For years the New York State Senate served as a roadblock to codification of the progressive agenda. It was the place all the leftist bills passed by the Democrat-controlled Assembly disappeared courtesy of its long-running Republican majority, and for the past several years, a thin majority consisting of one right-leaning Democrat who frequently voted with the other side of the aisle.
No more. The 2018 elections saw the Democrats take the Senate, giving the Far Left total control in Albany. Well, they’ve wasted no time turning their wish list of legislation into reality. Consider:
• The grotesquely misnamed Reproductive Health Act. This allows abortion for any reason up to 24 weeks of pregnancy, an age at which it is almost never medically necessary to perform the procedure. After that, there are generous and intentionally vaguely-worded exceptions allowing a woman to take the life of her unborn child right up to the day of delivery at 40 weeks.
The law makes New York the abortion capital of the eastern United States and a magnet for those living in nearby states looking to rid themselves of a pregnancy late in the game. It essentially ends any chance the unborn child has of evading a gruesome ending, usually consisting of the administration of a chemical weapon followed by dismemberment and the deposition of what’s left in a Dumpster — the reality inside the abortion “clinic.”
Contrast this radical legislation with the results of a recent Marist poll, which found 75 percent of respondents favored limiting abortion to the first 12 weeks of pregnancy (including 60 percent of Democrats and those describing themselves as pro-choice), with only 15 percent supporting abortion at any time, and 65 percent disagreeing with the statement that “the fetus is just part of the mother.”
Andrew Cuomo ordered the Freedom Tower at the 9/11 site lit up in pink to “celebrate” passage of the RHA. What a guy.
• Not to be outdone by its assault on life at its beginning, the legislature with Cuomo’s full support will shortly consider another euphemistically-named bill, something called the Medical Aid in Dying Act. That’s PC-speak for helping people kill themselves, and provides symmetry to the lawmakers’ efforts by aiming to shorten life at its end. We are told there are safeguards built into the bill to prevent it from being abused. The patient must have less than six months to live, and two doctors need to sign off before the lethal cocktail is administered.
As a member of the medical profession for 40 years, I can tell you unequivocally the law will be abused. Do you know someone who was given six months to live and lived longer? I know quite a few folks like that, including one physician friend who was diagnosed with late-stage cancer in 2015, was told to get his affairs in order, and continues to email me political jokes weekly. How many physicians will walk down the hall, grab a partner and after a short “explanation,” ask him/her to sign off on an assisted suicide request they just received from a patient in the exam room? How long will it take before the law, once passed, is amended to broaden its mandate and coverage, allowing all sorts of people with afflictions such as depression and chronic illnesses to take the easy way out? How many people with terminal illnesses will feel subtle pressure from their families stemming from the cost of long-term nursing care to make the “right” decision?
Full disclosure: No one is downplaying the suffering loved ones must endure near the end of their earthly lives. I am a witness to that every day. But it seems the debate comes down to this: Is life ours to determine, or is it a precious gift from Above? If the latter, it follows we have no right to take our own life, and surely no right to take another’s by virtue of abortion (and on the question of the humanity of the fetus, science is tilting increasingly against the abortion lobby).
Let’s give Gov. Cuomo a new moniker for his efforts introducing and passing these legislative monstrosities — “The Angel of Death.”
• And, to complete the trifecta, in its race to the bottom, the legislature will very likely pass — and Cuomo will sign — the Cannabis Regulation and Taxation Act, legalizing recreational marijuana sales and consumption in the state.
There’s almost as much lobbying pressure to pass this law as there was for the abortion expansion bill — simply substitute cannabis industry wannabes for Planned Parenthood. Canandaigua-based Constellation Brands is quite upfront about cannabis being the centerpiece of its future growth strategy. And do not discount how crucial the revenue from cannabis legalization is to the progressives in state government as they seek to turn New York into another socialist worker’s paradise.
Unfortunately, in their rush to make weed legal, proponents minimize or ignore the damage marijuana actually does. County health officials are unhappy about legalization. Prosecutors are skeptical and for good reason. The marijuana your parents experimented with in the ‘60s and ‘70s contained on average 2 percent THC, the psychoactive ingredient responsible for getting “high.” Current brands contain 20 percent THC, and concentrated strains more than 80 percent, 40 times more powerful than a generation ago.
In the last 10 years, the number of daily users in this country has almost tripled (daily use a proxy for addiction). Bottom line, marijuana is an addictive drug. Studies have already shown a reduction in IQ in young people who use the drug frequently. Ominously, there’s also a fairly strong link between cannabis use and mental illness (psychosis) and violence. Mental illness in America is on the rise, and while there is no causative “smoking gun” yet, marijuana use is suspected as a culprit. Studies in Scandinavia and Great Britain seem to bear this out. And in the first four states that legalized cannabis here, there’s been a 38 percent increase in the murder rate and a 25 percent increase in aggravated assaults since. I won’t go into the almost-certain damage smoking weed does to one’s lungs.
Meanwhile the Left screams about gun control and state officials wring their hands about the dangers of vaping. Let’s get real, folks.