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Astorino Vetoes Clinic Access Law Passed By Westchester County Legislators

County executive says law is legally flawed and is not necessary.

Westchester County Executive Robert P. Astorino today vetoed a bill he said purports to guarantee women access to certain reproductive health clinics but is legally flawed and unnecessary.

“The legislation is unnecessary, unfair and unconstitutional on its face, all of which put the public at risk,” said Astorino in his message to the Board of Legislators. “My veto is a principled attempt to spare our residents of these harmful consequences.”

Legislators approved the bill on May 7 by a 10-7 vote. It was opposed by a coalition of pro-life and pro-choice legislators. It would take 12 votes to override the veto.

“At a time when your Honorable Board has failed to act on $80 million in pending and much needed capital projects and has failed to act on 37 pending appointments to various Boards and Commissions why is so much time being expended on a matter already addressed by two separate levels of government?” Astorino asked rhetorically.            

Astorino gave the following reasons for his veto:

  • The legislators who supported the bill and their supporters had failed to provide any evidence that the law was needed. In fact, he said, existing federal and state statutes already restrict protesters outside clinics and there was no evidence that these laws were insufficient or not being enforced.
  • The law’s enactment would violate the First Amendment’s guarantees and result in an “unacceptable potential to chill freedom of speech and assembly.”
  • The law subjects law-abiding citizens to frivolous lawsuits and exposes them to unreimbursable legal fees.
  • The bill itself is legally flawed and vague and could be costly for the county to defend in legal proceedings.
Ross Revira May 21, 2012 at 10:05 PM
Why do radical feminists always castigate men for opposing anything to do with women? Why is giving birth to a child the prerequisite to be part of the discussion? Artificial insemination must be their salvation.
Frank Riello May 22, 2012 at 01:24 PM
I think we all know that Planned Parenthood does nothing for womens health care.The greatest evil known to mankind is contraception.Think about how many lives have been destroyed for the the sake of sex without consequence.How many boys and girls as men women could have contributed to society.I think it was Blessed Mother Theresa who said"America the poorest country of all"
Tori Weisel May 24, 2012 at 01:22 PM
If you don't want healthcare or contraception, don't go to PP. BUT, keep your laws off my body! Keep your laws off women's bodies! The majority of women make informed health decisions, the privacy of which is none of your business nor your right to decide.
Suzanne May 25, 2012 at 02:01 AM
Well said Tori. Jenga you have some blocks missing.
Alan Edelman June 25, 2012 at 07:15 PM
Well said, Tori. I am always amazed that the men in our society know what is best for women and their health. This is a literate, educated country and the women in it are perfectly capable of making decisions about their own bodies. Some people, mainly conservatives and bible-thumpers, would have women bearing children they not only don't want but can ill afford.

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