FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 8, 2008
STATEMENT OF EDWARD CARDINAL EGAN AND BISHOP NICHOLAS DIMARZIO ON PROPOSED CLINIC ACCESS BILL
Edward Cardinal Egan, Archbishop of New York, and Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of Brooklyn, have released a joint statement of opposition to Intro. 826, the so-called Clinic Access Bill, which is currently before the New York City Council. The statement was released by the Catholic Community Relations Council, a not-for-profit corporation founded to represent the policy interests of the Archdiocese of New York and the Diocese of Brooklyn in New York City
The text of their statement follows:
“A bill is now pending before the New York City Council, Intro.826, which will violate the Constitutional rights of those who give pro-life witness outside abortion clinics here in New York City.
“We urgently call upon all members of the City Council to oppose this unjust bill.
“Intro.826 is premised upon the false assumption that there is a significant problem with disorder outside of abortion clinics. Actually, law-abiding citizens give peaceful and prayerful pro-life witness on a regular basis, offering valuable information to women approaching the clinics. Despite such a clear record of respect for the law, this legislation is designed to prevent pro-life advocates from speaking freely merely because their speech is considered unwelcome by some powerful interest groups that favor and profit from abortion.
“This legislation is fundamentally unfair to ordinary citizens who wish to express their Constitutional rights to free speech and the free exercise of religion. It is vague and ambiguous so that persons of ordinary intelligence could not possibly know that kinds of behavior or speech are prohibited. Ultimately, it is unfair to women who have a right to information before they make their decision as to whether or not to have an abortion.
“This legislation does a disservice to these women, to their unborn children, and to society as a whole, and should therefore be rejected.”