I’ve been seeing a lot of wringing of hands, gnashing of teeth concerning New Your States amended abortion law. The amount of remonstration and hyperbole online has been amazing, mostly from what I can see are conservative voices. I really haven’t seen much, if anything from the pro-choice crowd and I thought that was interesting because, according to all of what I’ve read to date, the law says a woman may be able to terminate a pregnancy at a whim, up to right before going into labor.
I thought, that can’t be right, but then since I’ve not read the actual law, I can’t say for sure what is true or not. We often hear or read about something that turns out not to be true at all. Many of us want to join the outrage mob because, well, what we’ve read or heard fits within our view on the subject. I admit I had an emotional reaction to what I had read about this law, because I cannot imagine a woman terminating a pregnancy at the last moment on a whim, which is what it seems like, from what I had read, was actually the law. I thought, there has to be some sort of medical reason this would be allowed, wouldn’t there? Maybe, maybe not. I actually had no idea, because, I have not actually read the relevant text of the bill to determine one way or the other.
Of course, no one should jump to any conclusion about anything without doing their own research. I decided to actually look up the text of the bill and was hoping it wasn’t too full of legal mumbo-jumbo for me to understand. Well, yes and no to that, but let’s go to the actual text (bolding and italics are mine):
§ 2599-AA. ABORTION. 1. A HEALTH CARE PRACTITIONER LICENSED, CERTI-
FIED, OR AUTHORIZED UNDER TITLE EIGHT OF THE EDUCATION LAW, ACTING WITH-
IN HIS OR HER LAWFUL SCOPE OF PRACTICE, MAY PERFORM AN ABORTION WHEN,
ACCORDING TO THE PRACTITIONER’S REASONABLE AND GOOD FAITH PROFESSIONAL
JUDGMENT BASED ON THE FACTS OF THE PATIENT’S CASE: THE PATIENT IS WITHIN
TWENTY-FOUR WEEKS FROM THE COMMENCEMENT OF PREGNANCY, OR THERE IS AN
ABSENCE OF FETAL VIABILITY, OR THE ABORTION IS NECESSARY TO PROTECT THE
PATIENT’S LIFE OR HEALTH.
Under current law in New York State, a pregnancy may be terminated before the 24th week, so nothing has changed there, it’s the part italicized/bolded which is what have people in a uproar. The wording at the beginning of that is interesting, “absence of fetal viability”. I’m unsure what that means other than that if it is determined that, if carried to term, the then child cannot survive without extraordinary measures. I may be wrong, but that interpretation makes sense to me and of course, nowhere in the text does it force the decision upon the patient.
I just don’t see anything here that should cause the uproar that it has over the last several days. Of course it’s expected that the evangelical right (they pretend to be conservatives) would be against anything that seems to extend the timeframe that a woman may terminate a pregnancy. But the same occurs on the left whenever a state attempts to restrict the same time. So it’s one outrage mob today, another one tomorrow.
Of course, there’s a lot of that mumbo-jumbo I mentioned earlier below the plain text from above, and maybe there’s something in all of that, but it doesn’t seem like it is. Here’s the full text.
This is a never ending debate. Before anyone decides that their rights are being violated, or that someone is just trying to kill more babies, instead of listening to the partisans on either side, we should do our own investigation to determine the truth.