Guest Column: New abortion law is extreme and harmful

Late-term abortion language in Reproductive Health Act goes too far

For The Daily Gazette

No woman celebrates abortion. 

No woman wants an abortion the way she wants an ice cream cone or an iPhone X.

Abortion is a tragedy all the way around.

Biologically, that’s because abortion ends the life of a developing human. It’s not a developing carrot or a developing toad.

It’s not like losing an appendix or losing your tonsils.

It’s the loss of a developing human child.

The celebration of New York’s new abortion policy was shameful.

The cheering in the Senate chamber, the party at the governor’s mansion and the lighting of state buildings like the Freedom Tower in Manhattan were deeply offensive to many New Yorkers.

They are right to be outraged.  And their outrage will not soon be forgotten.

Legally, there is no question that the new law allows abortion for any reason up to the moment of birth.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo can spin it any way he wants, but as an attorney, he knows this is true.

Lawmakers could have put language in the law to limit late-term abortions to cases where there is a grave physical health danger to the mother, but they didn’t.

Instead, they gave Planned Parenthood exactly what it wanted — an open-ended “health” exception that allows abortion for reasons of age, economics and family circumstances; virtually anything will suffice.

Think about that.

An unfettered absolute right to abortion for all nine months of pregnancy is now imbedded in New York law.

The same fully formed infants that parents excitedly watch on the ultrasound screen kicking their legs and sucking their thumbs can now be legally destroyed at any point in their in utero development.

But lawmakers didn’t stop there.

They also removed protections in law for infants who might accidentally survive an abortion.

Yes, that happens.

And yes, our law had previously offered these babies immediate medical attention and gave them all of the legal rights each and every one of us enjoys as a born human being. But no more. 

Now they can be left to die on the table.  

New York’s criminal charge of felony abortion was also wiped off the books by the new law.

Human traffickers and domestic abusers are the ones rejoicing here.

No longer can they be charged for coerced abortions or attacks intentionally targeting a pregnancy to cause miscarriage.

In early February, a pregnant woman and her unborn child were viciously bludgeoned to death in Queens.

The district attorney charged the alleged perpetrator with second degree murder and second-degree abortion, but had to drop the abortion charge when he realized the crime no longer exists.

As a result, there will never be justice for the death of that very-much-wanted baby.

So much for “choice.”

Gov. Cuomo has said that New York’s new abortion law is the most aggressive one in the country.

He’s right about that.

It is overly permissive, extreme and dangerous.

It will leave in its wake more dead infants and many wounded mothers. It was all about politics and not about the best interests of the people.   

Did we need it? Absolutely not.

New York already had the highest abortion rate of any state in the country.

And that’s a heartbreaking designation, not a celebratory badge of honor.

Kathleen M. Gallagher of Schenectady is the director of pro-life activities for the New York State Catholic Conference.

Categories: Editorial, Opinion

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