Governor Cuomo and proponents of the Reproductive Health Act claim that it simply codifies the US Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade. The RHA goes far beyond Roe, and beyond any abortion legislation any state has ever passed in creating a new fundamental human right of abortion and contraception.
The historical corollary to a fundamental human right is a duty. The move from access to right is a slippery slope—the move from an individual choice to a public duty is never far behind. That’s exactly what happened in China 40 years ago. That is not Roe, that’s the RHA.
Roe v. Wade made abortion a legal choice. The RHA would make abortion a legal responsibility. Unless we want to redefine what a ‘right’ is, we shouldn’t consider the RHA. Roe declared that the child in the womb is not a person. The RHA refuses to consider the child at all.
We’ve done this before. We’ve refused to consider the personhood of categories of people—blacks, Native Americans, the mentally disabled, Jews. The powerful can do whatever they want with the sub-human: slavery, land-grabbing, forced sterilization, genocide… abortion.