Cuomo’s Abortion Expansion Bill: What’s the Problem?
A good friend of ours read Cuomo’s Women’s Equality Act, specifically the hotly contested Part J abortion expansion aspect. He noticed the benign sounding language as well as its brevity compared to its longer more obviously heinous predecessor known as the Reproductive Health Act to which Cuomo referred vowing to pass it in his State of the State address. Many people have asked me this question. My response to this question the first time I heard it was, “Why is this newer, apparently softer version of the act viewed by abortion advocates as a major advance?” The language in this version as opposed to Eliot Spitzer’s 2007 bill is noticeably more vague making it even more disconcerting. The reason why people like me get nervous with vague bill language is because of the lawmaking process. The lawmaking process generally follows five basic steps: 1) Laws are first written, 2) passed, 3) rules are drafted to interpret the law, 4) the rules are implemented and 5) enforced. This bill is especially dangerous because there is so much wiggle room for interpretation during the rule making phase. And guess who gets to interpret the new laws?
Many attorneys from several different organizations looked at the bill. And while the simple fact that virtually no pro-life or GOP affiliates were brought in to help craft bill language should be enough to question the bill, let us dig a little deeper.
It’s all about what the bill says and doesn’t say. To merely codify Roe as the bill indicates is to say abortion on demand through all 9 months of pregnancy will be the law. This position ignores all subsequent Federal restrictions as well as the ability of States to apply restrictions as noted in the Supreme Court case Planned Parenthood vs Casey. This alone could enshrine abortion as an untouchable fundamental right in New York.
The bill uses the word ‘viability’ as pertaining to the baby creating a relative threshold for when an abortion can be done. Fetal viability is not objectively set force in the law and is left to be defined by ‘a licensed physician.’ The baby is alive at conception so therefore by definition it is viable. But let’s not get bogged down in details here. It’s just the law not the rule. Beyond that, the physician determining viability is usually the abortionist himself. This represents a major financial conflict of interest. This is the same kind of language used in PA law which permitted Gosnell to perpetrate so many of his atrocities.
Coupled with the dubious concept of ‘viability,’ to say abortion should be made available for the life or health of the woman is curious language. According to Supreme Court case Doe vs Bolton, health is defined by the circumstances. Hence a woman can get an abortion for any reason that is or could make the mother feel a sense of discomfort (emotional, economic, etc).
To use the term healthcare provider in reference to delivery of abortions without limiting it to a licensed physician could easily mean lower level providers who don’t typically diagnose, treat, or otherwise perform surgical procedures. California this year considered a bill permitting nurses to do abortions so . . . you do the math.
To affirm a right of conscience ‘not’ to perform abortions explicitly provides no protection for those who refuse to refer for them. Moreover, those healthcare providers who work for a State certified facility are all required to implement State law when applicable. Hence providing all women access to abortion is a foregone conclusion in hospitals, clinics, etc by policy. What happens when a healthcare provider refuses not only to abide by policy but also to refuse to participate in upholding that policy?
Additionally, abortion malpractice has been stripped from the penal code altogether. This means that botched abortions will be much more difficult to prosecute outside of the toothless medical licensure boards. This has been viewed as rolling out the red carpet for Gosnellesque quackery.
Contact your Senator to encourage them to stand firm this last week against Cuomo’s WEA which harms women and children while protecting quacks by clicking here.