Running Scared

Writing back in May about how Democrats hoped the imminent overturning of Roe v. Wade could help them turn the tide against the projected Republican wave in the November mid-term elections, I predicted that wouldn’t happen “unless Republicans run scared” on the abortion issue.

True to form, a number of Republicans in the New York State Senate did just that only weeks later, when pro-abortion Catholic Gov. Kathy Hochul used a special legislative session—called specifically on the issue of gun violence—to rush through a pro-abortion state constitutional amendment.

Seven Republicans, including all four representing Suffolk County on Long Island, joined all 42 Democratic state Senators in voting for this latest attack on the unborn—in a state that already allows abortion right up to birth, denies protection even to babies born alive following failed abortions, and is targeting pro-life pregnancy care centers for destruction.

To be sure, the amendment’s authors couched abortion promotion within a whole range of “equal protection” provisions, banning “discrimination” based on “race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, disability, creed, (or) religion, or sex”—under which is included “sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, pregnancy outcomes, and reproductive healthcare and autonomy.”

I am told Republicans who voted for this amendment are citing those other anti-discrimination provisions as their reason for doing so—even though New York State law already thoroughly protects against such discrimination.

Moreover, the Democratic Senate majority, in a news release celebrating passage of the amendment, made clear what its real intent was:

“Senate Majority Advances Amendment to Codify Abortion” read the top line of the release’s headline; and its lede sentence also highlighted “the right to abortion” before mentioning anything else.

That is the real purpose of this proposal. All else is so obviously just window-dressing designed to give cover to those, like their seven Republican fellow travelers, who were either embarrassingly duped by this pro-abortion ruse, or hoped to dupe the pro-life voters in their districts. They should know we are not as easily fooled as they apparently were.

This amendment, if enacted (it still must be passed by the next legislature, then ratified by voters), could be used to force Catholic hospitals to perform, or at least refer for, abortions (as well as sterilizations and gender-altering hormone treatments and surgical mutilations). It could be used to force pro-life pregnancy centers—if they survive at all—to likewise refer women for abortions. It could be used to make taxpayer funding for abortions a state constitutional right.

Once again, under the guise of preserving “freedom of choice,” New York’s pro-abortion politicians are passing legislation that is thoroughly anti-choice, imposing abortion mandates on religious health care facilities, pro-life pregnancy centers, and taxpayers. Even Republicans who are not strongly pro-life should be standing up against these attacks on personal freedom and religious liberty.

The seven Republicans who voted for this amendment are Phil Boyle, Mario Mattera, Anthony Palumbo, and Alexis Weik, all of Suffolk County; Mike Martucci of upstate Delaware, Orange, Sullivan, and Ulster counties; Edward Rath of western New York; and Sue Serino, whose district straddles the Hudson valley from Saugerties to just above Peekskill.

If one of these is your state Senator, I urge you to contact them about their vote for this proposal. You might let them know that to earn your vote for their re-election in November, they must repudiate their previous vote and commit themselves to opposing this pro-abortion amendment when it comes up for a second vote in next year’s legislative session.

If you are represented by one of the 42 Democrats in the state Senate, you should of course contact them as well. They are all pro-abortion—they wouldn’t have been nominated by New York’s Democratic Party if they weren’t—but you should still let them know you object to this amendment, and their vote for it. And you should point out to them that if they were truly “pro-choice,” they would not be legislating to deny freedom of choice to taxpayers and religious institutions, and they certainly would not be attacking pro-life pregnancy centers that are simply offering women another choice besides abortion.

Just don’t get your hopes up expecting them to be responsive.

Published by Rick Hinshaw

I have spent the last three decades in primarily Catholic communications work: as a reporter, news editor, columnist, and for eight years editor of The Long Island Catholic; several years as co-host and co-producer of The Catholic Forum program on the diocesan Telecare channel; two stints as Director of Communications for the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights; and a year as Associate Director for Communications at the New York State Catholic Conference. I also served for three years as Public Information Officer for the late Nassau County District Attorney Denis Dillon, a staunchly Catholic and active pro-life leader. Over that more than 30-year career, I have gained an ever deeper understanding of and appreciation for the moral and social teachings of our Church. In my various roles I have lent my voice to articulating those teachings and their applicability to the critical issues of our time. That is what I intend to do with this blog. Moreover, at a time when our political and social disagreements seem to have degenerated into constant vitriol, vilification, verbal abuse and intolerance of those who hold differing opinions, I hope that this blog can contribute, in some small way, to a restoration of respectful debate and discussion, where we can defend our beliefs forcefully without demonizing any who disagree with us. As a Catholic commentator, that is what I have always striven to do--remembering that even as we are called to stand firmly in defense of our Church, her teachings, and our right to be heard in the public square, we are also called always to be the face of Christ to the world--most especially to those with whom we disagree.

8 thoughts on “Running Scared

  1. Thanks, Rick. I will look into the mater of the state senators from Long Island capitulating. It is very important to point this out. We NEVER HEAR OF DEMOCRATS CAPITULATING ON MORAL/CULTURAL ISSUES in legislatures.That”s because they NEVER DO!Only one side does – OURS! Msgr. B


    1. Very true, Monsignor, we seem truly to be living in the time foretold by Willaim Butler Yeats, when “The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.”


  2. Thanks, Rick, for this posting.
    We need to find out who is with us and who is not.
    I will contact my state senator.
    Msgr. Batule


  3. Thank you Rick for exposing the Republicans supporting this travesty. Thanks too to Msgr. Batule for taking action.
    I would as well but I’m gone from NY and pleased with S. C. in almost every way. However, there’s an invasion of northerners arriving here and like N. C. they may soon change this state as well.

    One further action folks might want to take is to contact businesses we use that have pledged to pay employee abortion travel expenses. I’ve contacted many of them voicing my displeasure vowing to curtail my business with them. I’ve been surprised to receive many replies. CIGNA insurance, for example, sent a 2 page letter trying to justify themselves. Others replied via email. It’s not always easy to find a way to get the message to them but most do have contact info on their website or phone app.

    We will never despair and never stop praying for our nation. Please keep up the good fight Rick!

    Walter Ruzek


    1. Excellent suggestion, Walter, those who reap their profits from our business need to know we don’t want our hard-earned dollars used for shedding innocent blood.


  4. Dear Rick,
    I am leading and organizing the campaign in the Town of North Hempstead to prevent the repeal of Town code Chapter 41-A that deals with the local zoning code of the town which requires Termination Pregnancy Facilities (Ie: abortion clinics) to be performed at either at a hospital facility or at a hospital or medical center or that the provider have an affiliation with a hospital , The Town already held the first public hearing on August 4e 2022 but did not yet vote on the resolution since the Town Supervisor Jen DeSena was absent from that meeting (at a previously scheduled family function). The public hearing was voted by the Democrat majority 4-2 to be continued to a second public hearing scheduled for Thursday September 1st 2022 at 7 PM,when Supervisor will be present to take part in the Vote. So far it looks like the repeal may pass on a 5-2 vote with the Republican Supervisor possibly voting with the Democrat majority. The supervisor is registered Democrat who ran as a Republican. I have gone to great length with the help of the Parish Respect for Life groups in all our local Parishes and I have also worked with the RVCD to get the word out both tines. I have also reached out to many Catholic and Christian organizations including the Catholic League. The Diocese will be having the announcement of the Sept.1st hearing published in every Bulletin in every Parish in the RVCD next Sunday August 28, 2022, by order of Bishop Barrios. We would be honored if you could attend and speak at the Sept.1st Public Hearing at the next Town Board meeting. Chapter 41-A can be found on the Town web site under Our Government and Town Codes for the exact wording of Chapter-41 A and it other provisions. Looking forward to hearing from you and hope you can attend the next Public Hearing. About 150 residents attended the the august 4th hearing with 60 people testifying. It was a 50/50 crowd. Thank you for your time Sincerely, Jim McHugh P.S MANY Democrat office holders testified at the first hearing. but Not one Republican, so you are correct in your analysis and News 12 was there really just to cover them.


    1. Jim, thank you so much for sharing this information with readers of this blog. Unfortunately, we are leaving tomorrow on a trip to Wisconsin to visit our son, and will not be back in time for the September 1 meeting. I am not sure they would allow me to speak anyway, given that I am not a resident of the Town of North Hempstead, but I would certainly have tried if I were going to be here. Glad to hear the Diocese is stepping up on this. And I urge any readers, particularly if you are a resident of North Hempstead, to make your voice heard on this. As pro-lifers who “love them both,” mother AND child, we certainly support common sense local regulations like this designed to protect the health and safety of women undergoing abortions.


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