Women of New York’s Safety Cast Aside by State Congress’ Reproductive Health Act

women of new york

Earlier this week America saw New York’s Congress whoop and holler over an updating of their Reproductive Health Act, which expanded the language in some portions and repealed others. I won’t even go into the purposefully misleading title of the Act but I will say that this is no time to celebrate.

So what changed? Before the amendments to the law, it was ALREADY LEGAL for the citizens of New York to obtain a late-term abortion, from a medical doctor, if the mother’s life was deemed in danger. Let that sink in a minute.

You’re likely hearing that the provision was made for the case of a mother who was carrying a baby with fatal abnormalities or whose pregnancy was threatening her life somehow. You’re likely getting castigated by supporters of the law to “be compassionate” or “think of the mother.” Well folks, hate to tell ya, but this was already the law in NY before the change. This seems then, to be about something else.

Let’s consider the changes in the bill for a second. If you’d like to follow along, please turn in your hymnal to lines 42-49, or just look at this screen shot I’ve provided for you:

NY repro act lines 42.jpg

And y’all, you have to know that I’m not a lawyer. I just read stuff. If you are a lawyer and want to debate the language in this bill, then feel free to email me.

Starting at line 42, we see the parameters for abortion defined as, “A health care practitioner licensed, certified, OR authorized under Title Eight of the Education Law, acting within His or Her Lawful Scope of Practice, may perform an abortion when, according to the Practitioner’s REASONABLE AND GOOD FAITH PROFESSIONAL JUDGEMENT based on the facts of the Patient’s Case: The Patient is within twenty-four weeks from the commencement of pregnancy, OR there is an absence of fetal viability, OR the abortion is necessary to protect the Patient’s Life OR Health.”

**I’ve added the caps for clarification**

Whew. Let’s take a breath. Now, as we discussed before, the law already allowed for late-term abortions, or the invasive killing of a baby in the third trimester. As far as I understand from my research, what seems to have changed is the following: 1.) the scope of abortion providers has been significantly widened; 2.) the standard of judgement for the provider to advise and perform the abortion is not coupled with any scientific and/or required criteria; and 3.) the expansion of the term “health.”

Primarily, this bill aims to define “health” by the standard of another related case, Doe v. Bolton (1976) stating, “the medical judgment may be exercised in the light of all factors- physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and at the woman’s age– relevant to the well being of the patient.” So there’s your definition for “health.” Any practitioner, in agreement with a woman’s desire to obtain an abortion, may do so. Just to make things crystal clear: if the woman expresses the she is emotionally unable to have a child at the moment, and her midwife or nurse is compliant, then she is legally able to kill the living baby in her womb, up until the moment of birth. This is the new normal; this is abortion (read: murder) at the service of a “me time,” self-love-obsessed national culture.

(Am I the only one sickened by this?)

I won’t even bore you with the wide range of excuses that will be (and are already being) used to legally evade the responsibility of an unplanned pregnancy. Kids. They’re just so inconvenient, right?

In line 53, the bill also removes the provision that requires that an abortion be performed in a hospital, by a physician, and removes the requirement for a second doctor to be present in case the abortion isn’t successful (in killing the baby, remember) in order to provide life-saving efforts for the baby and/or mother.

Line 54 makes it a misdemeanor to sell or distribute contraceptives (possibly including Plan B?) to a minor under the age of 16.

Additionally, “the bill would amend New York State Penal Law regarding homicide, abortion, and related offenses, to repeal sections which currently make it a felony or misdemeanor to have an abortion after 24 weeks,” as you can read here. This will weaken the prosecution of domestic violence cases. I doubt the victims of violent husbands and boyfriends will view this as “freedom” and “progress” for women.

And, as I mentioned in my IG stories last night, the combination of lower standards for abortion, along with removing abortion-related death from the penal code, and making the standard of recommendation completely subjective and free of empirical evidence, waves a MAJOR red flag to me. Sounds like the perfect environment to allow crimes against women to flourish, including sex trafficking.

The heart of the matter is this- if the health and safety of the women of New York were really the concern of the Democratic congress who pushed the legislation through, why expand the abortion “providers” from the MOST qualified (medical doctors) to those LESS qualified (ie, nurses, midwives, etc.)? Why strip the woman of extra medical provision through a present, second doctor? Why remove the criteria for it to be performed in a hospital? Why remove any scientific, factual requirement for the provider to base his/her recommendation on?

I’ll tell you why. Because despite the rhetoric of women’s “rights” that we keep hearing allllll about (all day long, every single day, from most of main stream media outlets and pretty much all of Hollywood), this fight isn’t about the freedom or health or safety of women at all. It’s about political influence. It’s about redefining culture. It’s about wielding legislative power towards selfish and greedy ends and at the expense of the life of the most vulnerable.

The Left want to make this a conversation about bodily autonomy when they are willingly ignoring the bodily autonomy/personhood/existence of the person in the womb. It’s a baby human. With separate DNA. When we move away from that simple fact, the conversation becomes about everything else and women lose out, most of all.

Obviously, there will be rare cases of genetic deformation (or similar medical conditions) that points to a lack of true viability for the baby. In this tragic instance, because of our permissible abortion laws, the decision to end the life of their own child is thrust upon them. Why is this progress? Why is this freedom? The guilt of being put in the unnatural position of choosing death, which frankly, only belongs to God, will stay with them forever. And the Wiki list that pops up when you Google “fatal fetal abnormalities” includes cleft palette, club foot, and dwarfism, among other things. I mean, really?! You’re going to create a culture of designer babies, picking and choosing what you deem worthy of your offspring (based on zero moral or ethical standards outside of your own whims) and call it progress?

If Dems say that they value equality and diversity but, ya know, don’t want to deal with a baby that comes at an inconvenient time (or may have a less-than-perfect bill of health), then why believe their argument? There isn’t consistency of logic OR evidence that they are actually living out their political convictions.

Because I don’t want to end this on such a depressing note, allow me to share a couple of final thoughts.

First, I am SO encouraged by the many experienced medical doctors that are courageously speaking out right now! Allie Stuckey shared this today and I’ll pass it along to bring awareness:

allie stuckey tweet

And finally, as I’ve said before, I think this move on the part of NY’s Congress was preemptively done in preparation for Roe v. Wade being overturned and unborn children given the basic human rights protections that we all enjoy. I pray that I am able to see that day in my lifetime.

It’s been a rough week for everyone, but there is hope ahead for our country- if we heed to words of Isaiah 58, the prophet speaking to Israel (Oh Israel, Oh America, and your rebellious and hardened heart!)-

“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
    and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
    and break every yoke?
Is it not to share your food with the hungry
    and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
    and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?


For more on this topic, including resources on getting involved with the pro-life cause, read this.

Published by Sara Beth Longenecker

Sara Beth Longenecker is a writer and blogger based in Nashville, TN. She helps women sort through the noise of our culture by bringing them truth, beauty, and everyday theology.

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