I am a pro-life, Catholic college student who has been a part of guided philosophical discussions about when personhood begins, what reproductive healthcare means (the definition seems subjective to me), and how doctors call the same thing by two different names as a persuasive technique sometimes (child/fetus). I have sat in these discussions sometimes silently, sometimes a little outspoken, but in the end, I go home thinking that no one really wants to end their child's life, but they feel cornered to do it out of fear.
This fear could stem from lack of information (adoption is a wonderful option!), lack of resources (Pregnancy Care centers can help with that!), lack of financial/family support, fear of the pregnancy ending the life of the mother and child(ren), or something else.
Now that I've introduced where I stand, let's introduce the hot topic of the day - New York's RHA bill.
New York state passed the Senate Bill S240 on the 46th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade (and also a couple of days after our country's annual March for Life event in Washington, D.C.). It is about abortion and it is known as the Reproductive Health Act (RHA).
The following two quotes are from the NY State Senate website that has the bill's full text (which I read in its entirety):
Section 2 of the bill creates a new Article 25-A of the Public HealthLaw (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.
JUSTIFICATION: In 1970, New York legalized abortion in some circumstances, thereby recognizing that a woman has a fundamental right to make medical decisions about the course of a pregnancy. Three years later, the Supreme Court of the United States issued its landmark decision in (Roe v. Wade), 410 U.S. 113 (1973), holding that this fundamental right is protected by the United States Constitution.
Those are the main points of the bill and why New York state wanted to update its laws on abortion.
First of all, let me say that not all of this bill is bad.
If the child has already died inside of the mother's womb between the age of 24 weeks and birth, then I think it is okay to remove the child from the womb with the utmost care and concern for both the deceased child(ren) and his/her mother. According to the dictionary definition of abortion, removing an already dead child from the womb is NOT an abortion.
According to the dictionary, an abortion is the purposeful ending of a human pregnancy OR it is the expulsion of a fetus from the uterus by natural causes before it is able to survive independently (also known as a miscarriage).
But I disagree with the other part of this law, which supports abortion if the mother's life is in jeopardy after the initial 24 week commencement period.
I can only imagine the fear an expectant mother, the expectant father, their family, friends, and their physician experience when enduring a difficult, potentially life-threatening pregnancy. But there has to be a better way than killing the child(ren) to secure the safety of the mother.
How does killing the baby to save the mother justify the act of killing an unborn innocent?
Not to be that person, but Bella from the Twilight series actually did something very heroic and morally right. Bella became pregnant with a baby that almost killed her, but she decided to endure the pregnancy until birth instead of ending the pregnancy (which are nice words for "kill the unborn child"). In other words, Bella put her concern for the child before herself - a selfless and courageous action fueled by hope and true grit.
If you don't want to look up to a fictional character for an example of moral code and bravery, then read about Gianna Beretta Molla, who chose to give her child the best chance at life at the risk of her own. You can also read about Chiara Corbella Petrilla, too.
Simply put, abortion should not be supported in this way (or in any way, but to keep this article short, I'm focusing on this one case only).
I want to offer hope to any mother out there who is scared about her potentially life-threatening pregnancy.
I think America has wonderful doctors and physicians who can help an expectant mother and at-risk child survive their hardships. I know doctors have many resources and tools to help them both live full and happy lives.
I want mothers with potentially life-threatening pregnancies to explore more options with their health care providers. Please figure out how to get the baby to natural childbirth, if possible. If that isn't possible, then give the baby as much time as it can to grow inside the womb and then have the baby premature. The youngest premature baby to have survived was born at 21 weeks old!
There IS HOPE. There are better options than abortion.
That's all I wanted to say. God bless.