Explainer: What New York’s new abortion law does and doesn’t do

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, seen here at a news conference on Jan. 29, has been criticized by Catholic and pro-life leaders for signing a state law guaranteeing wide access to abortion. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink, File)New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, seen here at a news conference on Jan. 29, has been criticized by Catholic and pro-life leaders for signing a state law guaranteeing wide access to abortion. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink, File)

Last week, on the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, New York state enacted a new abortion law, called the Reproductive Health Act. A long-term goal of pro-choice advocates, the law was passed by the newly elected Democratic majority in the state Senate and signed by Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo. The governor even ordered that One World Trade Center in New York City and several other New York state landmarks be lit in pink to celebrate the legislative victory.

While pro-choice advocates were celebrating, the pro-life movement described the R.H.A. as a tragedy, arguing that it legalized abortion up to the point of birth. Defenders of the law described it as a bulwark for women’s rights, designed to guarantee that even if the Supreme Court were to overturn or limit its decision in Roe, abortion access in New York would be maintained. Much of the coverage describing the law and its effects has been polarizing, with advocates on each side describing each other’s accounts of it as biased.

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Much of the coverage describing the law and its effects has been polarizing, with advocates on each side describing each other’s accounts of it as biased.

As with any charged and divisive issue, the choice of emphasis and focus in coverage can give the same facts very different interpretations and implications—and it is likely that I will be accused of doing the same in this article. Both I and America magazine are strongly pro-life and not on the sidelines of this argument. However, it is worth trying to get to a more even-handed account of what the law does and does not do in order to have a clearer conversation about it, even if we do not expect to fully convince people on the other side.

Much of the disagreement and confusion around what the law does is the result of which abortion cases advocates choose to focus on. Pro-life advocates argue that the R.H.A. potentially allows the most extreme forms of abortion without any serious restriction—and they are right. Pro-choice advocates respond that the late-term abortions up to the point of birth that pro-lifers highlight are rare and almost always involve cases of extreme medical complexity—and they are right.

Before unpacking in detail what the law does and does not do, let me highlight two points that this disagreement tends to obscure.

What is being missed in the debate over the law?

First: One major aim of the law was to change the terms of the debate. Its practical effects on the number of abortions conducted in the state of New York are likely to be fairly small. The primary reason for its passage was to stake out New York’s position in favor both of preserving and expanding Roe v. Wade’s guarantee of access to abortion. And the way the law accomplishes that is to remove anything in New York law that could have been interpreted to limit abortion or to extend any protection to a child before birth.

New York already has one of the highest rates of abortion in the country.

Second: New York already has one of the highest rates of abortion in the country. In New York City, about one in every three pregnancies ends in abortion. To judge by the numbers, a lack of access to abortion in New York is not a problem. But these extremely high rates tell us that far too many women are facing pregnancies in circumstances where abortion seems to them to be their best or only choice. Many of the potential explanations for this—an extremely high cost of living, a lack of affordable housing, and scarce availability of parental support and child care—deserve attention from policymakers and could be points of agreement between pro-life and pro-choice activists. Unfortunately, those issues do not get anywhere near the attention that the arguments about late-term abortions do, even though they are deeply involved in the (far more numerous) early abortions.

Does the R.H.A. allow abortion up to the point of birth?

The new law allows abortion under any of three conditions: (1) if it is performed earlier than 24 weeks of pregnancy; (2) in an “absence of fetal viability”; or (3) if necessary to “protect the patient’s life or health.”

So abortion is allowed without any restrictions during the first and second trimesters. Later than that, the question is how fetal viability and protection of the life and health of the mother are determined. The R.H.A. says that those judgments are to be made according to “the practitioner's reasonable and good faith professional judgment based on the facts of the patient's case”; it does not impose any objective medical standard.

Pro-life critics point out that the exception for the health of the mother is broad enough to cover basically any possible late-term abortion.

Pro-life critics of the law are pointing out that the exception for health, which is not restricted to a physical definition and can be interpreted to cover psychological and emotional health, subject only to the medical judgment of the abortion provider, is broad enough to cover basically any possible late-term abortion. Insofar as the goal of the law was to guarantee access to abortion and remove restrictions on it, this is part and parcel of that goal. The new law does not contain any meaningful restriction that is likely to ever prevent an abortion.

Pro-choice advocates point out that one reason for that is that the very small fraction of abortions that are conducted at 21 weeks or later (a little more than 1 percent) are almost always in response to some medical issue. Those issues could include acute risks to the life of the mother or conditions that make the child unable to survive to birth—but they also include situations where the child would face a terminal condition, significant suffering or a severe disability after birth, and where abortion is chosen to “spare” the child such pain. However, some providers have acknowledged that they are willing to perform late-term abortions even absent medical necessity, though it is impossible to estimate how many late-term abortions fall under that description.

Does the R.H.A. allow non-physicians to perform abortions?

Yes. The law specifies that a “health care practitioner licensed, certified, or authorized” under New York’s medical licensing laws can perform an abortion and make the professional judgments described above. This means that it is possible that licensed nurse practitioners or physician assistants could perform abortions.

Does the R.H.A. define “human person” to exclude unborn children?

This is complicated. In addition to the provisions explicitly allowing abortion discussed above, the R.H.A. also modifies sections of the New York state penal code to eliminate references to abortion. Prior to these changes, the definition of homicide included causing the death of a person (defined as “a human being who has been born and is alive”) or of an unborn child if the woman has been pregnant for more than 24 weeks.

Prior to these changes, the definition of homicide included causing the death of an unborn child if the woman has been pregnant for more than 24 weeks.

After the removal of abortion from the penal code, the existing definition of person as “a human being who has been born and is alive” remains—but because there is no longer any reference whatsoever to unborn children as possible victims of homicide, the law now effectively excludes them from the definition of “human person.”

Pro-life advocates have also pointed out that this change in the penal code means that domestic violence resulting in the loss of a pregnancy can no longer be prosecuted as severely as it has been. (It can of course still be prosecuted in the same way as any other assault against someone who is not pregnant.)

Does the R.H.A. remove protections for an infant born alive during an abortion?

Yes. The R.H.A. repeals section 4164 of New York’s public health law. That section had provided that abortions after the 12th week of pregnancy had to be performed in a hospital, and that for abortions after 20 weeks a separate physician had to be on hand to provide medical care for any infant born alive during the procedure—which is a possibility, even if an unlikely one.

The now-repealed section also specified that a child born alive during an abortion procedure immediately enjoyed the protection of New York’s laws, and it required medical records to be kept of the efforts to care for the infant. Without section 4164, the public health law is now silent on the status of an infant born alive during an abortion.

What does calling abortion a “fundamental human right” mean?

The R.H.A. sets out the law’s purpose to secure for every pregnant woman a “fundamental right to choose to carry the pregnancy to term, to give birth to a child, or to have an abortion.” The law also says that the state shall not “discriminate, deny or interfere” with these rights in any other regulations.

This has raised concerns about how this “fundamental right” may be asserted in the future against hospitals, doctors and other medical professionals who object to abortion in conscience. An official with the New York State Catholic Conference said that the law “foresees a time in New York when it’s a crime to be pro-life.” New York State Right to Life, a state political party and lobbying group, argues that this language opens the door to “restrict efforts by pro-lifers…and prohibit any limits on abortion.”

The R.H.A. does not contain any explicit provision requiring anyone to perform or provide abortions, but neither does it explicitly provide any exemption for conscientious objection by health care professionals regarding abortion.

In other words, it is not yet clear what precise legal effect the “fundamental right” language may have. The pro-life movement is concerned about how it might be used in the future to compel participation in making abortion available, but it is unclear how and if courts would interpret and apply a “fundamental right” to abortion beyond the existing text of the law.

Where does this leave us?

Prior to the passage of the R.H.A., if Roe v. Wade had been overruled by the Supreme Court, New York would have reverted to its 1970 abortion law, which already permitted abortion for any reason up to the 24th week of pregnancy and later than that in case of danger to the mother’s life. At the time of its passage, three years prior to Roe, the law was the most permissive in the country. If it were still on the books, the 1970 law would still be more permissive than abortion laws in many European countries, most of which impose limits on abortions starting around 12 weeks.

The bigger tragedy is that it the new law deeply entrenches our divisions over abortion by adopting the most absolutist pro-choice position imaginable.

In the sense that the law the R.H.A. replaced already permitted abortion without many limits, the practical changes due to the new law are likely small. By making it possible for non-physician medical providers to perform abortions and removing the few prior limits on late-term abortion, it is likely that the R.H.A. will slightly increase the number of abortions in the state of New York. However, as pointed out previously, New York already has an extremely high abortion rate, so the existing restrictions probably were not preventing many abortions.

But the law is of huge symbolic importance. It announces that pro-choice activists and their political allies have no interest in or intention of settling for abortion that is “safe, legal and rare.” It has systematically eliminated any legal recognition, no matter how meager, that an unborn child could be worthy of protection or concern, following a playbook that argues that any acknowledgment of “fetal personhood” must be essentially anti-woman.

The tragedy of this law is not only that it makes late-term abortions more available in New York. The bigger tragedy is that it more deeply entrenches our divisions over abortion by adopting the most absolutist pro-choice position imaginable and leaves New Yorkers less able to work together to address or even acknowledge the factors that contribute to our state’s catastrophically high abortion rate.

I live in a city where for every two mothers whose pregnancies fill them with joy, one woman has turned instead to abortion. That is not just because New York protects the right to abortion. It is also because we have failed to present a better option, and the R.H.A. has doubled down on that failure.

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Robert Lewis
6 months 3 weeks ago

Although I will always discriminate against pro-abortion candidates for public office, I will not join those militantly opposed to abortion UNTIL they become activist in favour of socio-economic justice for the children of the working poor--the group that the fetuses, once ensured of life, will be forced to join by the cruelly unjust society that denies their mothers equal opportunity.

Andrew Wolfe
6 months 3 weeks ago

You don't know what you're talking about. For a quarter century pro-lifers have donated time, money, and goods to distressed pregnant women, almost exclusively poor, not only until birth but for years thereafter. The entire country is a grid of pregnancy help centers run by pro-lifers. And let it be noted that even without this, there is substantial government support for mothers through SNAP, WIC, and other programs.

Warren Patton
6 months 3 weeks ago

And if the problem in NY is really lack of support for mothers than no one is in a better position to do something about that then Cuomo. Why call out pro-lifers for their supposed failures on this issue rather then Cuomo?

Nora Bolcon
6 months 3 weeks ago

Snap and health care funding and welfare have been constantly attacked by the Republican pro life party. Pro life clinics do not supply free quality daycare or anything else women need to raise their children past a few months.

Nora Bolcon
6 months 3 weeks ago

Pro life groups have no cause to gripe since you all wanted the decision to be no longer federal but left up to the states. You got what you wanted NY made its own decision.

Nora Bolcon
6 months 3 weeks ago

Pro life groups have no cause to gripe since you all wanted the decision to be no longer federal but left up to the states. You got what you wanted NY made its own decision.

SHELLEY HIBBLER
6 months 1 week ago

Then how do explain our president and the GOP reducing Medicaid, and SNAP money? Our federal government doesn't do enough to help these women. It's okay to ensure there's jails in certain zip codes vs. high quality schools to help bring these children out of proverty. It's awful. I don't believe for one minute women want to have an abortion. But do so because they have no alternative or their fetus in non-viable, or they are at risk. I haven't yet to meet a woman who had an abortion "just because she can". When men and some women realize this, we will have this debate.

SHELLEY HIBBLER
6 months 1 week ago

Then how do explain our president and the GOP reducing Medicaid, and SNAP money? Our federal government doesn't do enough to help these women. It's okay to ensure there's jails in certain zip codes vs. high quality schools to help bring these children out of proverty. It's awful. I don't believe for one minute women want to have an abortion. But do so because they have no alternative or their fetus in non-viable, or they are at risk. I haven't yet to meet a woman who had an abortion "just because she can". When men and some women realize this, we will have this debate.

John Love
6 months 3 weeks ago

Robert Lewis - I think yours is the "Straw Man" fallacy: The refutation of a point or an argument that was never presented by the opponent. Sort of like someone protesting the price of cheeseburgers due to an increase in the price of beef in the USA saying, "I will refuse to eat any more cheeseburgers unless Southern Italians lower the price of beef."

Robert Lewis
6 months 3 weeks ago

As I said, and I don't care what you think about "strawmen." The fact is that most so-called "conservative" anti-abortion militants are also in favour of keeping the brutally unfair American model of capitalism. When the pro-lifers become advocates of a socially democratic economy, as well as opponents of legalized murder, i.e. the "death penalty" (and, thereby, proponents of the actual, orthodox Catholic position, that of the "whole cloth"), I will join their street protests. Not until.

Tim O'Leary
6 months 3 weeks ago

Lewis - Don't you get it? Last year, there were 25 executions of murderers on death row and 800,000 executions of babies in the womb. Abortion is already "legalized murder" and your continued support of pro-abortion politicians (even by default) means you are in practice supporting legalized murder, even if you claim in principle not to be. Most pro-life people are not advocates of the death penalty. They just know the difference between the two, in justice and magnitude. Whereas, you hold the babies hostage for your vote. I really don't care if you join the street protests. Leave that to the next generation.

Robert Lewis
6 months 3 weeks ago

I DO NOT "support pro-abortion politicians." You're doing your usual trick, O'Dreary, of tarring with a brush and defaming persons you don't like. (And also of failing to READ critically or closely. Do you know how?)
I vote AGAINST pro-abortion politicians to the extent I can in the United States. I consider, however, to do so continually is to be a bad citizen; a "single issue" voter is an irresponsible, bad citizen. Too much is at stake in American elections to be a "single issue voter," because so many people outside the United States are impacted by the American people's choices. I know that from having lived a third of my life outside the United States, sometime among people who are directly imperiled by the foreign policy of America.
I'll remind you, O'Dreary, that we had an agreement to avoid each other's commentaries. I avoid yours. Do the same for me.

Tim O'Leary
6 months 3 weeks ago

Mr. Lewis - Your logic is faulty at best and dishonest at worst. The qualifiers 'to the extent" and "continually" and the denigration of single issue voting means you do support pro-abortion politicians at times, so your first sentence is FALSE. Your decision to avoid my comments (at least in the breach) and to deform my name is your responsibility alone. I didn't collude with you. Take responsibility for your own actions and your insults.

Bev Ceccanti
6 months 2 weeks ago

Robert Lewis : Your statement says you wouldn't have allowed the holocaust under Hitler to be a single issue important enough to consistently vote against it.

Robert Lewis
6 months 2 weeks ago

Actually, I DON'T think that the Holocaust of the Jews was worth the genocidal war of the 1940s.. Similarly, I don't think that the Central Powers' expansionism was worth siding with the equally imperialist Allies in World War I. All wars should be strictly defensive, as "just war" theology specifies, and the very last option. Karma works inexorably: the Shoah has produced the Nakba; the American Civil War, which was fought in defiance of what Founders like Jefferson thought of the right to secede, produced Jim Crow, and, ultimately, the chicken-frying of American politics with racism (after Nixon's and Reagan's "Southern Strategies). I'm willing to be a warrior to protect the weak wherever the battle is winnable and doesn't create, in its aftermath, more hatred and more violence. The regrettable fact is that the re-criminalization of divorce in this post-Christian nation would drive militant feminists to commit violent crimes all over the country. As for the Jews of Europe in the 1930s, they should have been saved by mass civilian action--which was, of course, impossible, because most of the people of Europe (French, Polish, Russian, Serbian, Romanian--you name it) had the same visceral hatred of Jewish people as the Germans did.

J Cosgrove
6 months 2 weeks ago

The so called brutally unfair model of capitalism has gotten more people out of poverty than any other single system foe organizing people ever known. Just 200 years ago 95% of the world was living in extreme poverty including most of Europe. What changed?

There are several different forms of capitalism. Free market capitalism has been the major eliminator of poverty.

Nora Bolcon
6 months 3 weeks ago

The truth as of 2014 in New York state the rate of abortion was 29.6 abortions Per 1000 women of child bearing age per Guttmacher research. How does this equal 1 in 3 pregnancies being aborted? First off this lie leads us to believe we know how many women are pregnant in New York at any given moment which we do not know. It presumes also falsely that women who abort in new York city, a place with much larger access to abortion than almost anywhere in the U.S., are all from N.Y. which is false also. This is why Guttmacher judges by women of child bearing age.

Again, all evidence available from any reliable sources like the world health organization or Guttmacher tell us that there is no increase to abortions in any country that allows pregnancy for any reason at any time compared to countries who restrict abortions as long as the countries offer free and easily accessible birth control. Quite the opposite. The facts are all countries in the world that make abortion difficult to access or a crime have greater rates of abortion without exception.

Warren Patton
6 months 3 weeks ago

The figure of 1/3 is arrived at by comparing abortions to live births. Both are public information.

And the evidence does not show that countries with more difficult access have more abortions. There are countries with restrictive laws and few abortions (Ireland, until recently) and countries with permissive laws and high rates of abortions (South Africa, Russia, Romania). And on the state level New York has the highest abortion rate and among the most permissive laws.

Jeremy Jones
6 months 3 weeks ago

this scenario mimics an extremist stance on gun free zones; ie. gun free zones and laws against carrying guns don’t stop criminals from carrying and using guns, so let’s remove the gun free zones, revoke gun restriction laws, and give everyone guns and gun training. Thus, as abortion restrictions and laws about person-hood don’t stop criminals from seeking illegal abortions, excessive use of drugs and alcohol during pregnancy, or throwing themselves down stairs, lets revoke abortion restriction laws and give everyone unlimited abortion access. To this I say the ball is no longer in play, it is now flat. In review, just as Moralist tactics had to change after Miller v. California in 1973 effectively legalized the Porn Industry, the pro-life Moralist tactics must now change to win the hearts and minds of individuals to make their own choices on morality, not through shame or laws, but through hope and by providing a better option for the impoverished considering abortion.

Tim O'Leary
6 months 3 weeks ago

Thank you Fr. Sawyer, for calmly and methodically outlining why this NY law takes this state to a very evil place. Cuomo may as well make his own NYPD hat: for New York Person Denial. It completely denies government personhood or protection for any child in the womb, at any time, irrespective of the mother's wishes or the doctor's wishes. It describes her murder as a fundamental right, and removes any conscientious objection for religious, moral or scientific grounds. It legalizes all motives for the killing, including gender, racial or eugenic. It is horrendous. It must be opposed by every fiber of the Church. There should be no willingness to vote for, or politically align with, anyone supporting this fiendish law. It ignores all scientific data on the humanity of the unborn, even when a fully formed child is sucking its tongue and squirming away from the scalpal. The Christian in America is like the proverbial frog in the heating water, and cannot recognize that the water is now boiling. The Church should have begun excommunicating abortionists and their allies from the beginning, as it is the only way to speak truth to an increasingly pagan populace and warn their flock of the evil in their midst. If the bishops want to regain any moral leadership on the child abuse issue, they need to start by removing from its pews any and all who go along with this extermination of the most innocent.

Jeffrey More
6 months 3 weeks ago

I agree with everything you say. The government of New York (in which, I’m sickened to say, I live) has indeed taken us to a very evil place. And now it appears that a faction of the Virginia legislature (apparently supported by their governor, who happens to be a pediatrician) is apparently trying to take us to a worse place with a proposed law that would, in effect, allow post-natal abortion in certain circumstances.

John Cassidy
6 months 3 weeks ago

Thank you, Father. I think an honest understanding of the realities is the best starting point. I've been afraid to make comments like this because it seems nobody want's ration discussion.

Bev Ceccanti
6 months 2 weeks ago

It's time to quit being delicate. If Jesus overturned the tables of the money changers, how would He respond to weak kneed clerics, apparently so bound up with concupiscence they can't think, let alone speak clearly. What a betrayal.. A bunch of Jesuits can't speak to women about abortion because 'they
aren't women and therefore 'can't really understand the emotions involved in this 'women's issue '.' or something to that effect. (See James Martin's so- called pro-life article.). They can't even give an unmitigated rebuke to infanticide in the birth canal and manslaughter on the table...

rose-ellen caminer
6 months 3 weeks ago

That a Catholic governor supports changing the course of the debate bringing it to this extreme, only underscores the obligation the Church has to excommunicate him. That instances of infanticide will be rare, is not the issue; he supports them and they can occur.That one should kill an unborn fetus who will die soon after birth, makes no sense. That the person will be in pain , if allowed to live,does not sound reasonable either. We have no way of alleviating peoples pain? Sounds more like we do not want the burden or the costs of caring for the seriously disabled.

I do agree that a problem with the pro life cause is its affiliation or perceived affiliation with Republicans and Conservatives where there is little concern and support for left wing policies. For whom less government means "more human freedom," and opposition to increasing government entitlements is the norm. If more pro life people were to be supporters of Democratic Socialism or just plain Democrats, rather then identify primarily with Republicans,and Conservatives, inroads into changing the hearts and minds of pro abortion fanatics might be possible.That is the only common ground I see; the anti abortion people need to move to the Left on the role of government in providing for the well being of its citizens;from cradle to grave,they should run as Democrats or Independents, and the pro choice people would then possibly be open to and capable of seeing the unborn through the lens of science and humanism, and human rights, rather then clouded by tropes of how all we pro life people care about are clumps of cells and fetuses before birth!

Mike Fitzpatrick
6 months 3 weeks ago

The foundation of the Democrat Party platform is abortion on demand at any time. The leaders of the party do not want abortion to be rare as you can see in NY and now with the Democrat leader in Virginia. Conservatives do want smaller government but the do want to help those that need it and they support private institutions that do a better job helping people than government agencies.

Scott Cooper
6 months 3 weeks ago

Amen!

Robert Lewis
6 months 3 weeks ago

Private institutions DO NOT do a better job than government agencies, because they simply do not have the money, the time or the resources to reach everyone in need. This is a canard, thrown up by so-called "conservatives" who do not want to see social democracy in America.

Dana Godfrey
6 months 2 weeks ago

Huh. "The foundation of the Democrat Party platform is abortion on demand at any time." That is patently false. Does your God not teach you not to lie? Your statement is beyond ridiculous! The right to choose is indeed an important issue, but it is far from the most important. Further, your comment that seems to lift conservatives up to some false higher ground by implying that they do indeed want to assist the less fortunate but think other groups do it better than the government is pure speculation and frankly, has absolutely nothing to do with the subject at hand. Allow me to introduce myself, a deeply Christian woman who firmly believes in the right to choose, but who spends her time advocating for better education, more options and opportunities, less vilification of women who choose not to raise the child they gave birth to, and last, but far from least, better maternal care to limit the numbers or women who die while pregnant or in childbirth. It is sad that we live in what is arguably the most modern society in the world but have a higher maternal death rate than any other first world country.

You want to stop abortions? Wonderful! Do the work to support education, access to birth control, health care for all, but especially for women of childbearing age and children. Support research into better infant health, and into finding ways for more children to be born healthy. This would include a huge investment in curbing if not curing drug addictions. Until YOU personally are doing these things, your mealy-mouthed commentary on horrid Democrats is nothing but an ignorant man running off at the mouth.

Warren Patton
6 months 1 week ago

We can debate this or that reason for supporting small government. There are a lot of potential reasons someone might favor small government. Whether or not you find any of them convincing it's not at all reasonable to treat it as a black-and-white litmus test for whether someone is a caring human being.

Mary Gail Frawley-O'Dea
6 months 2 weeks ago

Cuomo has already said he is not running for President in 2020, but by all means, keep the hysterical rhetoric going.

Mary Gail Frawley-O'Dea
6 months 2 weeks ago

Cuomo has already said he is not running for President in 2020, but by all means, keep the hysterical rhetoric going.

Karen Lucas
6 months 3 weeks ago

The primary job of a politician is to get reelected which absolutely requires pleasing ones base. Indeed, being outfront of the base on any particular issue makes for "front runners". Remember Joe Biden who told the press that gay marriage should be legal requiring President Obama to immediately change his somewhat neutral position or even anti-gay marriage stance. Tim Kaine and his wife as devout Catholics are for late-term abortion. It worked for Senator Kaine being selected for national exposure as the DNC's VP nominee. Governor Como has been running for the US Presidency since his Washington days and now has put himself over the top as a DNC front runner as he can now tout himself as the quintessence supporter of women's rights. After all, how can anyone fault these Democratic party politicians for not choosing the Republican party and have to be associated with a reprobate like President Trump who himself makes an antiabortion pitch to marchers to promote his own party standing. Unfortunately, these party loyalists have to take sides to promote their own career to feed their families.

Tim O'Leary
6 months 3 weeks ago

Karen - while you may be right in your characterization of Trump, isn't Cuomo showing himself to be much worse of a reprobate - putting his political prospects ahead of the most innocent?

J Jones
6 months 3 weeks ago

Karen, I understand your larger point. Nonetheless, the Kaines are not "for late term abortion". Here is his on-the-record response in the vice presidentisl debate. http://www.ontheissues.org/social/Tim_Kaine_Abortion.htm

Mary Gail Frawley-O'Dea
6 months 2 weeks ago

Cuomo has already said he is not running for President in 2020.

Dana Godfrey
6 months 2 weeks ago

No one is "FOR" late-term abortion. MOst especially the woman faced with the decision. Making a sane and logical choice to end the struggle of a non-viable fetus even at a late-term is NOT "infanticide" it is the loving decision that a woman who very much wants to be a mother makes for her child. It is a heart-wrenching experience, but it is still a better choice than insisting the child be brought to term and then watching it spend its moments of life in ungodly agony. The fact that you choose to pretend that women get to the point of being able to feel life and then flippantly choose to end it is proof that you have no real understanding of the situation at hand.

Michael Bindner
6 months 3 weeks ago

Roe will not be overturned, so this law is simply pandering to the pro-choice based in the Democratic Party. No court is going to end Roe and give it back to the states. Doing so would bring us back to the days of Plessy v. Ferguson, which was based on the theory that each state should be able to define relations between the races. Roe is a follow-on from Brown and it extends to Perry.

Warren Patton
6 months 3 weeks ago

Overturning Roe would not overturn Brown vs Board of Ed. Why would it?

Andrea Campana
6 months 3 weeks ago

The issue has to do with the 14th Amendment, under which Brown v. Board of Education overturned Plessy v. Ferguson (which allowed segregation) and under which Roe v. Wade was decided. The Amendment prohibits states from restricting the basic rights of citizens or other persons. I'm proud to say that my ancestor was the lone dissenter in Plessy v. Ferguson. But I find it incredibly sad that the amendment upholding his position allowing equality for blacks upholds the killing of innocent children.

Crystal Watson
6 months 3 weeks ago

One reason for the NY law is the fear that Trump and his super conservative Supreme Court will overturn Roe and send abortion decisions to the states. Similar law change in Oregon. The changes are not extreme - they protect women's health. If pro-life people were truly concerned about so many women getting abortions, they would champion access to cheap and effective contraception.

Tim O'Leary
6 months 3 weeks ago

Crystal - if you were truly concerned about the rights of women, you would support it being illegal to kill a child in the womb just because it's a girl. That is no longer an exception. Contraception is most available in NY and yet it has the highest rate of abortion. Planned Parenthood uses the same false argument even as it gives away free contraception. The PP President, Leana Wen, twittered on Jan 8 "Our core mission is providing, protecting and expanding access to abortion." The removal of the obligation to provide medical care to babies born alive in an abortion proves their number one goal is not to end the pregnancy, but a dead child.

Crystal Watson
6 months 3 weeks ago

- Study: Free Birth Control Slashes Abortion Rates (2012)
- The abortion rate is at an all-time low — and better birth control is largely to thank (2018)

Tim O'Leary
6 months 3 weeks ago

So, is there some shortage of contraception in the Democrat monopoly of NY state that makes it the leader in abortion killing?

Warren Patton
6 months 3 weeks ago

Indeed. And if lack of birth control really is the problem in NY, no one is in a better position to change that then Cuomo.

Warren Patton
6 months 3 weeks ago

"If pro-life people were truly concerned about so many women getting abortions, they would champion access to cheap and effective contraception."

This is a pretty outrageous statement- arguing that pro-life people do not really want to stop abortions. Or maybe you're trying to argue that they don't care about the unborn? Either way it's crazy.

Crystal Watson
6 months 3 weeks ago

Studies show contraception use lowers the abortion rate, yet pro-life people are anti-contraception. Studies also show that countries where abortion is outlawed have the highest rates of abortion, yet pro-life people aim to criminalize abortion. I submit that this isn't really about lowering the abortion rate for pro-life people, it's about making women toe some behavioral line.

Terry Kane
6 months 3 weeks ago

Crystal -
You claim that, "The changes are not extreme - they protect women's health." The changes are EXTREME - no hospital needed, no doctor; a school nurse can new perform abortions in her garage! That's extreme.
Can you say what you did? What is NOT extreme about it?
How is the health of women protected by this EXTREME law?

You also assert that, "Studies also show that countries where abortion is outlawed have the highest rates of abortion." This defies logic: if abortions are illegal, most who have had the procedure, or performed it, would likely not talk about it; the data would be next to impossible to obtain.
*Which countries were included in these studies you mention?
*Can you post the studies you reference?
The article states that 1/3 of pregnancies in NYC are aborted. This is with plenty of access to contraceptives and abortifacients. You wrote that "studies show contraception use lowers the abortion rate..." Do you believe that NYC abortion rate used to be higher than ONE THIRD of all pregnancies?
Of course, you could have meant that with contraceptives use, there would be less pregnancies and therefore less abortions - which does not even have to be stated.

Crystal Watson
6 months 3 weeks ago

- Abortion in the US is a very safe procedure and can be done by a PA or nurse practitioner in a clinic. Requiring a doctor and a hospital is a pro-life strategy to make an abortion more difficult to arrange and more expensive.
- Abortion rates go down when countries make it legal: report

Terry Kane
6 months 3 weeks ago

Crystal -
The link you provided cited ONE study (not studies as you mentioned) and gives no details whatsoever. Instead of relying on media to give you real information, you must use your own mind and seek other sources to find the truth - remember the recent Buzzfeed and CovCath debacles.
If one wants to protect women's health, a doctor and hospital involved medical procedures should be important (remember Joan Rivers). Difficulties and arrangements should not have precedence when a woman's health is concerned.
Can you respond to the other questions asked in an earlier post?
Maybe you cannot; if that is the case, it is understandable.

Crystal Watson
6 months 3 weeks ago

There are studies and articles citing studies that can be easily googled, but I doubt you will be convinced by any of them as you don't want that line of logic to be true. But here are a couple to get you started, from the Washington University School of Medicine - Access to free birth control reduces abortion rates. And In countries where laws permit abortion only to save the life of the mother, the abortion rate is higher at 37 per 1,000 women than the rate of 34 abortions per 1,000 in countries without such restrictions.
- The NY law is not extreme in allowing a very safe procedure to be performed by trained non-doctors ... abortion is one of the safest procedures done.

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