NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo is still refusing to sign the state’s budget, a move scheduled for April, unless the newly Democrat-led state legislature passes a bill that would expand the state’s already permissive abortion laws to include elective abortions for any reason through the ninth month of pregnancy.
Even worse is that Cuomo’s proposed measure, called the Reproductive Health Act, would also remove abortion from the state’s criminal code, potentially depriving women of being able to seek justice for the unborn children they were forced to abort by sex traffickers, sex abusers or violent partners.
Current New York law already allows elective abortions up through 24 weeks of pregnancy – one of the least restrictive abortion limits in the country. This existing rule now permits women to voluntarily terminate through dismemberment well-developed preborn children who have already developed bones, hair, unique fingerprints, a sense of hearing and a nervous system capable of feeling pain.
But despite the state's already lax abortion limit, Cuomo and other pro-abortion advocates have taken issue with the fact that current state law doesn't allow for abortions past 24 weeks for "certain" exceptions - exceptions that can pretty much include anything. If passed, this new rule would expand abortions to include elective termination procedures up until the moment of delivery at nine months for virtually any reason. From the bill itself:
“Every individual who becomes pregnant has the fundamental right to choose to carry the pregnancy to term, to give birth to a child or have an abortion.”
The bill also states that “Section 2 of the bill creates a new Article 25-A of the Public Health Law (PHL), which states that an abortion May be performed by a licensed, certified, or authorized practitioner within 24 weeks from the commencement of pregnancy, or there is an absence of fetal viability, or at any time when necessary to protect a patient's life or health.”
However, it’s important to note that the term “health” doesn’t necessarily have to mean a woman’s physical state, but can be subjectively expanded by her physician to include her mental or emotional health – i.e., whenever having a baby no longer jives with what the woman wants and can be deemed harmful to her emotional well-being.
Naturally, pro-life groups are outraged at the proposed bill, and at the governor threatening to hold the entire state’s funding hostage over it.
“Supporters of RHA claim it merely seeks to update New York’s laws to make them consistent with Roe v. Wade. This claim is false,” the New York State Right to Life said in a statement. “The changes this bill would make instead would authorize abortion through all nine months, for any reason, with no restrictions.”
Predictably, left-leaning media outlets like the New York Times have downplayed the extremism of Cuomo’s abortion proposaland the human rights abuses that it would allow, reporting only that the Democratic governor has vowed to expand and protect “reproductive rights” for women. The only late-term abortion procedures the NYT lists for potential expansion are third-trimester abortions in which the unborn baby is medically “unviable” or in which the life of the mother is at risk.
Unmentioned in the report is the newly expanded ability for women to abort their babies for economic or family reasons (like a bad break up), or the potential for pregnant women to be forced into abortions by abusers. Instead, the New York Times chose only to report that “A group opposed to abortion, Feminists Choosing Life of New York, issued a statement on Monday decrying the R.H.A. as an overreach and criticizing what it said were too-broad exceptions for third-trimester abortions.”