The Governor’s Cruel Abortion Bill

All abortions are acts of terrible cruelty. Late-term abortions are particularly barbaric – they are typically done by dismembering the child while she is still alive and capable of feeling pain. There is no civilized way to kill a child in her mother’s womb – or anywhere else, for that matter.

Our laws do little to temper this cruelty. Thanks to the Supreme Court’s perverse jurisprudence, there is virtually no effective ban on any abortion at any stage of pregnancy. The one ban that has survived judicial nullification, the partial birth abortion ban, has likely had no real effect, since it left abortionists free to choose another method, equally cruel, to kill the child.

The innate cruelty of the abortion mentality has been brought into clear view by Governor Cuomo’s proposed abortion expansion scheme. This is the same approach he unsuccessfully tried a few years ago, which was thwarted by sustained opposition by pro-lifers. This time, the Governor has gamed the legislative system by squirreling his abortion expansion bill in one of his budget bills. This corrupt and anti-democratic maneuver makes it very difficult to eliminate the abortion proposal, which would remove any restrictions on the reasons for late-term abortions, permit non-doctors to do abortions, and eliminate any protection for the unborn child against a direct assault. I’ve outlined elsewhere the dangers of this proposal.

There is one provision in the Governor’s bill that is so cruel and so inhumane that it deserves separate attention and special condemnation.

In our current Public Health Law, there is a section that is called the “Baby Doe Law” (section 4164). Enacted in 1974, this law requires that whenever an abortion is performed after 20 weeks, a second doctor must be present whose responsibility is to take care of the child in case she is born alive. This should surely be uncontroversial – it is an element of basic humanity to provide care to a helpless vulnerable person. In fact, a related federal law, the Born-Alive Infant Protection Act was passed in 2002 by the House by a wide margin and the Senate by unanimous consent.

Yet the Governor’s bill would repeal the Baby Doe Law. In other words, he would deny health care to a vulnerable helpless child, crying for her mother and struggling to survive. He would leave her fate in the hands of an abortionist, whose primary job is to kill her.

This is not an academic discussion. Babies are born alive after abortions and abortionists do nothing to care for them. Some abortionists, like the infamous Kermit Gosnell, deliberately murder them. A study published by a highly respected medical journal has estimated that over 5% of babies survive abortion at 21 weeks and almost 10% survive a 23 week abortion – at a time when many of them would be able to survive if they were given proper medical care. According to official New York statistics, there were 2,106 abortions after 20 weeks in 2015. That means that there could be over 100 and perhaps as many as 200 babies born alive in New York after abortions, many of whom were viable. There’s no way to know how many of them received decent medical care.

This horrifying reality was brought into the light in the recent Congressional investigation into the alleged sale of fetal tissue by Planned Parenthood. One Planned Parenthood doctor testified:

I can tell you that none of our Health Centers provide obstetrics care. So they don’t deliver babies. So they don’t have anyone who can provide care, nor do they know what that care is. . . . We don’t deliver babies at Planned Parenthood. . . . [O]ur affiliates don’t provide obstetrical care. So therefore, they don’t know how to manage a term infant or a premature infant. (emphasis added)

Another doctor from a university hospital in New Mexico, who performs late-term abortions and trains other doctors to do so, testified:

Q: So does your curriculum call for training of doctors of what to do if a child is born alive because of an induced abortion?
A: No.
Q: No training at all?
A: No.
Q: There’s no resuscitation training?
A: OB/GYN doctors do not resuscitate neonates. (emphasis added)

Reflecting on this and other chilling testimony from abortionists, the Congressional panel concluded,

The testimony… suggests a lack of medical training and of any sense of obligation to be trained to preserve the life of an infant that survives the abortion procedure. It reflects a philosophy that a right to abortion somehow carries a guarantee of the death of the infant expelled during the procedure.

This is what the Governor wants to enshrine in New York law. The deliberate killing by neglect of babies who have already been born and who can survive with basic care. To bring us back to the level of the ancient Greeks and Romans, who left unwanted children out in the woods to die of exposure and neglect.

Infanticide is the technical term.

It is cruel and barbaric by any name.

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