Governor Andrew Cuomo recently signed a bill legalizing late-term abortions into law, making New York the eighth state in the country to allow the killing of preborn babies clear up until birth.
The bill was passed and Governor Cuomo purposefully signed it into law amid cheers on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion on demand for every state within the nation. However, the legislation is even more far reaching and dangerous than Roe v. Wade. The would allow late term abortions and would even allow people who are not doctors to perform them. Worse yet, the bill attempts to give the appearance of limiting late term abortions, but includes a very broad “health” exception for abortions after 24 weeks. The exception would allow women to have an abortion for up to nine months of pregnancy for “age, economic, social and emotional factors, rather than the biological definition of ‘health’ that normally comes to mind,” according to New York Right to Life.
After signing the bill into law, Governor Cuomo bragged that New York was now “the most aggressive women’s equality platform in the nation.” In a press release, Governor Cuomo also stated:
“Today we are taking a giant step forward in the hard-fought battle to ensure a woman’s right to make her own decisions about her own personal health, including the ability to access an abortion. With the signing of this bill, we are sending a clear message that whatever happens in Washington, women in New York will always have the fundamental right to control their own body.”
What a heartless, callous, and absolutely incorrect statement. Think of the devastating consequences of Roe v. Wade. There are fathers who never had the privilege of a first dance with their daughters. There are dads who never got to teach their sons to spell words or swing a hammer.. There are mothers who never had the joy of hugging their sons, or washing their cuts and bruises after they scrape a knee. There are moms who never had the joy of having tea or “dress up” with their girls. There are sons who never got the chance to cuddle their brand new baby sister. There are daughters who never got to teach their baby brother to ride a bike. There are grandparents who never got to go shopping with their grandkids. There are grandpas who never got to teach their grandsons and granddaughters to catch a fish.
Further, recent research shows that the nervous system of an embryo is quite developed at very young gestation. In fact, by the time a mother finds out she is pregnant, the nervous system of the embryo is quite complex, and by the end of the first trimester, the young child she is carrying has “adult-like” nerve patterns.
Sheila Page, D.O., is board certified in Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine and Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy confirmed that a preborn child responds to sensory input as early as 7 weeks. Page says that by 10 weeks a preborn infant has many of the same much of the same identifiable anatomical features as an adult.
I can’t begin to understand a motivating force behind insisting that pre-born children feel no pain. The arguments are often centered on a false supposition that there is a pain perception center in the cortex that is not functioning or intact until as late as 26 weeks. There is simply no evidence that this is true. Almost all of the pain fibers terminate in the reticular activating system, and a small percent connect in the thalamus to neurons that travel to the sensory motor cortex for the purpose of localizing the pain. This means that the message is delivered to its intended destination, the lower brain centers, which are responsible for the perception of pain and for alerting the whole nervous response system that damage has been inflicted.
Only seven countries allow wholesale abortions after the 20 week period, among them China and North Korea. With the recent legalization of late-term abortion in New York, the United States now has more states than there are countries in the world that have legalized late term abortion. The United States should not be setting this kind of an example. Thankfully, twenty states have passed laws restricting abortions after 18-20 weeks, but there is clearly still much work to be done.