Sunday, February 24, 2008
NY Sun: Abortion Battle Brews Between Spitzer, Church, by Jacob Gershman:
Tensions are running high between the Spitzer administration and the Catholic Church, which is mounting an unusually aggressive campaign to stop the state from enacting a law that would declare abortion a fundamental right for women.
Governor Spitzer, whose administration drafted the legislation and is pressing lawmakers to pass it this year, is coming under fire from church officials who say the bill would leave Catholic hospitals and social service agencies vulnerable to discrimination lawsuits brought by women seeking abortions or referrals and could ultimately lead to state sanctions against the institutions.
Administration officials say the church is exaggerating the impact of the bill on Catholic facilities and, for the time being, have ruled out adjusting the language.
Mr. Spitzer unveiled the bill, which is called the Reproductive Health and Privacy Protection Act, in April. This year, his administration has signaled that the measure is a top priority, causing alarm among church leaders.
Spitzer's State of the State Address addressed why he supports the legislation.