Important Memo on Cuomo Abortion Bill

Chiaroscuro Foundation

Contact: Bill O’Reilly, 212-396-9117 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 4, 2013


To: Members of the News Media

From: Greg Pfundstein, President, Chiaroscuro Foundation

Re:  Important Point of Information on New York Abortion Issue


 Some supporters of Governor Cuomo’s abortion bill have been saying that it would “codify federal law.”


That is factually incorrect.


Current federal law is based not on Roe v. Wade alone but on Roe as modified by Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992), which allows sensible restrictions on abortion.


Roe v. Wade struck down all state laws prohibiting abortion, prohibited restriction before viability except to protect the safety of women, required an extremely broad health exception up until birth, and established a strict scrutiny test for any restriction on abortion.


In Planned Parenthood v Casey (1992), the Court held that at viability the state’s interest in the life of the fetus outweighs the woman’s right to abortion. It also struck down the strict scrutiny test of Roe and replaced it with an undue burden test for restrictions on abortion. It thus upheld 4 of the 5 restrictions Pennsylvania had legislated.


In Gonzalez v Carhart, the Court held that the federal government could prohibit certain types of procedures, thereby restricting the rights of physicians to perform abortions in any way they see fit. Such a restriction would not be allowed under the Roe regime’s strict scrutiny test: the court held that the restriction did not constitute an undue burden, thereby relying on Casey, rather than Roe.


If Roe v. Wade had not been modified by Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the following pieces of federal egislation, which have been enacted, would not have been possible:


Born-Alive Infants Protection Act

Unborn Victims of Violence Act

Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act


Codifying Roe v Wade in New York would eliminate the progress made in the last 40 years toward a more sensible abortion regime.


Bazzo 06/04/13

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