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A Statement from the Bruderhof to the Governor and Legislators of New York State

January 30, 2019 by

Despite a busy start to 2019, the New York State Legislature has so far failed to enact legislation that honors and protects the sanctity of human life. We request that you urgently pass legislation permanently abolishing the death penalty in New York. Our church has always opposed the death penalty, actively supporting the late Governor Mario Cuomo in his annual veto of legislative efforts to reinstate this barbaric practice. Sadly, in 1995 under Governor George Pataki, the death penalty was restored despite protests made by our church and many others. Today we urge you to act now to ensure our State will never kill again.

Sanctity of life is not limited to opposing the execution of prisoners, and we also appeal to you on behalf of the unborn children and the future generations of New York. The recently enacted Reproductive Health Act is especially misguided and does a grave injustice to the unborn. Just as our State must not kill criminals, it must not condone the gruesome deaths of innocent unborn children. Jesus warns, "See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven" (Matt 18:10). Has it really become unreasonable for New Yorkers to believe that all human life is precious?

a baby sleeping in an incubator

Rather than promoting abortion up to the point of birth, our State should invest in alternatives to abortion such as maternity homes which support mothers through unplanned pregnancies and improved adoption services which find loving families to nurture children. Instead of using State-administered health dollars and local assistance for family planning to pay for abortions, the State should allocate these funds to maternity homes and pregnancy support centers. The Empire State should be renowned for celebrating life – not for being a national leader in the deaths of unborn children.

This year New York can demonstrate its humanity by abolishing the death penalty and re-directing State-administered health and local assistance family planning funds from abortions to the Maternity and Early Childhood Foundation. As New Yorkers and as humans, we must respect all human life, both born and unborn. We believe in the sanctity of all life and applaud the abolition of the death penalty. At the same time, as New Yorkers we must pause to ask ourselves how it is possible that our laws now value the life of a convicted felon more than that of the innocent and vulnerable.


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