Here in New York, legislators in Albany have been trying to pass Reproductive Health Act (RHA), since 2007. It has been a long battle for us, which unfortunately we knew would probably be lost along with the seats this past election.
Tuesday, January 22, 2019, was a grim day in the state of New York not only for unborn babies, but for women too.
As I sat listening to some of the senators voice their reasons for voting for passage of RHA I could not help but think of the many women we serve each year here in New York that are devastated from a prior abortion. Each year, Lumina receives close to two hundred requests from people who have been suffering emotionally, spiritually and sometimes physically, and I am sure that is only the tip of the iceberg since most women stay shrouded in silence and shame for years before coming forward for help.
Sen. Brad Hoylman, from Manhattan, told the story of a woman named Erica, who he said was inconvenienced when she had to travel out-of-state to have a late-term abortion. Hoylman argued that New York owed Erica an apology for forcing her to look out-of-state to find legal third-term abortions.
Over the years, I have worked with a number of couples who experienced late termination due to an adverse diagnosis. Not surprisingly, Tuesday’s vote brought up much pain for them. One woman, “D,” wrote me the following in the hope that I could get her voice out there:
This past week has been horrendous for me and so many others. Watching people, especially women, celebrate a law that makes abortion legal to the very moment of birth has been heartbreaking. Unfortunately, I know from firsthand experience that late term abortion is anything but responsible care for women. I would like to leave the babies aside for the moment and only speak for women.
Twenty years ago, I had a late-term abortion at 36 weeks gestation. I had found out only two weeks prior to the abortion that my baby was severely ill and would possible die soon after birth and if she lived would be disabled and would need multiple surgeries and would never walk, talk, or have a good quality of life. This was the basis of the recommendation from the doctors to abort. I was in shock and my mind reeled upon hearing these dire predictions. I was so very vulnerable and looked to the medical professionals to help me. Instead I was pressured to abort at that late date! I had to travel out of state and had to make a decision within two days. Never once was I counseled about how I could have my baby and help her at all. Never once was I encouraged to speak with other parents of disabled children for support. It wasn’t even an option for these doctors. Pro-choice? I think not! I wasn’t given a choice, not really. “This is what you need to do” is what I was told.
Fast forward twenty years and I am still devastated by this. Saying I regret allowing these so-called health care providers to push me to do the unthinkable is an understatement. It took me a long time to come to terms with it all. I have heard a politician clamoring for an apology to a woman who had to travel out of state for an abortion. He said we owe her an apology for not having this savagery available here in NY [at the time]. I too had to travel out of state for an abortion, and I too would like an apology.
I would like for the doctors to apologize to me for pushing me to do something without knowing any of the risks to myself, to my future fertility. I would like an apology from the doctors for convincing me that my daughter’s life was worthless. I would like an apology because I was bullied by those who were supposed to care for me and my baby. They failed us both and it has caused me unmeasurable grief and heartache. How dare all of these politicians, doctors, and pro-choice advocates speak about caring for women! I am a woman and I feel abandoned. -D
Her experience is not unique. Contrary to what Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, a Yonkers Democrat would like us to believe, this bill had nothing to do with women’s health. “We’re saying here in New York, women’s lives matter. We’re saying here in New York, women’s decisions matter,” Stewart-Cousins said.
Sadly, Stewart-Cousins is either ignorant when it comes to why people often abort, or she does not really care about women and the harm abortion causes them.
The truth is, countless numbers of women are coerced by husbands, boyfriends and parents, or, like the woman who shared above, many are pressured by the medical community or others in a time of great vulnerability to terminate an adverse diagnosis without being given options. Others buy in to the lies of the abortion industry believing that their life will go back to the way it was before their pregnancy only to find out the hard way it does not happen. Some will never have other children, and as we all know sadly some die from supposed “safe, legal” abortion.
While Stewart-Cousins and Gov. Andrew Cuomo styled the act as a victory for New York’s women, many of us would beg to differ. In what is already the abortion capital of the world, we will now see an increase in the killing of the unborn and probably the harm to women.
Cuomo’s next move is to amend the New York constitution to further protect his extreme pro-abortion views. While Cuomo calls RHA “progressive,” it is more of a bow to the extreme pro-abortion agenda in a state already filled with the loss of innocent blood. Progressive? I think not. Barbaric is the word.