Blog Post

May Almighty God Have Mercy on the State of New York

Commentary by Susan Brinkmann, OCDS

Pro-abortion legislators claimed a major victory on the 46th anniversary of Roe v. Wade when they passed one of the most draconian abortion laws in the U.S. which essentially permits abortion at any time until birth, claims a child isn’t human until it’s born, eliminates protection for babies born alive after abortion, and allows non-physicians to perform the procedure.

Americans United for Life (AUL) is reporting on the passage of the New York Reproductive Health Act (RHA), championed by Catholic Governor Andrew Cuomo, who plans to sign the bill into law and make New York the most life-hostile state in the nation.

“In signing the so-called 'New York Reproductive Health Act', Gov. Cuomo strips away all patient protections from vulnerable women and children and ignores the state’s interest in maintaining Supreme Court-approved health and safety regulations,” AUL reports.

Among the more onerous provisions of the law is the allowance of any “qualified, licensed healthcare practitioner” (i.e., non-physician) to perform abortions.

The law also throws away all objective standards for determining fetal viability. The standard set by Roe, which defined viability as the potential to “live outside the mother's womb, albeit with artificial aid,” was tossed aside and now allows the “licensed healthcare practitioner” to make that determination.

It also strips away protection for children born alive by stating that no “extraordinary medical measures” are required to help the child survive outside the womb. Cruelly, it leaves “extraordinary medical measures” undefined, leaving the life of an innocent abortion victim in the hands of the practitioner.

Even more concerning is how the bill tosses aside restrictions on late-term abortions by allowing third-trimester abortions to protect the mother’s health, rather than her life. This means that the standard set by Doe v. Bolton - which defined a mother's health as meaning anything from physical and emotional reasons to psychological and “familial” reasons - is  now sufficient in the state of New York to end the life of a child who could easily survive outside the womb. In other words, abortion is now permitted in the state until the point of birth.

As AUL’s President and CEO, Catherine Glenn Foster says, “New York now permits non-physicians to perform abortions and de facto permits infanticide of the sort that notorious Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell was convicted only recently.”

Her colleague, Steven H. Aden, Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel of AUL, agrees: “Planned Parenthood and other leading abortion advocates have for years claimed that abortion is healthcare. Why then are alleged advocates of healthcare legalizing the removal of physicians from the operating room and allowing optional surgical procedures to be conducted without state regulatory oversight?”

This can only happen when alleged advocates of healthcare become blinded by a political ideology fueled not by science or medicine, by the twisted semantics of the profit-loving abortion industry.

But that’s not nearly the end of the damage this bill does to women and children. The RHA also strips away widely supported protections such as informed consent, parental notification, limits on taxpayer funding of abortion and even a ban on sex selection abortion, effectively setting up an abortion-free-for-all in the state.

And pro-abortion women aren’t the only ones getting a free pass under this new law.  Abusive partners who may wish to make their partner “un pregnant” through violent means will also see criminal sanctions repealed. This means that if a man punches a pregnant women in the stomach and causes her to lose the child, the man will no longer be charged with a felony but only of a lesser crime.

Compare this to other states where, because of scientific discoveries about the beginnings of human life, such cases are now being tried as double-murders. Not in New York! The state's legislators have opted to return to the 1960’s so that they can pretend the baby is just a “blob of cells” whose death is not worthy of being called a serious crime.

In its haste to give only those women and organizations who support abortion the freest possible access to the procedure, the RHA strips the rights of those who oppose it by determining that any individual or organization that objects to referring or counseling someone for abortion can be denied all state funding and pressured to shut down. This leaves religions healthcare institutions with no protection.

This monstrous law, which has rightfully been on hold in the New York legislature for a decade, was only able to pass yesterday because of new Democratic majorities in both houses. Although not all Democrats are rabid abortion advocates, there were enough of them in the Senate yesterday to pass the law on a 38-24 vote.

Ironically, at the moment of passage, Karen DeWitt of New York State Public Radio reported that someone shouted, “May Almighty God have mercy on this state.”

Unfortunately, the voice was ultimately drowned out by raucous cheers from legislators and onlookers who somehow deluded themselves into thinking that a bill allowing the wholesale slaughter of innocent human beings is a victory for “women’s rights" rather than what it truly is - a disgrace to humanity.

As the AUL reports, “Gov. Andrew Cuomo turns the traditional Democratic mentality of abortion being ‘safe, legal, and rare’ on its head, instead imposing an extremist, anti-scientific ideology advocating abortion as a default response to pregnancy anytime, anywhere, for any reason, and by anyone.”

And, as a result, “Abortion, a major surgical event, is now less regulated in New York than almost any medical procedure and is arguably less regulated than any New York City restaurant.”

May God have mercy on those who passed this monstrosity.

Lord, give them a new heart and put a new spirit in them. Remove from them their hearts of stone and give them hearts of flesh so that they may one day realize the beauty and majesty of the great gift of human life. We ask this in the name of Our Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen. 

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