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Press Releases

Press Releases

Albany, NY - On Friday, January 17, in a radio interview with Susan Arbetter on "The Capitol Pressroom," Governor Andrew Cuomo declared that "right-to-life" individuals are "extreme" and "have no place in the state of New York, because that's not who New Yorkers are." The Governor advised pro-lifers and certain other groups to "figure out who you are, and figure out if your 'extreme conservative philosophy' can survive in this state. And the answer is no."

Kirsten Smith, spokeswoman, New Yorkers for Life, responded saying: "The Governor's comments suffer from two serious flaws. First, they are inaccurate. While the Governor may wish to believe that New York is a '70% pro-choice state,' reliable polling data demonstrate that the pro-life/pro-choice divide in New York is close to 50/50. Also, the Governor seems to assume that all pro-life New Yorkers are conservative Republicans, which is equally inaccurate. Second, the Governor's comments are divisive, and they stand in stark contrast to the remarks he made nine days earlier at the 2014 State of the State Address."

During the State of the State, Gov. Cuomo spoke at length about New York's unity amidst diversity:

[W]hat makes New York so special is the people. And it's how we treat each other... This state said to the entire world: 'We are open for business and we welcome everyone here to this great state of New York.' That is the Statue of Liberty in the harbor. Come one, come all. We don't care the color of your skin or your religion or how much money you have in your pocket; you come to New York and we will welcome you and work with you and invite you into the family of New York... We welcome the diversity. The diversity is what made us in the first place, and we believe we can take that diversity and we can take those differences and we can make one from those differences... At the end of the day, we are one. We are upstate, we are downstate, but we are one. We are Latino, we are African American, but we are one. We're New York City and we are Buffalo, but we are one. We are Democrats and Republicans but we are one. That is the promise of this great state.

Smith continued, "At New Yorkers for Life, we are left to wonder which Governor Cuomo is the real Governor Cuomo. Is it the January 8 Governor Cuomo who waxed eloquent about welcoming diversity? Or is it the January 17 Governor Cuomo who stated that pro-life New Yorkers, together with those who disagree with the Governor on other social issues, do not belong here and have no future here? Is New York's welcome mat really laid out for everyone? Or is that welcome withheld from New Yorkers who have the audacity to believe that unborn children deserve a chance at life?"

Rev. Jason J. McGuire, co-founder, New Yorkers for Life, asked: "Is it possible that our Governor is so morally blind that he does not see the contradiction between his two statements? That he sees a belief in the sanctity of life-a core principle of the very Roman Catholic tradition in which he was raised-as being so far beyond the pale that anyone who holds such a belief does not belong here?"

"At New Yorkers for Life, we respectfully urge Governor Cuomo to take his own advice and figure out who he is. Is he the Governor Cuomo who wishes to bring our state together? Who tolerates and welcomes diversity? Or is he the Governor Cuomo who believes that those who disagree with his perspectives on abortion and other hot-button issues have 'no place' here? At the end of the day, he cannot be both," concluded McGuire.