This month Americans have become aware, if they weren’t already, of just how radical the pro-abortion movement has become. It started in Albany, N.Y., where the state’s legislature passed, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed, the Reproductive Health Act. The governor crowed that the new law “is a historic victory for New Yorkers and for our progressive values” and he even celebrated by ordering that New York City landmarks “be lit in pink” — to mourn the thousands of girls who would never draw breath thanks to the new law? No, “to celebrate this achievement and shine a bright light forward for the rest of the nation to follow.”
What makes the law so radical is that it permits abortion at any point in a pregnancy — even up to the point of delivery. And although it restricts abortions, in part, “to protect the patient’s life or health,” the definition of “health” is too vague to mean anything.
That’s not all. The law grants non-physicians the power to perform abortions. It repeals a section of the state’s law that protected children born alive during an abortion — meaning that this child could be killed outside of the womb and nobody would be prosecuted. As the Jesuit priest Sam Sawyer puts it, “The new law does not contain any meaningful restriction that is likely to ever prevent an abortion.”
Keep in mind, this is a state in which a third of pregnancies already end in abortion. But for some reason the state’s politicians, aided and abetted by NARAL and Planned Parenthood (our nation’s largest abortion provider), decided that this wasn’t enough. Perhaps the plan is abort half of all unborn children.
Unfortunately, New York’s law has emboldened radicals in legislatures across the country, from New Mexico to Rhode Island and Massachusetts. In Virginia, a state delegate proposed a similarly radical bill. When asked by a Republican colleague whether the bill would have permitted an abortion to be performed even as a woman was in labor, the lawmaker answered, “My bill would allow that, yes.” The next day, the state’s Democratic governor — who had run as a moderate — defended the proposed bill and, in chillingly calm terms, described how to perform an “abortion” on a child that had been delivered. In short, infanticide. And even after that description, he had the gall to say, “I think this was really blown out of proportion.”
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Of course, the push for these bills across the country isn’t a coincidence — it’s the result of a coordinated effort by radical organizations. Last year, Planned Parenthood announced what it called its Care for All initiative, a strategy intended to protect abortion rights in the event that the Supreme Court eventually overturns Roe v. Wade. “With the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh, we are kicking our plan into high gear,” it announced. “This multi-million dollar, nationwide effort will be working to ensure that abortion is still accessible in the United States, no matter what happens at the Supreme Court.” Planned Parenthood receives more than half a billion dollars annually from taxpayers, by the way. It is no wonder that it has a budget for such initiatives.
Part of the plan involved working directly with state legislatures, “kick[ing] off the 2019 legislative session by doubling down on this work. We will be working with more than half of the states in the country to push policies to protect, expand, and enhance access to safe, legal abortion.”
If there’s any solace to be found in these developments, it’s that Planned Parenthood’s goals are far out of step with even the Democratic base. According to a recent poll conducted by Marist, only 25 percent of Americans who call themselves pro-choice believe that abortion should be available at any point in a pregnancy. In fact, 42 percent of this demographic think it should be limited to the first trimester, and another 17 percent think it should only be allowed in cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother. It is only the radicalized politicians who are pushing the abortion-on-demand narrative.
To their credit, some Democrats have taken a stand against the new abortion extremism. Rep. Dan Lipinski of Illinois has been a consistent voice against the radical abortion agenda, and as a result has been shunned by his party. Lipinski understands the extremism of his colleagues and works to bring them to a more moderate platform.
More Democrats should be focused on representing the values of their constituents rather than the interests of the abortion industry.
LifeNews Note: Jeanne Mancini is the president of March for Life. This column originally appeared at Real Clear Politics.