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Cardinal Dolan: New Laws Restricting Abortion A Direct Response To New York's Reproductive Health Act

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Pro-abortion rights advocates across the country marched Tuesday in protest against new laws restricting abortions in several states.

But Archbishop Timothy Cardinal Dolan said the new laws are a reaction to one passed in New York, CBS2's Dick Brennan reported.

"I think the country got a wake-up call," Dolan said on the Catholic Channel.

Dolan spoke out in defense of more restrictive abortion laws being passed in around the country.

Timothy Cardinal Dolan
(credit: CBS2)

"This is a legitimate, understandable and I think exemplary backlash to the viciousness of what we did here in New York," Dolan said.

MOREDolan Promotes Church Alternatives To Abortion, Pushes Back Against Cuomo's Reproductive Health Act

The cardinal was referring to the Reproductive Health Act passed by the New York Legislature and signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who said it's designed to codify Roe v. Wade into New York law. It expands the type of health-care practitioners that can perform abortions and allows for late-term abortions if the health of the mother is at risk or the fetus is not viable.

Around the nation, from Washington D.C. to Los Angeles and even in the heartland of America, abortion rights advocates demonstrated against the new laws.

"I believe that women's health care is a human right. It should not be restricted based on what other people's personal beliefs are," abortion rights advocate Christi Owiye said.

MORECardinal Dolan Fires Back At Gov. Cuomo, Feud Over Abortion Beliefs Grows

Eight states so far this year have passed laws limiting abortion rights. Five states have so-called heartbeat bills that ban abortions after six to eight weeks of pregnancy. Alabama's law bans all abortions unless the mother's life is threatened. It's part of an effort to challenge Roe v. Wade in the U.S. Supreme Court.

But legal experts say Alabama's law likely won't make it that far.

"This court, particularly with Chief Justice Roberts, is unlikely to be willing to take something as extreme as a law that bans abortion from the moment of conception without exceptions for rape or incest," said George Washington University law professor Sonia Suter.

The Alabama law will likely be challenged in court before it is scheduled to take effect. CBS2 reached out to Gov. Cuomo's Office for reaction to Cardinal Dolan's comment, but did not immediately hear back.

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