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“Governor Cuomo has a Breakthrough on Abortion Issue”
“Can We Discuss Nuances Now?”
New York–Apr. 29…In a stark departure from his previous rhetoric on the issue of abortion, Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-I-WFP) acknowledged today on an Albany radio show what millions of New Yorker already know: a majority of New Yorkers hold deeply nuanced opinions on the controversial issue. As recently as last week, Governor Cuomo maintained that there were only two available opinions on abortion, “pro-choice or pro-life.”
The governor’s apparent “breakthrough” is a logical starting point for further discussion in New York State about what its laws governing abortion should look like, said the Chiaroscuro Foundation, a New York-based organization seeking to reduce the number of abortions in New York and to educate pregnant New Yorkers about alternatives to abortion.
“The issue of abortion should be discussed as honestly and openly as any other issue before this state,” said Chiaroscuro Foundation spokeswoman Meg McDonnell. “We are pleased that Governor Cuomo had this Eureka moment today, and we encourage further discussion about what New Yorkers actually want. No one would deny that a majority of New Yorkers consider themselves pro-choice in public opinion surveys, but, likewise, no one should deny that a majority of New Yorkers would also like to see some sensible restrictions that do not exist today.”
A statewide survey commissioned by the Chiaroscuro Foundation in January showed that 54.7% of New Yorkers identify themselves as “pro-choice” when surveyed, yet an overwhelming majority of New Yorkers support sensible restrictions on abortions. For example, 78% of New Yorkers support the idea of having a 24-hour waiting period in the state before an abortion can be performed; 80% oppose unlimited abortion through the ninth month of pregnancy, and 75% oppose changes in current law so that someone other than a doctor can perform an abortion.
The entire survey, including crosstabs, is available here. Toplines are available here.
According to the survey:
A vast majority of New Yorkers believe (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.
“We congratulate Governor Cuomo on acknowledging that there are many variables involved in this issue and even more opinions,” Ms. McDonnell continued. “But will Governor Cuomo be brave enough to let those opinions be part of the legislative discussion?”