Court Rules for Catholics Against Abortion Clinics

Associated Press

A state appeals court, in a victory for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, ruled today that the state improperly gave permission to open two abortion clinics the diocese had opposed.

The Appellate Division of state Supreme Court said in the 3-1 decision that the state Health Department must reconsider its decision allowing the opening of the clinics in Albany and nearby Hudson.

The Health Department and attorney general’s office won’t decide before Monday whether to appeal, spokesmen for the departments said.

Bishop Howard Hubbard led the battle to overturn approval for the abortion clinics in the first such challenge by a Catholic diocese in the state and possibly in the nation, according to state and church officials.


Upholding a lower court decision, the middle-level appeals court said state Health Commissioner David Axelrod used an improper method of evaluating the need for the abortion facilities when he ruled Jan. 11 that they should be opened.

However, the court said that if Axelrod can find another reason to justify the need for the Planned Parenthood abortion clinics he could allow them to open and such a ruling could be upheld in court.