Women in New York filed a lawsuit Tuesday challenging a radical pro-abortion law that legalizes abortions for basically any reason up to birth in the Empire State.
The class action lawsuit argues that the New York Reproductive Health Act, signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2019, puts women in danger and violates the fundamental rights of women and children, including unborn babies who can survive outside the womb.
Along with expanding late-term abortions, the law repealed criminal charges for killing an unborn baby even in a violent criminal act against the mother.
In the lawsuit, victims of domestic abuse slammed New York for denying them and their children justice, the Catholic News Agency reports.
“New York has stripped women and their families of their ability to pursue justice for those deaths,” said Christen Civiletto, an attorney representing the women with the Women’s Alliance Against Violence. “That’s outrageous. In fact, it is contrary to the stated policy of the RHA itself: to affirm the ‘fundamental right [of women] to choose to carry the pregnancy to term, to give birth to a child.’” The alliance is part of the Thomas More Society, a pro-life legal group.
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Cecelia Hayes, Feminists Choosing Life of New York vice president, praised the lawsuit. In a statement, she said the law deprives women of their First Amendment right to petition the courts for redress of grievances and to seek judicial relief for the loss of their unborn children.
“This demeans women. When the law says your wanted unborn child is so irrelevant that he or she can be murdered without fear of prosecution, the status of women as mothers is diminished,” she said.
Her organization pointed to studies showing that pregnancy substantially enhances women’s risks of being lethally assaulted, and homicide is a leading cause of death for pregnant women. It also said domestic violence has increased against New York women since the passage of the pro-abortion law.
The lawsuit identifies pregnant women and unborn children who were victims of intimate partner and domestic violence in New York after the law passed. These include a Queens woman who was stabbed to death while pregnant. The Queens District Attorney charged the woman’s boyfriend with two crimes but later had to drop the second charge for the unborn baby’s death because of the new law.
Additionally, the new lawsuit argues that the New York law puts women’s health at risk by lowering health and safety standards for abortions. The law allows non-doctors to abort unborn babies, including nurse practitioners and midwives.
“There are numerous cases where women have died or been injured during abortions performed by unqualified and untrained clinic staff,” said Catherine Glenn Foster, a lawyer with Women’s Alliance Against Violence.
The lawsuit also argues that the law violates the rights of viable unborn babies by allowing them to be killed for non-medical “health” reasons, including the mother’s age.
Michele Sterlace, executive director of Feminists Choosing Life of New York and a lawyer with the alliance, said the lawsuit is true feminism in action.
“Feminism is inclusive, not exclusive regarding human rights. Human beings are not property, to be bought, sold or disposed of,” Sterlace said. “These are the principles on which feminist foremothers stood, and universal precepts that underlie the extension of human rights.”