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Bishops raise abortion concerns with Cuomo

By Tom Precious

ALBANY – The leaders of the Catholic Church in New York met with Gov. Andrew Cuomo Tuesday to challenge him not to introduce legislation to expand abortion rights in the state.

“The bottom line was we told him we were going to oppose any kind of plan that continues what we consider one of the primary evils of our time, which is the taking of a life,’’ said Buffalo Bishop Richard Malone.

The bishop joined about a dozen diocese leaders from around the state in the closed-door meeting with Cuomo at the Capitol. While the Catholic leaders backed Cuomo’s effort to hike the state’s minimum wage and for signing the recent gun control law, the line was drawn over Cuomo’s abortion plans.

The governor has not been specific – either publicly or with the Catholic leaders Tuesday – on the abortion issue, but said he wants to somehow codify state law to protect abortion rights in the event Roe v. Wade is ever overturned.

Malone said Cuomo urged the bishops “not to judge his forthcoming bill’’ based on plans already offered by former Gov. Eliot Spitzer or more recently by some Senate Democrats. He said the governor did not elaborate.

The Buffalo bishop said Cuomo noted his Catholic roots. “He certainly several times spoke of his gratitude to be a Catholic…He said some very affirming things about the Catholic faith,’’ Malone said.

“Of course, he pointed out also that he ran as a pro-choice candidate. We find it unacceptable for a Catholic to run as a pro-choice candidate, and that’s the decision he made. But the meeting seemed to me to be a respectful and open kind of dialogue.’’

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About Politics Now

Robert J. McCarthy

Robert J. McCarthy

A native of Schenectady, Robert J. McCarthy came to The Buffalo News in 1982 following a six-year stint at the Olean Times Herald. He is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and has been covering local, state and national politics since 1992.

[email protected]


Tom Precious

Tom Precious

Tom Precious joined The Buffalo News in 1997 as bureau chief at the state Capitol, where he covers everything from statewide politics and state government fiscal affairs to health care, environmental and municipal government matters. Prior to The News, he worked for news outlets in Albany and Washington, DC.

[email protected]


Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri is an Amherst native and has covered politics and government in upstate New York since 2003. She joined The Buffalo News in 2012 and covers City Hall.

@jillterreri | [email protected]


Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski, The Buffalo News Washington bureau chief, has reported from the nation's capital since 1989 after joining The News as a business reporter in 1984. A graduate of Syracuse University, Zremski is a former Nieman fellow in journalism at Harvard University. In 2007, he served as president of the National Press Club.

@JerryZremski | [email protected]

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