Abortion until Birth Passed in New York, Tabled in Virginia
Thursday, January 31, 2019

2019 began with pro-abortion activists in left-leaning states launching aggressive campaigns to declare abortion legal with no restrictions on access as they fear a newly conservative U.S. Supreme Court could overturn the 1973 rulings that made abortion legal. The action is also in response to the record number of abortion restrictions passed in conservative states; 424 abortion restrictions enacted since 2010 and in 2018, 15 states adopted 27 new restrictions.

According to the Boston Globe, the introduction and passage of extreme pro-abortion laws is part of a nationwide strategy by pro-abortion organizations including Planned Parenthood Action Fund, the American Civil Liberties Union, and NARAL Pro-Choice America. The Globe states, “The Planned Parenthood Action Fund expects over half the states to push for policies protecting and expanding access to reproductive care or expanding birth-control access as the Trump administration tries to curtail both.”

The New York state legislature approved —and Governor Cuomo signed—Senate Bill 240, the Reproductive Health Act sponsored by Liz Krueger, on the 46th anniversary of Roe v.Wade, January 22. The bill will allow abortion on demand during the first 24 weeks “from the commencement of pregnancy” and throughout pregnancy if “there is an absence of fetal viability” or if “the abortion is necessary to protect the patient’s life or health.”

The Act does not contain a definition of “health” but the U.S. Supreme Court in the abortion decision Doe vs Bolton explained its broad interpretation of what is meant by “health”: “The medical judgment [for a late-term abortion] may be exercised in the light of all factors—physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman's age—relevant to the well-being of the patient.”

Similarly, the broad definition of health by the World Health Organization (WHO), states that health is "a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity."

While some defenders of the New York law have tried to dispute that it allows “abortion on demand until birth” the broad explanations of what constitutes “health” by the U.S. Supreme Court and the WHO support the argument that the law allows abortion on demand throughout pregnancy until birth.

Meanwhile, lawmakers in Virginia acted to protect the unborn by tabling a bill in committee that would allow abortion even when a woman was dilating and in labor.  The Repeal Act, House Bill No. 2491, supported by Governor Ralph Northam (D), attempted to remove regulations regarding second and third trimester abortion. During questioning in committee, bill sponsor Delegate Kathy Tran (D) admitted that there was no end limit in the bill and that if a woman requested an abortion for mental health reasons while in labor, the law would allow her to have an abortion.

The video of her admittance—“My bill would allow that, yes,” –can be seen here.

President Trump criticized the Virginia law calling it "terrible" and promising it would "lift up the whole pro-life movement like maybe it’s never been lifted up before."

Governor Northam expressed his own extreme position that was viewed as support for infanticide when asked about the bill allowing abortion up until birth he responded, “If a mother is in labor...the infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians & mother."

Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., called Northam's remarks "morally repugnant” stating, "In just a few years, pro-abortion zealots went from 'safe, legal, and rare' to 'keep the newborns comfortable while the doctor debates infanticide. I don't care what party you’re from — if you can’t say that it’s wrong to leave babies to die after birth, get the hell out of public office."

Vermont is set to consider a bill similar to the one passed in New York, state House Bill 57, which denies the right to life of any unborn child stating “A fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus shall not have independent rights under Vermont law”. The stated intent of the bill is to “recognize as a fundamental right the freedom of reproductive choice and to prohibit public entities from interfering with or restricting the right of an individual to terminate the individual’s pregnancy”.

The section “Interference with Reproductive Choice Prohibited” removes legal prohibitions against self-induced abortion stating, “No State or local law enforcement shall prosecute any individual for inducing, performing, or attempting to induce or perform the individual’s own abortion.”

New Mexico, Massachusetts, Washington, and Rhode Island are also considering new laws expanding access to abortion or removing restrictions on abortion.

National polls, however, indicate that extreme pro-abortion legislation does not reflect the views of most Americans. According to a recent Marist Poll, three in four Americans (75 percent) say abortion should be limited to – at most – the first three months of pregnancy. It also includes more than six in 10 (61 percent) who identify as “pro-choice” on abortion; less than a third of Americans (30 percent) would want the Court to rule to allow unrestricted abortion.