On a cold night in Rochester, a large group of people gathered to protest abortion and New York Governor Eliot Spitzer’s controversial plan to overhaul the state's abortion law. They were there when First Lady Silda Wall Spitzer arrived at First Unitarian Church of Rochester.
The First Lady came to the church to promote the Reproductive Health and Privacy Protection Act. Under the bill, late term abortions would be allowed to protect a woman's health. The bill would also remove abortion from criminal statute.. and make it matter of medical discretion.
The First Lady reminded her audience that abortion rights could be in jeopardy, and that's the reason for the proposed state law. Supporters say the bill is needed to modernize the state's laws in regards to abortion. "It's really just trying to bring in line New York State Law with what has been the law of our nation the past 35 years. What Roe allows is for every person to make a choice that is consistent with their believes," said Silda Wall Spitzer.
"I think the bill is just what's needed. It's all about the women making a choice without coercion, having access to health care and that really is what it's about,” said Carol Love, Planned Parenthood CEO.
People against the bill, voiced their fears outside the church. "At twelve years old they can get an abortion without talking to a parent. That's wrong," said Jessica Shanahan, a protestor.
"Governor Spitzer appears to be trying to make history again by reversing the requirement for doctors and making abortion unsafe but legal here," said Suzanne Topping, Women’s Collaborative Health.
Inside, Spitzer acknowledged the protestors who disagree with her, "I think they're entitled to their beliefs and that goes to the heart of the Roe Decision which is that women and individual people have to make their own decisions about something that is as personal and private as this."
The Reproductive Health and Privacy Protection Act is currently before the state legislature, but it's far from certain that it will pass the Republican led State Senate.