In today’s New York Times, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo published a stunningly misleading op-ed. Framed as a response to President Trump’s State of the Union address, Cuomo’s op-ed argues in favor of New York’s recently passed Reproductive Health Act, one of the most sweeping pro-abortion laws in the country, and along with it argues against the very foundations of this country, with a little window-dressing of misleading statistics to boot.
Cuomo starts by casting Roe v. Wade as part of what he calls a broad and decades-long bipartisan consensus that created a “constitutional right” to abortion. “Roe has been repeatedly reaffirmed by the Supreme Court, in multiple decisions, as recently as 2016, and has been supported by justices selected by both Democratic and Republican presidents,” he wrote. This, however, is a common argument of pro-abortion politicians and forms a central part of their line of attack against pro-life judicial nominees in the Senate. In reality, Roe v. Wade was decided by a slim 5-4 majority on the Supreme Court and has been controversial ever since. Roe negated multiple state laws prohibiting or limiting abortion. Hundreds of thousands of Americans have protested the decision annually in Washington, D.C. for 45 years. In fact, recent surveys have shown that only 12% of Americans want abortion legal and on demand.
New York’s new abortion law “codifies existing law,” and “protects rights of its citizens,” Cuomo claims. In fact, it does nothing to protect the pregnant women who will be left more vulnerable to domestic abuse because of this law. It does nothing for the misogynistic standards for women that cause some of them to feel their only option is killing their child.
Cuomo also cites the Planned Parenthood v. Casey decision, omitting that it was also a controversial 5-4 decision by the Supreme Court. He points to Justice O’Connor’s ruling that “confirmed ‘the state’s power to restrict abortions after fetal viability, if the law contains exceptions for pregnancies which endanger the woman’s life or health.’” Cuomo uses this ruling, and its exception for a woman’s “health” — which was expanded by Doe v. Bolton to also broadly include “emotional” or “familial health” — as a basis for arguing for New York’s Reproductive Health Act.
Cuomo accuses “Mr. Trump and the religious right” of “spreading falsehoods about New York’s law to inflame their base,” but the truth is, pro-lifers have actually read the law — and it’s extreme. But opposition to abortion really isn’t about religion. Cuomo follows in the footsteps of his father, a pro-life Catholic politician until he expediently switched positions in order to win elections. Cuomo pushes the “personally opposed” line of reasoning with abortion, which makes little sense at all. “Only by separating constitutional duties from religious beliefs can we have a country that allows all people the ability to pursue their own theological and moral principles in a nation true to its founding premise of religious freedom,” he writes. But clearly, ‘religious freedom’ should not include killing or harming other human beings with impunity.
Opposition to the killing of a viable preborn baby need not be based on religious grounds. This common pro-abortion argument ignores the medical reality of viable babies and a mother’s health, which is that third-trimester abortions are never medically necessary for the health of the mother. If a baby can be delivered dead after a four-day-long abortion in the third-trimester (post 25 weeks) – which involves killing the baby with an injection of digoxin or potassium chloride — then a baby can be delivered alive and immediately separated from his mother via a C-section.
Cuomo downplays the significance of abortion on viable babies, a common argument that abortion supporters have been trotting out for quite some time. He says, “Third-trimester procedures are extremely rare, making up only about 1 percent of all abortions.” Yet in a country where there are nearly a million abortions per year, this still means the murder of approximately 8,000 to over 12,000 babies in a procedure that is frequently done on healthy babies, according to Guttmacher’s own data.
I want to clear something up so that there is absolutely no doubt.
I’m a Board Certified OB/GYN who has delivered over 2,500 babies.
There’s not a single fetal or maternal condition that requires third trimester abortion. Not one. Delivery, yes. Abortion, no.
— Omar L. Hamada, MD, MBA (@OmarHamada) January 23, 2019
If even one viable baby is killed under the Reproductive Health Act, all the “extreme conservatives” that Cuomo denigrates would be right to work passionately for the abolition of this gruesome practice that involves the killing of another human being.
And while he labels it to be a “ridiculous claim” that the Reproductive Health Act “will allow abortions up to a minute before birth” he provides no evidence or legal basis for his assertion. Without any oversight and with such a broad “health” definition as Doe v. Bolton allows, there is nothing to stop this from being the case. A state rep. in Virginia, when directly questioned on a similar proposed law, admitted that abortion up to minutes before birth would be allowed under the bill.
Cuomo also uses misleading statistics about public attitudes on abortion, saying, “The 73 percent of New Yorkers who support Roe includes 59 percent of Catholics.” The same study also found that only 36 percent of New Yorkers believe that “abortion should be legal in all cases,” a finding more in line with the Marist poll in January 2019 that indicated 75 percent of all Americans favor “significant restrictions on abortion.” The Marist poll also found that 41% of self-described pro-choice Americans support abortion only in the first trimester, and 56% of all Americans think abortion is morally wrong.
Every American deserves the same protection under the law that any other citizen receives, and this speaks to the rights of its unborn citizens as well: male and female, black and white, of differing abilities. Cuomo’s op-ed uses half-truths to contort fundamental American values in support of a radical abortion agenda.
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