On the 46th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the New York legislature cheered the passage of one of the most aggressive abortion laws in U.S. history. The new law would take away protection for an unborn child up to the point of birth, but is being celebrated as a win for women’s health.
Some members of the media and many of the new law’s supporters have called attention to the new measure as protection for women in the case that the Roe decision is overturned this year by the Supreme Court. The law states that it will continue to allow access to abortions for women, but in actuality, it does much more than this.
According to cnn.com, it allows for late-term abortion, permitting an abortion to be performed after the deadline of 24 weeks “if the fetus is not viable or when necessary to protect the life of the mother.”Advocates for the new law praise it due to the fact that it will allegedly protect the mother and simply allow for the same practice to continue in New York as is available now under Roe. To justify this bill only as a reinforcement of Roe v. Wade is mass political marketing at its worst.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said, “It’s about the health and safety of the mother and it’s always been the point where the conservatives wave the flag, they want to roll back Roe v. Wade — this is not gray here it’s black and white.”
In reality, many conservatives allow for three exceptions to abortion: rape, incest and life of the mother. When campaigning for the presidency, Donald Trump made his position clear when asked about his views on the issue. He told NBC’s “Today” that he would “absolutely” include the three exceptions. To paint the New York bill as a protection for a woman is dishonest and blatantly ignores the entirety of what it does—it dehumanizes a living being.
The law also takes away the possibility of criminal prosecution for those who perform late-term abortions, and allows “medical professionals who are not doctors to perform abortions.”
This sends a clear message about how our culture views the value of all human life, not just fetuses. Critics argue that it limits prosecution for domestic violence cases by transferring the law from the state’s penal code to the health code. This not only puts an unborn child at risk, but may also threaten a pregnant woman in a dangerous relationship.
After signing the controversial bill into law, Governor Cuomo said, “Today we are taking a giant step forward in the hard-fought battle to ensure a woman’s right to make her own decisions about her own personal health, including the ability to access an abortion.”
Yes, we have taken a “giant step forward,” but it is not in a direction of equality of human life; and as much as the law is spun as something positive for women, that much cannot be ignored.