President Donald Trump criticized New York lawmakers for approving a bill strengthening abortion rights in the state and called in his State of the Union address on Tuesday for a ban on late-term abortion.
“Lawmakers in New York cheered with delight upon the passage of legislation that would allow a baby to be ripped from a mother’s womb moments from birth,” Trump said in the speech.
The Reproductive Health Act, approved last month by the Democratic-controlled Legislature, shifted language for abortions from the state’s penal code to the public health law, changed abortion’s status as an exception to homicide and allows abortions in the third trimester of a pregnancy under certain circumstances.
The bill, introduced more than a decade ago, did not gain a vote in the state Senate until Democrats won majority control in November.
Republican lawmakers in New York have argued the measure fell short of protecting pregnant women against assault. Nationally, those opposed to abortion have sought to turn the New York law, along with a Virginia measure, into a galvanizing event over the issue.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has argued the measure is necessary for New York should the Supreme Court overturn the Roe v. Wade decision.
“NY has a message to those who spread lies & fear to control women’s reproductive health: Not gonna happen. Not now, not ever,” Cuomo wrote in Twitter in response to the president.