by WorldTribune Staff, January 24, 2019
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Jan. 22 signed into law the Reproductive Health Act, which allows late-term abortion until the baby’s due date if it meets certain requirements.
Meanwhile, a judge in Iowa on Jan. 22 struck down that state’s “heartbeat law,” which banned all abortions from the time a fetal heartbeat could be detected.
Cuomo’s signing of the late-term abortion law and Polk County Iowa District Court Judge Michael Huppert’s striking down of the “heartbeat law” coincided with the 46th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.
Planned Parenthood celebrated in a tweet: “This. Is. Huge. @NYGovCuomo JUST signed the Reproductive Health Act into law — a big win towards securing safe, legal abortion & access to contraception for all! Can’t wait to see other states follow New York’s lead to protect our health and rights.”
Cuomo, who says he is Catholic, called it “a historic victory for New Yorkers and for our progressive values.”
In referring to the new law as Cuomo’s “Death Star,” Albany Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger said the Reproductive Health Act is “nothing less than a license to kill a pre-born child at will.”
When the law passed the New York Legislature, video showed lawmakers in the state assembly chamber erupting into cheers.
“Not only is this kind of legal protection of late-term abortion an affront to the humanity of the unborn and the dignity of society, but New York celebrated it publicly, as if it had just won the Super Bowl,” Nicole Russell wrote in an op-ed for the Washington Examiner.
On the night the law passed, One World Trade Center “lit up in the color pink to honor the passage of the bill. Imagine, a beacon of capitalism, shining not to showcase freedom and prosperity but the ‘liberty’ marking the path toward infanticide,” Russell wrote.
The American Spectator’s Scott McKay tweeted: “I’ll never set foot in New York again. And I suggest none of you should, either. Or do any business with companies headquartered there when it’s possible to avoid it.”
Bishop Scharfenberger said the New York law “goes far beyond Roe vs. Wade in its aggressive extremism. Granting non-doctors permission to perform abortions does nothing to advance the security and health of women.”
Moreover, “repealing criminal sanctions even in cases where a perpetrator seeks to make his partner ‘un-pregnant’ through an act of physical violence does not represent any kind of progress in the choice, safety or health of women,” the bishop said.
“Removing protection for an infant accidentally born alive during an abortion is abject cruelty,” he said, “something most people of conscience would deem inhumane for even a dog or cat.”
Russell noted that “Two of the most heinous parts of the bill describe the new parameters of abortion: if ‘the patient is within twenty-four weeks from the commencement of pregnancy’ and second, and this is the worst qualifier, ‘or the abortion is necessary to protect the patient’s life or health.’ The wording of that second phrase is so comprehensive, even in legal lingo, protecting the patient’s health could mean almost anything.”
The New York lawmakers’ and abortion advocates’ reaction to the passage of the bill “demonstrates that politicians in New York have overlooked the dignity and sanctity of the least in our society to further their own progressive self-interests,” Russell wrote.
In his ruling striking down Iowa’s “heartbeat law,” Judge Huppert said the law was unconstitutional and would not be compliant with the Iowa Supreme Court’s earlier decisions that affirm a woman’s right to abortion.
Huppert wrote in his opinion on Jan. 22 that the heartbeat law’s “narrow amount of time afforded [to] women” to have an abortion was not consistent with a “fundamental right,” as the state Supreme Court had ruled.
As it did with the New York law, Planned Parenthood issued a tweet celebrating the Iowa decision: “BREAKING: Today, on the 46th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, a Polk County District judge ruled to protect access to safe and legal abortion in Iowa by striking down the unconstitutional 6-week abortion ban. #WeWontGoBack #Roe46”
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, a Republican, said in a statement to Courthouse News Service: “I am incredibly disappointed in today’s court ruling, because I believe that if death is determined when a heart stops beating, then a beating heart indicates life.”
The Iowa law required physicians to perform an ultrasound test for a fetal heartbeat on any woman seeking an abortion, and barred abortion if a heartbeat was detected.
The Iowa Supreme Court in June struck down a law that required a 72-hour waiting period for women seeking an abortion.