New York’s attorney general issued a harmful legal opinion this week that could lead to more abortions of viable, late-term unborn babies in the state.
A 1970 New York law prohibits late-term abortions after 24 weeks when unborn babies are viable outside the womb. However, state Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman believes there should be exceptions to the law, the New York Times reports.
In a new legal opinion, Schneiderman argued that the 1970 law conflicts with more recent Supreme Court decisions about abortion. He believes the state should allow late-term abortions in cases when unborn babies have a potentially fatal disorder or when the mother’s health is in jeopardy.
The attorney general described the exceptions as limited, but they are not. In Roe v. Wade and its companion case Doe v. Bolton, “health” exceptions for abortion are defined so broadly that they allow basically any abortion.
“The use of ‘life and health’ of the mother really means abortion on demand throughout all nine months of pregnancy,” Dennis Poust, a spokesman for the New York State Catholic Conference, said in reaction in Schneiderman’s opinion.
The legal opinion does not overturn the law, but it does give hospitals and abortion facilities the legal grounds to start doing late-term abortions and challenge the current law, according to the NY Times.
Dr. Stephen Chasen, an abortionist who the NY Times described as a maternal fetal medicine specialist, praised the opinion. Back in 2004, Chasen also defended partial-birth abortions and told a federal court that he had “no” concern for unborn babies when crushing their heads in the gruesome, late-term procedure.
“Now we can feel comfortable that we’re not at all at risk of being prosecuted for taking care of pregnant women who are in an untenable situation, and hospitals don’t need to worry that they’re going to be caught in the middle,” Chasen said of Schneiderman’s opinion.
Chasen said he sees “a handful” of women wanting late-term abortions every year.
Abortion activists in New York have been trying to push a late-term abortion expansion for years. In 2013, Gov. Andrew Cuomo attempted but failed to pass the deceptively named “Women’s Equality Act,” which would have expanded abortions in the state.
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Abortion activists have not had success pushing late-term abortions through legislative action in New York. Schneiderman’s opinion appears to indicate that they now are trying a different route through the courts.
Lori Kehoe previously told LifeNews explained the faulty logic that late-term abortions are necessary to protect women’s health.
“If a mother needs to end her pregnancy in the third trimester, it can be safely ended with a C-section. A C-section takes minutes and results in a newborn baby. No one has to die. A third trimester abortion takes days endangering a mother’s life and results in a dead baby,” Kehoe said.
The abortion rate already is extremely high in the state. In 2012, 101,674 of New York’s children lost their lives to induced abortion – the highest abortion rate in the nation, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
The statistics are even more startling in New York City. Approximately 40 percent of pregnancies in New York City end in abortion. Among African Americans in New York City, that number climbs to 60 percent, according to city health department data.