The New York Bill and Born-Alive Bill Explained

By Hannah MacDonald, Global Issues Division Head

This is a brief piece explaining the recent events surrounding abortion. For a much more detailed op-ed on the abortion industry and Planned Parenthood, read “Let God Plan Parenthood.”

On January 22nd, 2019, New York celebrated the passing of the New York State Senate Bill S240. Section 1 of the abortion expansion law permits abortion right up until the day before the child is due to be born, and the passing of this Bill caused an extreme uproar, with one woman commenting, “I’m a pro choice person, and this doesn’t sit well with me.” The new law allows for abortions through the third trimester of pregnancy if the mother’s health is at risk. However, the terms of the bill do not say “extreme health risk” but rather if “…the abortion is necessary to protect the patient’s life or health” (line 48-49). This language is purposeful and not defined, as what defines protecting health can vary wildly. One woman asked, “Does this mean if the woman says she has suicidal thoughts or feelings of anxiety about giving birth? Does it mean she is afraid of the physical pain she might experience or nervous that she might not be able to provide for the child?…But a child, just one day before birth, can be killed.” In addition, the new bill removed the clause requiring ultrasounds because statistically, more women have been inclined to refuse an abortion after seeing the moving child in their womb.

Moreover, on the interactions between issues surrounding abortion and race, one self-identified democrat stated that the new “law will continue to plague Black and Hispanic communities, calling upon expectant women from our communities to sacrifice the lives of their children so that the multimillion dollar abortion industry can continue to grow.” This fear stems from the creation of Planned Parenthood, as the founder herself, Margaret Sanger, was recorded saying, “We do not want word to get out that we want to exterminate the negro population.”

Some people, however, support the bill in its attempt to further abortion availability. One woman who works for the New York Abortion Access Fund stated that she finds it “incredibly frustrating” that people are limited to abortion later in their pregnancy and that “the human body doesn’t follow a legal timeline. People need options not restrictions.” While many of the voices for the Bill support it because it allows for late term abortions, the stance neglects the fact that a child in the third trimester is very much that- a child. The point of view also contradicts the already existing Unborn Victims of Violence Act of 2004. This act “recognizes an embryo or fetus in utero as a legal victim, if they are injured or killed during the commission of any of over 60 listed federal crimes of violence.” The law defines “child in utero” as “a member of the species Homo sapiens, at any stage of development, who is carried in the womb.”

Also as I was writing this update on the Bill, I glanced up to see headlined across the TV that the ‘born alive’ bill to provide medical care to infants who survive failed abortions was blocked in senate. The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act would have required that “any health care practitioner present” at the time of a birth “exercise the same degree of professional skill, care, and diligence to preserve the life and health of the child as a reasonably diligent and conscientious health care practitioner would render to any other child born alive at the same gestational age.” In simpler terms, this now means that a born child, one out of the womb, fully on its own, can be left to die if it was supposed to be aborted and something during the abortion process failed. Political parties aside, beliefs on stages of a fetus aside, to say that a child born and in the hands of a doctor can be left for dead should be too far for anyone; there is something wrong with our nation when the House must debate a born alive bill. While the failed Born-Alive Abortion Protection Act affects the nation, the New York Bill only applies to New York. However, Massachusetts has joined the bandwagon, and is currently working to pass a bill just like it.

Father God,

  • We first come to you humbled and asking for forgiveness. Thank you Lord for being so merciful and loving.
  • Please give us wisdom in these times and allow us to have Your will at the front of our minds so that all our actions glorify You.
  • Allow this generation to be a force against worldly corruption and work tirelessly to bring Your kingdom to earth. Please bring guidance over lawmakers and legislation as they make decisions with strong moral and ethical implications for our nation.
  • Thank you for being perfect in your ways–for being sovereign, loving, and forgiving.