NEW YORK - Governor Andrew Cuomo is defending his signing of the Reproductive Health Act in an op-ed for the New York Times.

The new law codifies abortion rights in New York State.

But it's led to a backlash from Cardinal Timothy Dolan.

In an op-ed for the New York Post last week, the head of the New York Archdiocese called abortion "a tragic choice."

He also condemned Cuomo and his "progressive” supporters for celebrating the bill's signing.

In Thursday's edition of the Times, Cuomo says he's a former altar boy whose Roman Catholic values are his personal values.

But he also says his oath of office is to the U.S. and New York State constitutions.

Cuomo writes, "Only by seperating constitutional duties from religious beliefs can we have a country that allows all people the ability to persue their own theological and moral principles in a nation true to its founding premise of religious freedom."

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