and its pro bono counsel had made it clear to the state commissioners of social services and health that they would pursue a lawsuit against Governor Cuomo and the state. On June 6, 1994, only days before the lawsuit was to be filed, the commissioner of social services announced new regulations that would allow foster children to be tested after a good-faith effort to locate the natural parents had been made. The regulations would be adopted on an emergency basis, which meant that within a year the agency would have to hold hearings and adopt the regulations permanently. ABC, satisfied with the compromise, dropped its plans for a lawsuit.
Throughout June, the battle over the Baby AIDS bill intensified, particularly since the end of the legislative session was scheduled for the first week of July and there was a major election looming in November. Newsday columnist Dwyer wrote one column referring to the "corrosive influence of a Religious Left" backed by well-paid Albany lobbyists, which was marked by dogma that held that any threat to a woman's right to privacy was a threat to abortion, that any abrogation of the state's confidentiality statute was the first step on a slippery slope to the persecution of people with AIDS, and that mandatory testing would drive mothers away from medical care.
New York Times columnist Anna Quindlen (1994) took the opposing view: "The word on the mandatory reporting measure is that it is opposed only by special interest groups, gay organizations obsessed with privacy, and feminists concerned only with women. Why then is it opposed by Lorraine Hale, whose Hale House has been caring for sick and abandoned babies for years?" Quindlen concluded that "the Baby Bill sounds so right; the mothers, with all their many problems, are not so sympathetic. But winning their trust and cooperation, not coercing and blindsiding them, is how real change will occur."
The results of ACTG 076 had changed the terms of the debate for a number of individuals and organizations. Both the New York chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Medical Society of the State of New York reversed their positions on mandatory testing, favoring instead a policy of mandatory counseling for pregnant women and voluntary testing. Given the existence of an effective treatment, a number of clinicians were loathe to institute a policy that might drive any women from care, and a number had seen the clinical opportunity shift from the delivery setting—which many regarded as too late for effective intervention—to the prenatal setting.
The Republican candidate for governor, State Senator George Pataki, announced in early June that he favored mandatory HIV testing of newborns, a position that was echoed by the candidate for state attorney general, Dennis Vacco, running on Pataki's ticket. Governor Cuomo had still not taken a public stand. In early spring, months after the AIDS Advisory Council had released its recommendations, Governor Cuomo charged the Task Force on Life and the Law with reviewing the issue of mandatory HIV newborn testing. According to one member of that advisory panel, which often addressed ethical issues of concern to