Last week, Governor Mario Cuomo signed into law a bill from the New York State Legislature implementing what he calls "a full Roe v. Wade". I find this admiring and reprehensible at the same time I find this admirable because I believe that this is about how the issue of abortion should be settled. I mean this should be a state level issue that is voted upon by either the representatives of the people in that states legislature or by a referendum of the people directly.
I find this method far preferable to the method of how we arrived at Roe v. Wade. Just in case you don’t know, Roe v. Wade is the 1973 landmark Supreme Court case that legalized abortion on demand throughout the United States. It was a decision for one case of one woman who wanted an abortion and couldn't get it because the laws in her state made the practice illegal. The matter was decided by nine judges who were not elected by the people and “by precedent” forced upon all 50 states.
I support New York's action to do this legislatively because I think each state should, either through the legislature or by popular referendum, decide as a state on passionate issues like this. So while New York may pass something like this, Nebraska may not and it should be perfectly fine either way. I support this because this is an ideology consistent with my position that the states are actual independent countries and need to decide internal issues such as this on their own and not have the federal government, which is supposed to regulate the states and not the actions of the people in the states. So I applaud New York for taking such a step.
I personally find the the action of aborting a child to be reprehensible, spiritually, morally and ethically. I can and do moderate my position because I do not have the power and I do not want the power to regulate a woman's body or any aspect of any other person’s life. I will always advocate for the woman to deliver the child, however in the end, that decision (and the karmic debt) is hers to bear alone.
When you look at the New York abortion bill, the particulars of it are a total abortion on demand at any point in the pregnancy for any reason. Which means that pretty much as long as the baby is not in the process of coming out on their own (i.e. the mother is in labor), the mother can decide to destroy the child.
There are three general exceptions under which most people agree that abortion is acceptable. They are:
- In cases of rape or incest;
- For the life of the mother;
- The child would be malformed (a known severe mental, developmental or physical birth defect)
According to Gallup, public support is in the majority for an abortion in the first trimester if one of those conditions are met. Down Syndrome is at 49% (and within the margin of error), but “for any reason” is at 45%.
In the same poll, the people were asked the same questions about the third trimester, respondents still gave a majority support for life of the mother and rape or incest. Everything else dropped under 50%, with “for any reason” at the bottom at 20%.
While a proper full term white pregnancy is 40 weeks, medical technology today deliver a baby as young as 25 weeks with a 50% chance of survival. That baby will have many lifelong medical conditions because it is not fully developed. A child can be delivered at 27 weeks (which is seven months, the beginning of the third trimester) with a 90% chance of survival and very little if any medical intervention or life-long medical issues.
The current dividing line between “fetus” and “child” is, “The child is ‘completely expelled’ from the mother” and one of these conditions are met:
- Has a heartbeat;
- Pulsation of the umbilical cord;
- Voluntary muscle movement.
Which leads us to the “late term” or “partial-birth” abortions. I'm sorry to be gruesome here, but in a partial birth abortion, the doctor induces labor and brings the baby out feet first, leaving the head still inside the vaginal canal (so “it” still meets the first condition above and is legally a fetus and not a child). While the head is still within the mother the doctor pierces the back of the “fetuses” skull to scramble and destroy the brain, then removes the brains through a suction tube.
As of this moment, in the state of New York, that is perfectly legal, all the way up to the second before the child wants to come out on their own.
I now have a question, very serious question, because this has happened at least once that I can find. If, during the initial stages of a partial-birth abortion, the “fetus” pops out all the way, be it through its’ own random movements or the doctor flubbing it, could the procedure continue and the “clump of cells,” now a child is terminated? I guess in New York State, the answer is “yes.” Now, do the people of New York agree with this law? I don't know. I do know we will find out during the next state election cycle when the legislators who voted for it are either ejected from, or returned to office
Writing this article wounded my soul. My soul cries out against the action while my mind praises the process it was arrived at. This has been one of the hardest articles I have ever had to write and I’m angry and sorry it had to be written in the first place.