Celebrating Hope and Life
The wedding pictures bring tears to my eyes and warmth to my heart. The young lady looking forward to building her life with her new husband is radiantly gorgeous. Why was I so touched by these pictures posted by a friend? I knew immediately, it was hope fulfilled!
We received the frantic call from Lauren’s parents—premature labor, could we help with…. This was bad, really, REALLY BAD because the mother was exactly 24 weeks along. Saving the baby seemed an impossible feat. How could this premie survive birth or even develop normally? The questions surrounding her survival seemed insurmountable.
We met this tiny miracle at the hospital. She could be held in the palm of a hand. Her skin was translucently delicate and, hooked up to various apparatus, it was apparent that her life was hanging in the balance.
How we rejoiced when her parents were finally able to bring her home. This gutsy little fighter was a living symbol of survival and hope. Was it easy? Absolutely not! Worth the money? Sleepless nights for her parents? Concerns for illness? Wouldn’t trade it for the world!
And here she is getting married! Hope and life for the future!
Thus, I am horrified by the New York State legislature’s exuberant applause celebrating abortion of up to full-term pregnancies in signing S2796 into law. This is gruesome—a macabre celebration in the name of woman’s fundamental rights.
The new law declares that “comprehensive reproductive health care, including contraception and abortion, is a fundamental component of a women’s health, privacy and equality. The New York Constitution and U.S. Constitution protect a woman’s fundamental right to access safe, legal abortions…. (S2796, pg. 1, lines 1-5).
“A practitioner may perform an abortion when, according to the practitioner’s reasonable and good faith professional judgment based on the facts of the patients 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” (S2796, Section 2599-AA, #1).
There are absolutely no parameter’s given for what constitutes “fetal viability” or “protecting the patient’s life and health.”
Viability, according to the Cambridge English dictionary, is the “ability to continue to exist or develop as a living being.”
An argument could be made that a successfully delivered baby isn’t viable. After all, does that little person have the ability to feed, clothe or shelter themself? So when does the child become viable, when they can scavenge food like an animal? or earn money to obtain their own food?
Do we determine that there are certain standards for viability:
• A certain sex? China’s allowed sex selection for years and is having major population problems as a result.
• Disabilities? Is any degree acceptable? Why or why not? Who do you know in your life who’s been enriched by knowing someone who is either physically or mentally challenged? We have good friends with not one, but two autistic children. The parents were extremely consistent in raising them and both are now young adults that work and contribute to society and our lives!
• Syndromes that will shorten the child’s life? None of us know how long our lives will be or what will give it extra meaning or purpose. I know a family who’s daughter suffered from cystic fibrosis. Even though she knew her life would be shortened, she lived it fully even getting married. The richness of love and relationships triumphed over a devastatingly short life.
A miscarriage truly is the only circumstance where viability is truly the case.
Protecting the Woman’s Life and/or Health
Just a reminder that there are no parameters or guidelines in this bill regarding what protecting the woman’s life and health means which leaves it wide open to expansive interpretation. Does it include mental health, stress or an actual health issue such as a tubal pregnancy? The latter is truly an emergency and is treated as such.
The clarion cry is, “It’s MY body, therefore it’s my choice!” Yes, it is your body, but in becoming pregnant, the two bodies involved in sexual union create a third body with it’s own unique set of DNA and blood type—a body within a body.
Pregnancies are closely monitored for high blood pressure, gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia. When I was pregnant, my OB/GYN assured me that should my life or the life of the baby inside me became endangered towards the end of pregnancy or delivery that there were many ways to intervene on behalf of both of us. In fact, our last child’s delivery became dicey, but I had confidence in the doctor’s abilities, directions and knowledge that in an emergency the baby could quickly be delivered via C-section.
What about rape? A horrible circumstance where the sex is forced not consensual. Even in this case, a choice can be made albeit a difficult one to give life in the midst of suffering. I have a friend, a virgin college freshman, who was raped outside on campus on her way home from studying. She became pregnant. She agonized over this question, but firmly believed a human life was growing inside her. Despite being misunderstood and judged by many around her, she chose to give birth to the baby boy and put him up for adoption. She is now a wife and mother with two boys and a girl.
I believe fear is the motivating factor behind many abortions. Fill in the blank….fearful of consequences, provision, discovery, the future. How am I going to……? I’m not ready for…..?
There a many options which do not include abortion and especially late term abortions or partial birth abortions: addressing the fears and obstacles, bringing the baby to term and adoption.
Are we as a society really ready for the consequences to this expansive and horrifying law? Please note the other issues that this law encompasses below including changes to the penal code. Have we indeed lost our conscience regarding the wonder of life for the sake of convenience? Where, or where will it end?
This bill, S2796, signed into law also changes health care procedures and penal code with substantial consequences.
Changes according to the new law:
1.Definition of a person means “a human being who has been born and is alive” (S2796, pg. 2, lines 44 & 45). Previously a person also constituted an “unborn child with which a female was pregnant for more than twenty-four weeks (S2796, pg. 2, lines 32 & 33).
2. This changes penal code regarding murder, manslaughter of any degree, criminally negligent homicide and abortion after 24 weeks to be null and void. In other words if you’re 38 weeks along, get attacked, beaten and your baby dies as a result it is no longer a crime against the “thing” in the womb because it is not a person.
3. Section 4164 of the Public Health Law was also repealed. In this section were provisions for abortions after 12 weeks to be performed in a hospital; for abortions performed after 20 weeks a second doctor was to be present to “take control of and provide immediate medical care for any live birth that is the result of the abortion.” Such child was to given immediate legal protection. (See Appendix for entire text). So, should the attempted abortion go awry, there is no longer any care required for the now person “who has been born and is alive.” Or, are the techniques of these advanced abortions so dreadful and ghastly that survival truly is impossible.
4. It is no longer a misdemeanor to sell any type of contraception to anyone under the age of 16 and it no longer has to be a licensed pharmacist according to the repeal of Education Law 6811 (See Appendix).
The bill S2796 in it’s entirety: https://legislation.nysenate.gov/pdf/bills/2017/S2796
Public Health Law Section 4164 Repealed: https://codes.findlaw.com/ny/public-health-law/pbh-sect-4164.html
Education Law Section 6811 Repealed: https://codes.findlaw.com/ny/education-law/edn-sect-6811.html.
Woman considered this her baby and the perpetrator will now only be held accountable for her murder. https://nypost.com/2019/02/03/pregnant-woman-stabbed-to-death-in-queens/.
Appendix: Laws repealed by S.2796
New York Consolidated Laws, Public Health Law – PBH § 4164. Induced viable births
1. When an abortion is to be performed after the twelfth week of pregnancy it shall be performed only in a hospital and only on an in-patient basis. When an abortion is to be performed after the twentieth week of pregnancy, a physician other than the physician performing the abortion shall be in attendance to take control of and to provide immediate medical care for any live birth that is the result of the abortion. The commissioner of health is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations to insure the health and safety of the mother and the viable child, in such instances.
2. Such child shall be accorded immediate legal protection under the laws of the state of New York, including but not limited to applicable provisions of the social services law, article five of the civil rights law and the penal law.
3. The medical records of all life-sustaining efforts put forth for such a live aborted birth, their failure or success, shall be kept by attending physician. All other vital statistics requirements in the public health law shall be complied with in regard to such aborted child.
4. In the event of the subsequent death of the aborted child, the disposal of the dead body shall be in accordance with the requirements of this chapter.
New York Consolidated Laws, Education Law – EDN § 6811. Misdemeanors. Contains 26 parts—All repealed
8. Any person to sell or distribute any instrument or article, or any recipe, drug or medicine for the prevention of conception to a minor under the age of sixteen years; the sale or distribution of such to a person other than a minor under the age of sixteen years is authorized only by a licensed pharmacist but the advertisement or display of said articles, within or without the premises of such pharmacy is hereby prohibited;