'License to Kill Unborn Babies': Faith Leaders Lament New York's Horrifying New Abortion Law

Pro-life advocates march for life.
Pro-life advocates march for life. (REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)

Major faith leaders are crying out to God after New York state passed a horrifying new abortion law that would allow children to be murdered up until birth.

The new law would allow women to receive full-term abortions up until birth, even if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

"Make no mistake about it: Those who are applauding the passage of New York's so-dubbed Reproductive Health Act are not celebrating and promoting a step forward in women's health rights," says Jack Graham of Prestonwood Baptist Church. They are celebrating cold-blooded murder. This act is nothing short of a license to kill unborn babies, even when they could survive outside the womb. That this law was received with such exuberance by so many people should spur us to action, realizing that it has never been more important to defend the sanctity of human life and to fight for those who cannot defend themselves."

The law was passed on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade and came just days after hundreds of thousands marched for life in Washington, D.C.

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Graham isn't the only one devastated by the new law. Here are some of the other reactions:

Jentezen Franklin, senior pastor of Free Chapel

It was heartbreaking to see the New York State Senate cheering the fact that a child could now legally be killed right up until the moment of their birth. I can't fathom why anyone would celebrate such an injustice. These precious children have the capability of living outside the womb.

America needs to celebrate life, not death. We need to be clear in our language and call abortion what it is. It's the taking of innocent life. Abortion isn't health care. It's a death sentence. Children in the womb are not diseases to be eliminated, they are lives to be cherished.

I remain hopeful that pro-life Americans will be victorious in their cause to end this genocide. In the meantime, let's be a movement known for our love and compassion for both mother and child — a movement that shows families a better way forward and helps to find homes for every precious child that is spared of the horror of abortion.

Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference

I am personally deeply troubled by New York State's passage of the so-called Reproductive Health Act (RHA) on the 46th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, and we at the NHCLC condemn this deeply disturbing and egregious bill in the strongest possible terms. Signed into law by Gov. Cuomo only hours after it was passed by the New York State Senate, this bill gives medical providers complete legal cover to kill—and that's exactly what it is—fully formed, fully viable, third trimester human babies, even up to the time of birth. Simply put, the RHA is an abomination.

There must be political consequences for those who have chosen to endorse a culture of death over life. The NHCLC is calling upon all Hispanics of good faith to denounce this bill, especially all those who call New York their home. But we must go further still. Our community must speak with a unified voice, promising to only elect politicians who defend the sanctity of all human life, especially the unborn. Those who believe Hispanics will go along with legalizing late-term abortions are profoundly mistaken, and this will become crystal clear when we make our voices—and values—heard at the ballot box.

James Dobson, founder and president of Family Talk and the James Dobson Family Institute:

It is not overstating the matter to say I am horrified by the New York State Senate's vote to pass the euphemistic Reproductive Health Act (RHA). This bill is not about reproductive health at all. It is pure barbarism on a scale rarely seen since the Middle Ages. This legislation expands upon New York's already liberal abortion laws, which allow for on demand abortion up until 24 weeks. The RHA's main aim is to justify abortions throughout a pregnancy's entire term based on the overly broad exceptions defined in Roe's companion case, Doe v. Bolton, including such subjective measures as a woman's emotional and psychological well-being. Late-term abortions had only previously been authorized in New York if done to save the life of the mother.

Already considered the abortion capital of the nation, this bill also allows non-physicians to commit abortions and decriminalizes abortion by moving it from the criminal code to the public-health code. New York is symbolically doubling down on the killing of the unborn on the 46th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, casting an even darker shadow on a date already shrouded in tragedy and the loss of innocent life. This terrible news comes alongside an Iowa judge's decision to strike down that state's heartbeat bill, saying it violated the state's constitution. In the exact opposite spirit to New York's RHA, Iowa had prohibited abortions after a baby's heartbeat is detectable, usually around 6 weeks into a pregnancy.

Make no mistake; these two setbacks only serve to further focus and energize our movement. I urge all pro-life Americans to call, write and email your representatives and remind them that the majority of us in this country want the exact opposite of the RHA, a reduction—not an expansion—of abortion. Donate, march and post on social media and use every tool and resource at your disposal to affect the change for which we are all praying so fervently. There is a battle raging for millions of lives preordained by God Himself, and it is we who must stand for them so that they might have a chance at life.

Other pro-life leaders responded on social media:

Faith leaders are also decrying New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a professing Catholic.

"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?"

According to Fox News, 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."

"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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