A few weeks ago, we wrote a post entitled “Cuomo’s Women’s Equality Act Brings The A-Word To New York State Politics.” The headline basically tells the whole story.
It focused on the brewing controversy evoked by a tiny stipulation in Cuomo’s new bill that calls for writing Roe v. Wade protections into state law – an immediate reaction to anti-abortion provisions being enacted in statehouses across the country. It’s the only part of a ten-point bill that’s aroused widespread opposition, led by Senate GOP leader Dean Skelos of Long Island. Because, duh, it’s abortion.
In New York, Republicans’ frustration on social issues is only surpassed by the Catholic Church, which holds a firm stance against abortion. So this should be no surprise: Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the man who informed his followers in 2009 to totally disregard federal and state abortion laws, is not a fan of the Women’s Equality Act.
On an Albany radio station yesterday, Dolan promised serious backlash should Cuomo go ahead with the proposal: “I am going to hope that the better natures prevail here, but boy if you come out you can expect us to be as vociferous and rigorous as possible in our opposition to this. I hope we don’t go there.”
This is the same promise Dolan made around the time Cuomo announced he would be sending the Marriage Equality Act to the Senate and Assembly. Look how that turned out. And last month, Dolan made “welcoming” remarks to the LGBT community, symbolizing a major shift from his call-to-arms just over a year ago.
He continued: “I am in a bit of consternation as to why in a time when there seems to be kind of a sobering up about these horrors of the unfettered access to abortion, why in New York we are talking about even expanding it further.” FYI: It’s 2013. And, to repeat: this bill would just put Roe v. Wade protections into state legal code.
Moving beyond time and place, Dolan reiterated Skelos’s argument that voters do not care about abortion as we gradually awake from a three-year-long jobless recession. “I don’t know of anybody in the state of New York that feels their right to abortion is threatened. It’s available everywhere,” he said. “Most of the time it’s paid for, so I don’t know why we are giving time and attention to an area of the state that really doesn’t seem to need any improvement or any extension here.”
In other words, only Dolan is allowed to give his “time and attention.” The rest of us can piss off.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 15, 2013