Editor’s note. This can also be heard at prolifeperspective.com.
With the budget for the state of New York complete, many, if not all, eyes will turn in the direction of pro-abortion Gov. Andrew Cuomo to see what he does next with his genuinely radical but yet to be formally introduced abortion bill. A former state legislator, Michael Benjamin, wrote a clarifying op-ed recently in the New York Post that went through the numerous exercises in misdirection employed by Gov. Cuomo.
People–supporters and critics–are assuming that Cuomo’s proposal will use as a stepping stone the Reproductive Health Act (RHA) since Cuomo endorsed it in his State of the State speech in January. The RHA is the brainchild of pro-abortion state Sen. Andrea Stewart Cousins (D-Yonkers) and is (as Benjamin observes) “far, far beyond Roe.”
And that’s the whole point—it is not a “codification of Roe,” as we are led to believe.
New York, and specifically New York City, holds the dubious distinction of aborting unborn children in staggering numbers. The abortion rate is an incredible 41% in New York City and among African-American in certain zip codes in the city a stunning 60%.
Even those who are firmly on the pro-abortion side must be uneasy at the prospect of making abortion even more readily available. (Though it should be noted that this doesn’t include Cuomo whose father, former Governor Mario Cuomo, was a primary author of the “personally opposed but…” evasion. Nor is Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards whose organization is the largest abortion provider in the country).
Benjamin explains that the RHA would expand the pool of non-physicians who are allowed to perform abortions and “removes age restrictions on abortion,” minimizing further what little influence parents could have on their minor daughter’s decision to abort.
He alludes to other dire provisions that National Right to Life News Today has written about before including that it
a. Removes criminal penalties even from unlawful abortions;
b. Prevents an unborn child who is the intended victim of a crime from being recognized as a victim. [As Benjamin writes, “it would ban the prosecution of criminals who cause the death of an almost-born child” and then goes on to cite horrific cases where the baby was killed along with the mother];
c. Falsely redefines fetal (child) viability; and
d. Unleashes new assaults on the consciences of those who oppose participating in abortion – health care professionals, hospitals, hospital residents, and health insurance providers.
Moreover, the RHA—which everyone assumes is the matrix for Cuomo’s proposal—is built around assuring abortion throughout pregnancy. Here is what Dr. Anne Nolte told National Review’s Kathryn Jean Lopez:
“Let’s be clear. The RHA and Governor Cuomo’s comments both clearly indicate that they want to allow abortion through all 40 weeks of pregnancy if it is necessary to protect the ‘health’ of the mother. This is deceptive. As I already mentioned, any complications of pregnancy after 24 weeks’ gestation can be managed safely by delivering the living child, whether by induction of labor or by C-section. The death of the child is never medically necessary to preserve the mother’s health. ‘Health’ however has been broadly interpreted to mean not just serious, life-threatening conditions, like high blood pressure or pre-eclampsia, but also any disturbance of ‘mental health.’ This essentially allows a woman to terminate her pregnancy through all 40 weeks of pregnancy for any reason that ‘upsets her mental health.’ As a single example, one young woman, who spoke before the New York City Council a few years ago, testified that she was pressured at an abortion clinic to say she was ‘depressed’ by her pregnancy, because it would be the only way for her to get a legal abortion at 25 weeks’ gestation.”
Benjamin’s conclusion cuts to the chase:
“The bill’s provisions must be publicly aired and debated. The public has a right to know where Gov. Cuomo stands on these important life-and-death issues.”