- The Washington Times - Monday, February 11, 2019

The Rev. John I. Jenkins, president of the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, issued a statement slamming New York’s recently passed Reproductive Health Act, which greatly expands abortion rights in the state.

The bill, signed into law by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo last month, decriminalizes abortion and drops most of the state’s previous restrictions on abortions after 24 weeks. It also allows midwives and nurse practitioners to perform abortions.

Mr. Jenkins on Thursday issued a lengthy statement saying the law provides a slippery slope in which politicians can determine whose lives are worthy of legal protection.

“Signed on Jan. 22, the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the law is seen as a reaction to a potential threat to that decision in the Supreme Court as currently composed,” the university president wrote, in part. “As such, the legislative initiative follows a pattern, adopted by both left and right, that makes our political life today so toxic: When your position is challenged, adopt an even more extreme, inflexible version of it, thereby eliminating any possibility of any reasonable compromise.

“The laws that have, throughout human history, protected unborn and new life did not arise from some obscure ecclesiastical doctrine or particular ideology, but from a moral instinct we all share to care for innocent human life,” he continued. “The great threat of the New York law is not only that it will remove protections for children in or recently out of the womb as well as for the mothers’ lives, but that it will also further numb this moral instinct so central to our common life.



“History, sadly, is full of examples where the lives of one or another group is deemed not worthy of protection — whether it is the physically disabled, the cognitively impaired, certain ethnic groups or the old and infirm,” he concluded. “As we contemplate the effects of this law and the lives it will take, we can only ask, with fear and trembling, ‘Who is next?’”

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