- - Sunday, February 24, 2013

New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s sudden fall almost five years ago left his Reproductive Health Act in limbo, but in New York state it is easy to find a champion for any pro-abortion bill. Gov. David Paterson supported it, but was too preoccupied with other issues to grab the baton. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, however, seems determined to take it across the finish line. It is a bill that would hurt everyone: unborn children, their mothers, the mothers’ families, doctors and hospitals, and our entire health care system. It must be stopped if we are to have any chance of ever becoming a civilized society again.

The proposed legislation would remove parental-notification laws and informed-consent laws, restrictions on taxpayer funding of abortion, restrictions on late term abortions and essentially all restrictions. It would also allow non-physicians to perform abortions. Simply put, the goal of the Reproductive Health Act is: abortion anywhere, anytime, by whomever, for whomever.

New York state has a lot of problems, but a shortage of abortions is not one of them. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, New York leads the nation in abortions, of which 4.1 percent are performed for out-of-state residents. In addition, the Guttmacher Institute notes that the state’s abortion rate is nearly double the national average. Based on this data, it would seem that the one industry that is doing just fine in New York’s ailing economy is the abortion industry. 

Granted, “reproductive health” is important. This bill, though, is not about reproduction. It is about abortion, which is anti-reproductive. Moreover, the bill would harm the health of women and young girls by allowing any “licensed health care practitioner” to perform abortions. These novices will be trained in the mechanics of ending the life of a fetus, but how adept will they be at saving the mother’s life when something goes wrong?


This bill demonstrates that, in spite of the rhetoric, abortion has never been about women’s safety. The fallback of pro-choice advocates in any debate is “health of the mother.” Yet did anyone even consider the “health of the mother” while deciding that a major surgical procedure performed on a minor can be hidden from her parents? No other procedure – not even a toenail clipping — would inspire such a laissez-faire attitude about parental consent. Will parents be contacted if something goes wrong and their daughter’s life is in danger, or will this be hidden from them as well? Who will be to blame if their daughter dies on the operating table and they never see her again?

Even if the abortion goes as planned, parents often eventually find out about their daughter’s abortion, which can wreak havoc on families. The effects of the ordeal can surface either through the girl’s emotions, body language or words. For young girls attempting to keep abortions a secret, the effort may often be futile, and the issue tears families apart. Just what we need: more fractured families. 

In addition to abridging the rights of parents, this bill also takes away the rights of doctors and hospitals. There is no conscience protection in the bill, so hospitals, doctors and other health care practitioners would be required to perform abortions. They would not have the “right to choose,” even if they viewed the procedure as medically unnecessary, dangerous or morally objectionable. This could result in Catholic hospitals shutting down and some excellent doctors and health care workers having to find other occupations. I suppose pro-choice advocates are in favor of choice only when it suits them.

The absence of conscience protection is mind-boggling, given that there is no shortage of abortionists. After all, the lure of profit will always attract a sufficient number of doctors to perform abortions, and the addition of non-physicians to the ranks would further increase the number of abortion practitioners. Is coercion really necessary? No. So what is the motive behind forcing hospitals and doctors to perform abortions? Perhaps Mr. Cuomo is waging a war against the Catholic Church, or feels an abortion agenda mirroring that of President Obama will lead him down the same path to the Oval Office, or both.

Speaking of Mr. Obama, if the bill passes, it would likely fold neatly into Obamacare and the state exchanges, which are scheduled to be become fully operational in January 2014. Abortion on demand would be law in New York State and presumably a mandated requirement in all health insurance plans. If so, New York state residents won’t have the “right to choose” while shopping around for a health plan next year. They will have to pay for unrestricted abortion whether they like it or not. They will have to pay even higher premiums than they are now, so that their neighbor’s 12 year-old daughter can have a covert abortion. How’s that for choice?

Mr. Cuomo has been claiming he wants to protect children, yet he is proposing a law that would make it even easier to destroy them. There is nothing good about the Reproductive Health Act. It needs to be killed immediately, before it kills more unborn babies.

Zachary Krajacic is a writer in Buffalo, NY.