Gov. Andrew Cuomo said an abortion bill he’s working on will be different from an existing, controversial proposal, and critics are challenging the Democrat to release his plan to the public, Gannett’s Jessica Bakeman reports.
Opponents of the abortion bill — mainly conservative groups and the Catholic Church — want to see Cuomo make his bill public so it can be vetted.
“The governor ought to put the bill out there, if he has a bill, and let people see what it is instead of this secrecy, which we’ve seen so much of lately,” said Dennis Poust, director of communications for the state Catholic conference.
Poust said he hoped the women’s rights bill wouldn’t be hastily passed through the Legislature. He pointed to the state’s new gun laws, which were introduced, approved by both chambers and signed by Cuomo in less than 24 hours.
Public hearings on the bill would allow for adequate debate, said Jason McGuire, executive director of New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, a conservative policy group with Christian leadership.
“We’ve long talked about this process of good governance, and the governor has this mode where he throws the legislation out there, and there is little time for comment. There is little time to act,” McGuire said. “And then he rams a bill through.”
Poust and McGuire criticized the governor for saying now that the bill would be different, when he committed to passing “a Reproductive Health Act” in his State of the State.
Women’s groups that say they are working closely with Cuomo on the legislation explained that the 10-point package is large and complex. It cannot be crafted quickly, they said.
The groups’ comments came after Cuomo discussed his still-not-introduced bill with reporters Sunday before delivering a speech at the state Assocation of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators caucus weekend in Albany.
Here’s Cuomo discussing his proposal: