If abortion is "a personal issue," as the no-holds barred supporters shout, is the hatred directed at those who stand up for the unborn also personal in nature — even when it has a public face?
How else to explain the extreme actions of N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, for example?
In 2014, he publically stated that New Yorkers who hold prolife views "have no place" in the State. Since then, he has passed, with grotesque celebration, the Reproductive Health Act which removes any and all protection from the unborn up to birth, and beyond, as it removes the prior requirement that a baby born alive from an unsuccessful abortion must be given medical care.
Americans from all over the country reacted in outrage at New York’s heinous law; but lesser known is the vengeful campaign he unleashed in August of 2018 when he announced a tax-payer funded public relations campaign targeting pro-life pregnancy centers.
For some reason, Cuomo needs to extend his bullying tactics to anyone who offers women alternatives to abortion, even though many mothers desperately want to keep their babies.
Cuomo is likely the most high profile state official nationwide to launch a government marketing campaign to demonize pregnancy centers. Cuomo dishonestly describes all prolife pregnancy centers as fake clinics because of their refusal to promote and refer women to Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers.
Perhaps even more worrisome was his statement that "[t]hese centers' actions may interfere with New Yorkers' constitutionally protected rights to seek reproductive health care and may endanger them by preventing them from receiving medically accurate information" — which could be interpreted as a veiled threat for possible future legal action.
Unlike Planned Parenthood, which is abundantly funded by private, corporate and federal funds, the majority of pregnancy centers are funded primarily by private donations and staffed by volunteers, who provide counseling and practical support.
Pregnant women who come into the centers on their own accord can hear a hopeful message that helps them conquer their fears about carrying their precious baby to term.
Cuomo is joined by other New York Democrats in his vendetta to intimidate pregnancy centers: newly announced presidential candidate New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio is fighting to reverse a [state] court decision that struck down a NYC law, which, if implemented, would shut down pregnancy centers and Leticia James, who was recently elected attorney general for New York, vowed during her campaign to make "reproductive rights" her priority and to go after so-called "fake clinics."
However, born and bred New Yorker President Donald Trump may have thrown a wrench into these plans. His Health and Human Services (HHS) department that Planned Parenthood and all other clinics which perform abortions on site would no longer be allowed to take federal taxpayer money from Title X of the Public Health.
Title X — or the "Population Research and Voluntary Family Planning Program," has been around for decades, since the Nixon Administration. Designed ostensibly to aid lower-income people with family-planning — though as the name suggests it had an intent to curb population growth — it strictly prohibits direct federal funding of abortion.
However, Planned Parenthood has gotten around that rule by using fungible money distinctions and receives about 25 percent of its federal funding from Title X funds.
If implemented, these new Trump rules would mean a significant decrease in federal money for Planned Parenthood clinics and their affiliates in every state.
Attorney General James’ focus on offensive action against prolife pregnancy centers was interrupted as she rushed to take defensive action on behalf of Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers in New York, joining other states in filing a court injunction to halt the new regulations.
A federal judge in in the Eastern District of Washington state did oblige and temporarily block implementation of regulations. This means this lawsuit could eventually make its way to the Supreme Court.
The irony — or beauty — of the situation is that while Cuomo and cadre are seeking to use state government action to attack prolife pregnancy centers because they don’t promote abortion, the Trump administration is intending to block federal funds from going to abortion businesses because federal law clearly states that no taxpayer money can be used for abortions.
The Trump administration’s intervention on behalf of the sanctity of human life proves that Cuomo’s will can be trumped. New York doesn’t belong to Cuomo, it belongs to America, and so do its most vulnerable inhabitants.
Maria McFadden Maffucci is the editor of the Human Life Review, humanlifereview.com, a quarterly journal devoted to the defense of human life, founded in 1974 by her father, James P. McFadden, Associate Publisher of National Review. She is President of the Human Life Foundation, based in midtown Manhattan, which publishes the Review and supports pregnancy resource centers. Mrs. Maffucci’s articles and editorials have appeared in the Human Life Review, First Things, National Review Online, National Review, Verily, and Crux. A Holy Cross graduate with a BA in Philosophy, she is married to Robert E. Maffucci, and the mother of three children. Her interests include exploring opportunities for individuals with special needs. To read more of her reports — Click Here Now.