New York Considering Legalizing Late-Term Abortions, Allowing Abortion Up to Birth

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   May 26, 2017   |   11:53AM   |   Albany, NY

A radical new pro-abortion bill in New York would legalize abortions on viable, late-term unborn babies.

In 1970, New York became one of the first states to legalize abortion, three years prior to Roe v. Wade. The law allows abortions up to 24 weeks for any reason, and later if the woman’s life is at risk.

The new legislation being considered in New York would expand abortions by allowing women to abort their unborn babies up to birth. Slate reports the bill would allow late-term abortions when the unborn baby is diagnosed with a fatal anomaly or when there is a threat to the mother’s health.

Here’s more from the report:

[T]he 1970 provision in the New York penal code remains, and it will take a piece of legislation to change it. A bill currently percolating in the state legislature—it passed the state Assembly earlier this year—would do the trick by removing abortion from the penal code altogether. It would legalize abortions performed after 24 weeks’ gestation in cases of fetal nonviability or threat to a woman’s health. If passed by the state Senate and signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, it would also allow advanced practice clinicians like nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants, not just doctors, to offer certain kinds of abortion care, an important step forward for abortion access in areas with few abortion providers.

On the surface, the allowances for late-term abortions may seem limited. However, exceptions for the mother’s “health” often are so broadly defined that they allow any unborn baby to be aborted up to birth.

Previous attempts to legalize late-term abortions in New York have failed, but abortion activists have not given up.

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Last September, state Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman issued a harmful legal opinion that could lead to more abortions of viable, late-term unborn babies in the state.

Schneiderman argued that state 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 Times described as a maternal fetal medicine specialist, praised the opinion last fall. 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.

New York State Right to Life spokeswoman Lori Kehoe previously explained the faulty claim 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 New York. 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.