New York may have re-established itself as America’s leading abortion state by enacting a law that critics say goes beyond even the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.
Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the Reproductive Health Act (RHA) into law Jan. 22 shortly after the state legislature completed passage of the controversial proposal. Enactment of the legislation came on the 46th anniversary of the high court’s decision striking down all state bans and legalizing abortion throughout the country.
The new law legalizes abortion until birth for the mother’s “health,” which is not defined and has been interpreted by the Supreme Court to include, in essence, any reason. The measure also enables non-physicians — midwives, nurse practitioners and physician assistants — to perform non-surgical or chemical abortions. In addition, it protects abortion performers by moving abortion law from New York’s criminal code to its health code.
The new law not only puts pregnant women at risk, but it is so radical it permits infanticide by eliminating protections for babies who survive an attempted abortion and by removing fetal homicide penalties, according to Americans United for Life (AUL), a pro-life organization that focuses on legal issues.
If the Supreme Court were to overturn the Roe opinion and return the issue to the states, New York’s law would remain in effect.
“The Empire State’s new abortion bill is alarming in every sense,” said Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, in written comments for Baptist Press. “This bill stripped all possible legal protections for children past 24 weeks in the womb.”
AUL President Catherine Glenn Foster called the law “extreme,” saying in a written statement it “de facto permits infanticide of the sort that notorious Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell was convicted [of] only recently.”
Christina Fadden, chair of New York State Right to Life, described the law as “inhumane.”
“RHA has made abortion a ‘fundamental right’ and prohibits all limits on abortion. … RHA has expanded abortion-on-demand in New York past 24 weeks — well past when unborn children feel pain, are viable, and suffer during the course of an abortion — and up to birth,” Fadden said, according to National Right to Life News Today.
Cuomo, who had promised passage of the measure in the first 30 days of the legislative session, said in a written statement, “With the signing of this bill, we are sending a clear message that whatever happens in Washington, women in New York will always have the fundamental right to control their own body.”
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Source: Baptist Press