Exercising Due Diligence
Upon reading the several definitions of the word ambiguous I decided that for me, at this particular moment, the current events that surround us are profound and stand the chance to change us as a society which made this a necessary topic to write about. The lines are already drawn in the sand and people can't seem to get together long enough to talk about these things. Civil debate is no longer exercised and most people have an 'it's my way or the highway' attitude.
I would like to see us get back to a time when we are reasonable. When we could talk to one another and even though we don't agree, maybe we can still be friends. The subject ahead is a very controversial one but one that needs to be addressed.
In New York, the State Senate signed into law Bill S240 - The Reproductive Health Act. It was unclear what the Bill meant exactly as it depends on what side you listen to. It's an ambiguous subject to say the least... to one side it means one thing and to the other side it means something else. During my research I typed into the search 'new york abortion law 2019 text' and the search results were somewhat surprising. The majority of what popped up were many left leaning news sites defending the bill with the occasional right leaning site sprinkled in for good measure but no factual information without bias on the Bill itself.
I went to the New York State Senate website and decided to download the Bill in PDF form and read it for myself.
What the Bill says (in English)
From what I understand after reading the Bill...
There's not much change between this Bill and the law that's already in place when it comes to the woman's right to have an abortion but the changes that do appear can be considered inhumane for many.
Section 2 of the bill creates a new Article 25-A of the Public Health Law (PHL), which includes section 2599-aa, Policy and Purpose, and section 2599-bb, Abortion, which states that an abortion may be performed by a licensed, certified, or authorized practitioner within 24 weeks from the commencement of pregnancy, or there is an absence of fetal viability, or at any time when necessary to protect a patient's life or health.
I will now highlight a few things that I believe need to be expanded on. These terms are too vague and leave a loophole that people can take advantage of.
- An abortion can now be performed by a licensed, certified, or "authorized" practitioner within 24 weeks...
This means that not only can licensed physicians perform abortions, but so can nurse practitioners, midwives, etc... my godchild is a nurse practitioner. There is no way I would allow her to perform an abortion on me. Shouldn't a procedure like this only be done by a medical doctor?
- or at any time when necessary to protect a patient's life or health
I believe 'health' needs to be expanded on more. Let's take Mental health for example. Can a mother who's just a week away from her due date all of a sudden say that the life growing inside of her will drive her mentally insane and decide to abort the pregnancy at that point and as long as the physician agrees, then it's completely fine to terminate the pregnancy?
At what point do we say the 'group of cells' growing inside of a woman becomes a life? And when does that life have the basic human right to life, to live? Some people will argue that you have that right at conception. Some will argue that it's when the heart grows and starts beating. Some will argue it's when we start to feel pain. And some will argue that it's not until birth. This Bill somewhat sums it up by re-defining the word 'person'. Keep in mind that they explain in the Bill that the words in brackets is considered old law and is to be omitted.
Homicide means conduct which causes the death of a person [or an unborn child with which a female has been pregnant for more than twenty-four weeks] under circumstances constituting murder, manslaughter in the first degree, manslaughter in the second degree, OR criminally negligent homicide[, abortion in the first degree or self-abortion in the first degree].
§ 7. The section heading, opening paragraph and subdivision 1 of section 125.05 of the penal law are amended to read as follows:
Homicide[, abortion] and related offenses; [definitions of terms]
The following [definitions are] DEFINITION IS applicable to this article:
[1.] "Person," when referring to the victim of a homicide, means a human being who has been born and is alive.
So they want to omit the term 'or an unborn child with which a female has been pregnant for more than twenty-four weeks' and they changed the definition of the word person to say that an unborn child can not and will not be recognized as a victim because a person is only a person after you are born. We have basically given women the right to choose who is worthy to be born because you are no longer viable until the day you are born.
But yet it is considered a double homicide if you kill a mother who is pregnant and the baby dies too. Hmmm.... why would it be a double homicide if you aren't a person yet?
In the state of Virginia, Democratic Delegate Kathy Tran proposed a similar Bill...
Kathy Tran was obviously uncomfortable answering the questions. Thankfully, this Bill did not pass.
When Do We Draw The Line?
When is it okay to speak up for those who can not speak up for themselves? Why do we protest the death penalty for murderers and rapists because it's inhumane? Why do we consider the growth of bacteria on Mars a 'lifeform'? Why do we chain ourselves to trees because they are living and we can't stand to watch them being cut down? And yet we cheer when a Bill passes that takes away the rights of our unborn children and tells us that they are not viable until the day they are born. Viability shouldn't be taken this lightly.
At some point, that group of cells growing DOES become a life and it is well before that life is born. Maybe this will put things into perspective...
Amazing advancements have been made in medicine. If you are viable enough to be treated by a physician, and the last time I checked only morticians worked on those that aren't living, then you are viable enough to have the basic human right to life. Right? Doctors don't treat 'non-living' patients.
Our laws on this matter should not be ambiguous. They should not be open for interpretation. Yes, a woman should have the right to choose but there should be limits and at some point that life in your belly needs to have the right to life and should have some basic protections in place. Our laws are set to take care of special circumstances but when we start to blur the lines of something that is clearly wrong, I have to wonder where a decision like this will lead. I feel like this Bill had to de-value the word person in order to make it seem like what it proposes isn't such a bad thing.
This crosses the line of it being a woman's right to choose to something much more sinister. If you want to make a choice like this, while you should have the right to choose, you should also have to make that choice in a timely fashion. Self responsibility should be the norm and if you choose to wait then at some point that life you are growing should be protected from you making a decision like that just because you feel like it. You should be informed and aware of what a decision like this means. You should know what the life inside of you will be experiencing when you wait till your last trimester to make a decision like this. You should have to watch a video of the procedure being done in the last trimester.
This isn't liposuction and I am of the opinion that the group of cells in your belly, in the third trimester is a life with a beating heart and fingernails, and you are choosing whether or not that life is worthy of being born, and I have to question why anyone would have the right to make a decision like that if it's not costing you your life.
This has nothing to do with politics and if you comment please don't make it about politics. This is about life and when we consider a life to be viable and valuable. It's really as simple as that.
Many of you will probably not agree and that's fine. I am a mother and couldn't imagine making a decision like this after hearing his tiny heart beating. His life had value to me when he was in my womb. I will never understand anything other than that. Every life matters. Even the tiny ones who don't have a voice to say so.
We are going down a dark path if we continue signing vague, ambiguous Bills like this into law without considering exactly what they mean.