LifeWorks: February 2012

LifeWorks: January-February 2013 | eVolume 3, Issue 1
Your news update from New York State Right to Life

Join New York State Right to Life in Opposing Cuomo’s Abortion Expansion Bill!
In his 2013 State of the State address, Governor Cuomo indicated that enacting the “Reproductive Health Act” (S.438) under the guise of women’s equality was one of his top legislative priorities. This bill would allow non-physicians to perform abortions, falsely state that life begins at implantation (instead of fertilization), enshrine late-term abortions in New York State law and seriously threaten conscience protections.


 According to the Center for Disease Control, New York has the most induced abortions in the nation. In 2009, there were 119,996 total abortions in New York State. This number exceeds the populations of both Albany and Hyde Park combined. There were 87,273 in New York City alone. This is the equivalent of eliminating 89% of Albany. Instead of addressing this calamity, Governor Cuomo said that passing a Reproductive Health Act (RHA) is one of key objectives.


Yesterday, over a dozen doctors held a press conference at the Legislative Office Building proclaiming their concern for women and children under Governor Cuomo's promised effort to expand abortion in New York State. Whether it is a standalone bill or hidden in a larger piece of legislation, the objective is the same. It would proclaim abortion as a fundamental right and impose an extreme abortion agenda on all New Yorkers.


This bill is so extreme that it states that the legislature cannot “deny, regulate or restrict” abortion. This would prohibit the enactment of widely supported regulations such as informed consent, parental notification, limits on taxpayer funding of abortion, and limits on late-term abortions. It also makes abortion a fundamental right and seeks to give abortion equal footing to our inalienable right to life!


Read our full statement of opposition here.


We need your help to defeat this bill! Join us for our Lobby for Life Day in “The Well” at the Legislative Office Building on Tuesday, April 30. Bring your friends, family and everyone in-between! Your presence is a powerful way to show your support for life. Come to learn, be inspired and hear about current legislative developments.


Scheduled speakers include Mary Spaulding Balch, director of National Right to Life's Department of State Legislation, Brenden Flynn, coma survivor and inspirational pro-life speaker and Assemblywoman Annie Rabbitt. Afterwards, we strongly encourage you to meet with your legislators and their staff members. We recommend scheduling an appointment with them before coming to Albany. For more information or if you have any questions about how to contact your representatives, call our office at (518) 434-1293.


Lobby for Life Day Schedule
9:00am: Registration/Refreshments
10:00am-12:00pm: Program
Noon onwards: Lobby Appointments


Here are more ways to help defeat this abortion expansion bill--

  • Encourage friends and family to sign the petition to stop RHA.
  • Contact your NYS senator: call or schedule an in-person appointment to ask him/her to oppose the Reproductive Health Act (S.438) and any attempt to move the bill in the senate.
  • Write a letter to the editor in your local newspaper.
  • Educate and activate others: share information about RHA with others and encourage them to get involved.
  • Donate NYSRTL is committed to defeating RHA! Donations are essential to helping us achieve this goal.
  • Contact NYS Right to Life to learn more about RHA and what you can do to help stop it from becoming law.

Supporting Integrity and Honor
We are pleased to announce that all online donations will now be processed by Cornerstone Payment Systems, a proudly pro-life company. Your donation helps NYS Right to Life maintain a strong presence at the Capitol, seek to defeat RHA, and speak for the children who cannot speak for themselves!

New Poll: Cuomo’s Abortion Expansion is Too Radical for Most New Yorkers
The Chiaroscuro Foundation commissioned a statewide poll to survey the attitudes of New Yorkers about abortion and Governor Cuomo's proposed abortion expansions under his Reproductive Health Act. The results show that an overwhelming majority of New Yorkers support protections for mothers and their children. According to the survey:

  • A vast majority of New Yorkers (78.8%), when they are informed of the number of abortions in New York, believe there is already sufficient access to abortion in New York State.
  • 75% oppose changing the law so that someone other than a doctor can perform surgical abortions;
  • 89% oppose abortions for reducing twins or triplets to a single child, and
  • 92% oppose late-term abortions for sex selection.

New Yorkers favor of restrictions on abortion:

  • 87% favor providing pregnant mothers information about options before they make a decision;
  • 78% approve of a 24 hour waiting period;
  • 76% approve parental notification when a minor seeks an abortion;
  • 68% approve of providing free medical care to mothers carrying their pregnancy to term, and
  • 86% favor regulating abortion clinics as strictly as other medical facilities.

Mayor Ed Koch and the Pro-Life Witness
Mayor Ed Koch, who died on February 1, 2013, was an iconic New York City mayor. Jeanne Head is a registered nurse, New York State Right to Life Executive Board Member, National Right to Life Vice President for International Affairs and United Nations Representative. An anecdote featuring these two very different people was featured in a recent article by Russell D. Moore, Dean of the School of Theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Moore wrote that “Koch described his commitment to legal abortion, using all the standard arguments. He commented on the ‘shrill’ tactics of some pro-lifers in marches and demonstrations.” However, “he took a very different tone when he described one prominent right-to-life activist: a nurse named Jean Head (sic).” Click here to read about how her kindness and perseverance made a lasting impression.


March for Life: They should “bring their rally to New York”
In honor of the 2013 March for Life (attended by an estimated 650,000 participants), Seth Lipsky, editor of the NY Sun, wrote an interesting op-ed for the New York Post. He describes how city leaders are silent about the fact that the abortion rate in New York City (41%) is twice the national average and that "in some zip codes and among African-Americans, the abortion rate reaches a ghastly 60%. For every 1,000 African-Americans babies born in the city that year, 1,448 were aborted." Moreover, "a poll found that 2/3 of all New Yorkers thought it was too high including 57% of women who call themselves pro-choice."

Lipsky also praised participants in the March for Life as "the growing band of optimistic Americans" and noted that the March for Life "has been growing younger with every year."  He suggested that next year's March should be held in New York City.

 That may be impossible logistically, but it is a call to all of us New Yorkers to work harder to bring more people into the pro-life movement. And it is a wake-up call to our Governor and state legislators who are considering legislation to expand abortion throughout New York State.


is a link to the article:

New Beginnings!
We extend our sincere appreciation to our Director of Youth Outreach and Events Coordinator, Natalie (née Fohl) Votipka. Natalie has generously shared her time, passion and energy with NYS Right to Life for several years. Natalie met her husband Andrew at the National Right to Life Academy and they are now expecting their first child—Benedict! Congratulations, Natalie and Andrew! She and her family have now moved to Western New York where Natalie is the new secretary for Pro-life of Western New York.

New York State Right to Life welcomes a new Chief Legislative Liaison and Outreach Director, Clare Daly. She graduated summa cum laude from the University at Albany with a degree in Communication. Clare’s looking forward to meeting you all at our Lobby for Life Day on April 30!


Whether you’re near or far, NYS Right to Life can always use help! We have many volunteer projects that can be done remotely. Call us at 518-434-1293 to learn more about how you can help.


The National Right to Life Convention is a three-day event featuring more than 100 pro-life speakers and countless topics. The annual meeting of pro-life grassroots leaders and experts from across the country will be held in Dallas, Texas, this summer! For more information, visit the National Right to Life’s website. We hope to see you there!

2013 National Right to Life Academy

WHO: Calling pro-life college student leaders who want to finesse their skills and bolster their education to be a more effective pro-life leader, in college and beyond.
WHAT: The National Right to Life Academy is a unique, five-week college-level course on the full spectrum of pro-life issues, from history to ethics to policy. Lectures are combined with a unique oral exercise program where students are challenged to confidently articulate and defend the pro-life position.
WHEN: June 27 – August 3rd, 2013
WHERE: Washington D.C., at the National Right to Life office
(* Includes attendance at National Right to Life Convention in Dallas, Texas, June 27-29!)
WHY: Different than a traditional internship, graduates agree that the education they gain at the NRL Academy is invaluable to furthering their pro-life work. In the words of one of our graduates: “Not only were we learning the material, we were learning how to effectively articulate and persuade others using what we had learned.”
MORE DETAILS: Tuition/Room and Board costs $3600.

Applications can be downloaded at this link and are due by March 15, 2013. Early application recommended! Please call 202-626-8822 or email for more information about the program and possible scholarship assistance. More information about the program is also available at the NRLC Academy website.

The New York State High School Oratory Contest
The contest will again be held on Mother's Day weekend (Saturday, May 11, 2013) at St. Rose College in Albany. Students first compete in local competitions hosted by NYSRTL affiliates. Local winners from across New York State will present the same speech at the statewide competition held in Albany, NY, in May. Call NYSRTL at 518-434-1293 to inquire about local contests in your area.


Please share these exciting opportunities with students in your pro-life network!


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