New York 'celebrates' legalizing abortion until birth as Catholic bishops question Cuomo's faith

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is under fire from faith leaders after he signed a bill into law that legalizes abortion up until birth in many cases. The Democratic governor directed the One World Trade Center and other landmarks to be lit in pink Tuesday to celebrate the passage of "Reproductive Health Act."

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, gestures as he speaks, Monday, Jan. 7, 2019, at Barnard College in New York, where he called for codifying abortion rights into New York State law. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, gestures as he speaks, Monday, Jan. 7, 2019, at Barnard College in New York, where he called for codifying abortion rights into New York State law. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Cuomo called it "a historic victory for New Yorkers and for our progressive values" on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in the United States. But New York Catholic bishops slammed him for the move just days after he touted his Catholic faith during the State of the State address.

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"Your advocacy of extreme abortion legislation is completely contrary to the teachings of our pope and our Church," Albany Bishop Rev. Edward B. Scharfenberger wrote in an open letter in the Evangelist on Saturday. "I shudder to think of the consequences this law will wreak. You have already uttered harsh threats about the welcome you think pro-lifers are not entitled to in our state. Now you are demonstrating that you mean to write your warning into law. Will being pro-life one day be a hate crime in the State of New York?"

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo directed the One World Trade Center and other landmarks to be lit in pink Tuesday to celebrate the passage of "Reproductive Health Act."

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo directed the One World Trade Center and other landmarks to be lit in pink Tuesday to celebrate the passage of "Reproductive Health Act." (flickr/governorandrewcuomo)

New York was the first state to legalize abortion in 1970. Cuomo directed the 408-foot spire on the One World Trade Center, the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, the Kosciuszko Bridge, and the Alfred E. Smith Building in Albany to be lit pink to “celebrate this achievement and shine a bright light forward for the rest of the nation to follow.”

Under the Reproductive Health Act, non-doctors are now allowed to conduct abortions and the procedure could be done until the mother's due date if the woman's health is endangered or if the fetus is not viable. The previous law only allowed abortions after 24 weeks of pregnancy if a woman's life was at risk.

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Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, along with the Catholic Bishops in the state signed a letter condemning the bill, saying "our beloved state has become a more dangerous one for women and their unborn babies."

Abortion is one of  the  safest  medical procedures  performed  in  the  United States.

— the Reproductive Health Act

"Our governor and legislative leaders hail this new abortion law as progress. This is not progress," the bishops wrote. "Progress will be achieved when our laws and our culture once again value and respect each unrepeatable gift of human life, from the first moment of creation to natural death."

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Thomas Peters, the @AmericanPapist on Twitter, condemned Cuomo, saying he should be excommunicated for his pro-abortion actions, pointing to the One World Trade Center's pink spire.

"Now it looks just like the needle that is used to supply the lethal injection to the living unborn child," Peters wrote.