By Theodore Shoebat
The state of New York just ruled that late term abortions can be done for essentially any reason. Michele Sterlace-Accorsi has given an insightful commentary, writing:
Despite the fact that New York law already permits abortion for any reason during the first 24 weeks of pregnancy and the fact that an overturned Roe vs. Wade would not affect this “right,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo and others are pushing hard to enact the Reproductive Health Act (RHA). Apparently, it is also irrelevant that, according to the Guttmacher Institute, New York already has an abortion rate (29.6 per 1,000 women) that is twice the national average (14.6 per 1,000). Abortion advocates claim the passage of the RHA will be a first priority when the New York state Legislature convenes Jan. 9.
To be clear, the RHA legalizes abortion “on demand” during the third trimester of pregnancy. The RHA’s legislative intent ushers in a broad health exception for late-term abortion, which courts have interpretedto allow women to abort fully viable fetuses for essentially any reason, including economic or familial health. The RHA, by repealing a section of Public Health Law, also would allow for viable infants born alive during an abortion to die without treatment.
In addition, the RHA potentially endangers women’s lives by permitting the performance of surgical late term abortions in facilities other than hospitals, and by individuals other than duly licensed physicians. According to studies, including “Risk Factors for Legal Induced Abortion-Related Mortality in the United States,” published by Obstetrics & Gynecology, the “risk of death … for women obtaining legally induced abortions … increase[s] exponentially by 38 percent for each additional week of gestation.”
The RHA also potentially re-victimizes victims of sex trafficking and domestic violence by completing gutting abortion from New York’s penal laws. Relevant abortion related provisions in New York’s criminal statutes allow women to hold abusers accountable for the death of wanted unborn children and for coerced abortions. If the RHA act is enacted, women can no longer hold violent partners criminally accountable for killing wanted unborn children. While pregnant, my now ex- husband tried to push me down the stairs. If he had, and my unborn child had died because of my fall, I would not have been able to prosecute him for the death of my Noah, if the RHA had been the law.I’m not the only one. Studies, including “Acknowledging a Persistent Truth: Domestic Violence in Pregnancy,” published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, show that domestic violence escalates in pregnancy, with significant consequences for women and their unborn children, including death.
Further, studies also show that victims of domestic violence and sex trafficking undergo coerced, but otherwise “safe and legal,” abortions. These studies, include, respectively, “Associations Between Intimate Partner Violence and Termination of Pregnancy: A Systemic Review and Meta-Analysis,” published in PLOS Medicine, and “The Health Consequences of Sex Trafficking, Their Implications for Identifying Victims in Healthcare Facilities,” published in Beazley Institute for Health Law & Policy.
The Bishops of New York have also protested and expressed their remonstrances against this evil:
The bishops of New York decried Thursday the likely passage of the Reproductive Health Act, which would expand abortion access throughout the state, noting it will only increase family suffering.
The bill was first introduced in 2007, but was often blocked by a Republican-led state senate.
The New York state senate recently returned to Democrat-majority control for the first time since 2010, and the bill is widely expected to become law.
The Reproductive Health Act would allow health care professionals like nurse practicioners and physicians assistants to perform abortions, and permit late- abortion at any time throughout pregnancy in case of fetal inviability or “when necessary to protect a patient’s life or health.”
Under current New York law, abortion past 24 weeks is illegal except when necessary to save the life of the mother.
The bill would also decriminalize abortion, transferring it to the health code from the criminal code.
“Words are insufficient to describe the profound sadness we feel at the contemplated passage of New York State’s new proposed abortion policy. We mourn the unborn infants who will lose their lives, and the many mothers and fathers who will suffer remorse and heartbreak as a result,” the bishops of New York state said Jan. 17.
“The so-called ‘Reproductive Health Act’ will expand our state’s already radically permissive law, by empowering more health practitioners to provide abortion and removing all state restrictions on late-term procedures. With an abortion rate that is already double the national average, New York law is moving in the wrong direction.”
The bishops recalled their pledge “to offer the resources and services of our charitable agencies and health services to any woman experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, to support her in bearing her infant, raising her family or placing her child for adoption. There are life-affirming choices available, and we aim to make them more widely known and accessible.”