WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump delivered the 2019 State of the Union to Congress on Tuesday.
While his message focused mostly on the economy, his border wall, and foreign policy issues in both the Middle East and South America, Trump also took a few moments to criticize New York State for it’s recent abortion legislation – The Reproductive Health Act – that was passed in Albany and signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Supporters of the bill, including the governor, said the new legislation provides a series of measures codifying abortion protections and expanding reproductive health rights for women and their health care providers.
But as part of his statement, Trump focused in on the most controversial component of the legislation – the late term abortion clause – and omitted the details that the law permits abortions after 24 weeks only if a health care professional determines the health or life of the mother is at risk, or the fetus is not viable.
“There could be no greater contrast to the beautiful image of a mother holding her infant child than the chilling displays are nation saw in recent days. Lawmakers in New York cheered with delight upon passage of legislation that would allow a baby to be ripped from the mother’s womb moments from birth,” Trump said, adding, “To defend the dignity of every person, I am asking congress to pass legislation to prohibit the late term abortion of children who can feel pain in the mother’s womb.”
In response to the comment, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), who’s also a 2020 presidential hopeful, released a statement criticizing the president’s general comments in the State of the Union while also specifically addressing his comments regarding late-term abortion.
“President Trump has had years to bring this country together, but instead he has chosen to divide the country across every single line he can imagine,” Gillibrand said. “If President Trump wants to convince the country that he actually cares about bringing us together, then he can start by no longer using government workers as political pawns, reuniting the families that his Administration ripped apart at the border, and stopping with political wedge issues like telling women they can’t make their own health decisions in consultation with their doctor.”
Governor Cuomo also released a statement criticizing Trump for his comments on the new state law.
“President Trump proposed rolling back the protections provided by Roe v. Wade — the law of our nation for 46 years affirmed and reaffirmed by numerous Supreme Courts. Never. New York has a message to those who spread lies and fear to control women’s reproductive health decisions: Not going to happen. Not now, not ever,” Cuomo stated.