Cuomo brushes off criticism of New York abortion law: ‘I’m not here to legislate
Amid Catholic leaders’ calls for excommunication, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has dug in his heels and defended a controversial state law that loosens the rules on abortion.
The law allows abortions to be performed by non-doctors up until the point of birth for many reasons. Cuomo, who touts his Catholic faith and who once was an altar boy, brushed off criticism of the law on Tuesday.
“The Catholic Church doesn’t believe in a woman’s right to choose. Yes, I understand their religious view,” he said. “But I’m not here to legislate religion.”
Cuomo pointed out that his father, Mario Cuomo, the late former three-term governor, received similar criticism for his support of abortion in New York.
“Bishops attacking Governor Cuomo,” he said with laughter. “Let’s pull that headline up from about 30 years ago.”
Cuomo said it is all part of a push for “socially progressive” legislation in direct opposition of the Trump administration “that wants to roll back Roe v. Wade.” He went further, saying not only would he like to put Roe v. Wade into law, but he’d “like to incorporate it into the constitution.”
The law has come under fire by devout Catholics and religious leaders, who call it draconian and inhumane. Some Catholic leaders have called on Cuomo to be excommunicated for championing the law.
New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan — who doesn’t think Cuomo should be excommunicated over a political decision — rebuked the Democratic governor from a purely human rights perspective, especially for publicly celebrating a law the New York City cardinal told “Fox & Friends” is “ghoulish, grisly, and gruesome.”
Last week, Cuomo framed his decision as giving New York women “the fundamental right to control their own body.”
In a back and forth between the governor and the Catholic church, Cuomo went after the church for pushback against passing the Child Victims Act. He said he’s with Pope Francis, but Dolan insists Cuomo is taking quotes out of context.
Father Jonathan Morris told “America’s Newsroom” Tuesday Cuomo is trying to use the “disgusting” abuse of minors by the Catholic church as a way to say he is “morally correct” after passing the “Reproductive Health Act.”
Morris said excommunication is still an option but doesn’t seem like it would be helpful or effective.
“For some reason he still calls himself a Catholic,” Morris said, “I would just say come back or just say you’re not a Catholic.”
Man who murdered 4 in Oregon home,
trying to kill child shot dead by deputies,
A man who killed four people, including a 9-month-old girl, in an Oregon home and was shot and killed by deputies as he was attempting to murder a child on Saturday, police said.
Mark Leo Gregory Gago, 42, was killed following the quadruple murder inside the home near Woodburn, located about 20 miles south of Portland. Clackamas County deputies said they received a 911 call about 10:15 p.m. Saturday that appeared to be a domestic violence incident that sounded “dramatic, very intense.”
“Deputies knew it was going to be a bad scene,” Clackamas County Sheriff’s Sgt. Brian Jensen said Sunday morning, KOIN reported.
Police arrived at the scene and found four people — identified as 9-month-old Olivia Lynn Rose Gago; Shaina E. Sweitzer, 31; Jerry William Bremer, 66; and Pamela Denise Bremer, 64 — dead inside and Gago attempting to harm another girl. Authorities said all of the victims were related to Gago, but did not release additional information.
“Deputies saved the life of a young girl by using deadly force on the murder suspect as he was attempting to kill her. All deputies were uninjured, suspect is deceased,” the sheriff’s office said in a tweet.
The child and a woman, who were not identified, survived the incident and were taken to the hospital to be treated for injuries that were not life-threatening.
Jensen said the four people were not killed by gunfire. He added that he “cannot explain just how horrific it is inside” the house where the murders occurred.
“We’re not sure what was used at this time. I’ve been told that there were numerous weapons, swords, things of that nature in the residence. The investigators are trying to determine what exactly was used to kill each person,” Jensen said.
It’s unclear what led to the deadly domestic incident.
The deputies involved in the shooting were placed on paid administrative leave as a standard protocol during the investigation.
Grand jury indicts New Boston man for
human trafficking, child sex abuse,
possession of child pornography
TEXARKANA, TX – A Bowie County grand jury Thursday indicted a New Boston, Texas, man for the alleged sexual abuse of his girlfriend’s teen daughter.
Robert Allen Smith, 34, was indicted for two counts of sexual assault of a child and single counts of continuous trafficking of persons and possession of child pornography. The abuse allegedly occurred while the girl was 15 to 17 years old.
According to a probable cause affidavit, Smith would send the girl a text message telling her to take a shower when he wanted to sexually abuse her. The girl told authorities that Smith would come in the bathroom and sexually abuse her.
The girl described being sexually assaulted and sodomized and alleged that Smith would ask that she urinate on his face. The girl allegedly told a forensic interviewer at the Texarkana Children’s Advocacy Center that Smith took nude photos of her in the bathroom of her mother’s home with a drone that he held in one hand while working the controls with the other.
The girl reported that Smith traveled with her across state lines during a summer while he was working as a commercial truck driver and that he sexually abused her in various locations during the trip. Images depicting the sexual exploitation of children were allegedly found after Smith’s electronic devices were seized by law enforcement.
If convicted of child pornography possession, Smith faces two to 10 years in prison. If convicted of sexual assault of a child, Smith faces two to 10 years on each of two counts. If found guilty of trafficking, Smith faces 25 to 99 years or life in prison.
There is no parole eligibility from a sentence for human trafficking in Texas. Smith must serve the entire amount of any sentence he receives.
The case is assigned to 202nd District Judge John Tidwell. First Assistant District Attorney Kelley Crisp and Assistant District Attorney Lauren Richards are prosecuting. Smith is represented by the Bowie County Public Defenders Office.
AG Paxton Issues Consumer Alert on
Social Security Scam
AUSTIN, TX – Attorney General Ken Paxton today warned Texans to beware of calls from scam artists pretending to be with the Social Security Administration (SSA) and attempting to fool unsuspecting people into giving them their Social Security number and money.
Recently, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) received a large number of complaints from consumers targeted by the Social Security scam. Crooks tell the would-be victim that their Social Security number has been used in a crime and they must pay a fee to reactivate it or to get a new number. During the call, the person is asked to give out their Social Security number.
In other instances of the scam, individuals are told that their bank accounts have been seized and they should transfer their money to the caller for safe keeping, or that they could lose their Social Security benefits because their Social Security number was used to apply for credit cards.
Attorney General Paxton’s Consumer Protection Division reminds Texans that the Social Security Administration will never call and ask for a person’s Social Security number, request money, or threaten someone’s benefits. Be sure to follow these tips from the FTC:
Never give your Social Security number to anyone who contacts you. Don’t confirm the last 4 digits. And don’t give a bank account or credit card number to anybody who contacts you asking for it.
Don’t be fooled by caller ID showing the SSA’s real phone number (1-800-772-1213). Computers make it easy for scam artists to show any number on caller ID, a technique called spoofing.
Remember that anyone who calls and tells you to wire money, pay with a gift card or send cash is a scammer, no matter who they say they are.