14 Days of Love Day 1: New York Abortion Law
February 1, 2019
On Jan. 22, New York governor Andrew Cuomo signed a controversial new abortion bill. The bill further protects abortion rights under Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark Supreme Court bill declaring abortion constitutional in the U.S..
According to Patch, the new bill would allow late-term abortions after the previously allowed 24 weeks, if the baby is not viable or if the mother’s life is at risk if she continues carrying the baby.
Signed right after the March for Life, an annual anti-abortion march, this bill was extremely controversial from beginning to end . Many pro-lifers believe this bill promotes the killing of a child viable outside of the womb. Those in support of the bill disagree, citing the fact that these late-term abortions can only occur if the baby or mother is at a severe health risk or would die without action taken.
“I think it’s definitely a step in the right direction,” sophomore Sophia Schroeder said. “If they’re able to do it for themselves and do it for the baby in the sense that they’ll be happy then it’s good.”
Fetuses can survive outside the womb after a 24 week gestation period, according to Very Well Family. Even then, the likelihood that a premature baby would survive outside the womb remains very slim without extensive medical intervention. Even with the advancements in modern medicine, the chance that the baby would survive falls just under 40 percent, increasing with each additional week the baby stays in the womb.
A large source of controversy associated with this bill was caused by social media rumors. Many thought that the bill allowed for all late-term abortions for any reason.
“I didn’t know that it was only if there were health risks, I thought that it was basically for any mother who didn’t want their child and was going to abort, so that I would be completely against,” junior Kassinda Mowatt said. “But I kind of do understand if they’re 100 percent sure that the baby will not be able to survive.”
Gynecologist Jennifer Gunter took to Twitter to discuss late-term abortions and the false stereotypes behind them. She said that of all the late-term abortions she performed during her career, not one has been requested for anything other than the medical reasons now covered by this bill, according to Scary Mommy. Late-term abortions are extremely rare in the U.S.. According to the Center for Disease Control, less than 1.3 percent of all abortions took place after the 21 week mark.