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Local News

May 1, 2013

Local abortion foes rally in Albany

About 500 abortion opponents — including nearly 80 from Otsego and Delaware counties — rallied Tuesday in Albany against the Reproductive Health Act proposed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

“Our argument is that it’s not good for women to expand abortion,” said Jean Naples, president of the Oneonta-based Central New York Coalition for Life, which organized two busloads of participants. “We already have more than enough abortion.”

The proposal is part of a 10-point agenda the governor has outlined, saying that it would ensure women’s equality. But it remains unclear whether the agenda will be contained in a single, 10-point bill, according to news reports.

If so, “senators and assemblymen may be put into a bind as to ‘Do we reject the other nine because of the 10th one?’” Naples said.

She said legislators to whom her group had talked indicated a willingness to reject all 10 if expanded abortion is made part of the bill.

The bill’s supporters say it would simply strengthen protections already in place as a result of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade ruling. Opponents, such as Naples’ group, say it would expand abortion. A final version of the bill has not been introduced.

The group lobbied Sen. James Seward, R-Milford, and Assemblymen Peter Lopez, R-Schoharie, Clifford Crouch, R-Guilford, and Bill Magee, D-Nelson.

A Magee aide told the group the assemblyman was pro-choice, she said, but they were allowed to register their opposition.

Naples conceded that the day’s activities probably didn’t change any minds, but said that was no reason give up her group’s battle.

For Gail Buel of Springfield, it was a first.

“This is my first time coming to a Lobby for Life day in Albany or any type of pro-life activity,” she said. “Recently, my conscience has been struck by some of the issues that are in the news, and just the sanctity of life has been brought home” by the birth of a grandson, she said.

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