion services will always be protected here. To the women of Texas, I want to say I am with you. Lady Liberty is here to welcome you with open arms.”

What could be more American, eh? Heck, what could be more New York!

Perhaps the Empire State can become the Abortion State, a national destination center for repressed women nationwide to abort their unborn babies.

Hochul stated in a public letter on Facebook: “The truth is that abortion is a safe, common medical procedure…. I am proud that New York is leading the fight to ensure that every woman and birthing person has access to abortion care.”

Yes, “birthing person,” clarified the lifelong Catholic.

And besides, my body, my choice, right? 

Well, not always. Like so many pro-choice liberals, Hochul rejects the my-body-my-choice principle when it comes to mandatory COVID-19 vaccination. She made national headlines when she took the shocking step of attempting to reject religious exemptions from forced vaccination in her state. It was an astonishing blow at religious freedom, but the lifetime Catholic tried it—and fortunately was overruled by the law.

To Kathy Hochul, “my body, my choice” has limits. It’s not your body when it comes to COVID-19 jabs with experimental drugs; but for the lifelong Catholic, it’s your body when it comes to aborting babies.

That brings us back to her unique invitation to pregnant mothers in Texas.

For pro-life Catholics nationwide, the grotesque efforts against Texas’ landmark legislation to protect unborn babies with heartbeats is painful to watch. After Texas passed this landmark bill, America’s new Catholic president jumped forward vowing to press the “whole of government” against it. Joe Biden is enlisting everything from the Department of Health and Human Services to the Justice Department “to see what steps the federal government can take to ensure that women in Texas have access to safe and legal abortions.” He has tasked his “best lawyers at the Justice Department.”

The Catholic president is not alone. He has Catholic-Democrat politicians nationwide at his side. Among them, the new Catholic governor of New York innovatively promises to do her part for Texas mothers-to-be. 

To that end, it must be understood that Hochul’s action is particularly profane from the perspective of Catholic teaching. Even many liberal Catholics concede that an unacceptable step is to transport a woman to an abortion clinic. A pro-choice Catholic friend of mine describes herself as “reluctantly pro-choice.” She says she doesn’t really support abortion, always counsels women not to have abortions, but believes the legal right should exist and government shouldn’t tell a woman what to do with her body. She would never cooperate in helping a woman get an abortion. That crosses a line.

It indeed does. Sections 2271-2272 of the Catechism states: “Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable…. Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life.” It states that “A person who procures a completed abortion incurs excommunication latae sententiae.” That person does so “by the very commission of the offense” and is hence “subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law.”

Governor Kathy Hochul is doing just that. She is not only actively inviting the women of Texas all the way to New York to procure abortions but insists: “we will help you find a way to New York and we are right now looking intensely to find what resources we can bring to the table to help you have safe transport here.”

This is a flagrant and aggressive violation of Church teaching. It is really egregious.

What is also egregious is that many Catholic voters will shrug this off and vote for Hochul, as they did with Joe Biden. They will let her get away with it. Many will also insist that her Church’s shepherds have no right to tell her she can’t receive the Eucharist; doing so, you see, would “politicize” or “weaponize” the Blessed Sacrament. Many of those Catholics are priests and even bishops.

As they do, they aid and abet Kathy Hochul and those like her: the likes of Andrew Cuomo and Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi and on and on. This is a train wreck they have helped facilitate. And with their cooperation, the Culture of Death continues its destruction.

[Photo: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, New York Governor Kathy Hochul, and Archbishop of New York, Timothy M. Dolan (Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images)]

By

Paul Kengor is Professor of Political Science at Grove City College, executive director of the Center for Vision and Values. He is the author, most recently, of The Devil and Karl Marx (TAN Books, 2020).

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