There were two victims in the horrific attack earlier this month on Jennifer Irigoyen in New York City. But the state’s law recognizes only one of them.
Anthony Hobson allegedly dragged his former girlfriend into the stairwell of her Queens apartment building and stabbed her in the stomach, neck and torso. Irigoyen was in the second trimester of her pregnancy. Neither she nor her unborn child survived.
Queens District Attorney Richard Brown initially announced that Hobson would be charged with second-degree murder as well as second-degree abortion, reasonably enough, considering that he stands accused of killing both Irigoyen and her child. But then, the DA’s office dropped the abortion charge in light of the state’s radical new pro-abortion law.
Ashley McGuire wrote the following opinion piece originally published by USA Today.
A standing ovation for abortion? That’s what New York’s Reproductive Health Act got in the Senate chamber when it passed last week. Lawmakers and bystanders stood and applauded a law that legalizes abortion all the way up until birth, for any reason.
The left may be celebrating the bill’s passage, but it is wildly out of step with American sentiment on the issue. American support for late-term abortion continues to decline; one poll last year found that a mere 13 percent of Americans support abortion all the way into the third trimester. And most Americans don’t think abortion is something to celebrate, or “shout” to borrow from the pro-choice lobby’s public relations campaign. A majority of Americans, in fact, say abortion is immoral.
I can only imagine then, that seeing Democrats vigorously applaud abortion for 7-pound babies makes most Americans queasy. The same goes for lighting up One World Trade Center pink.
But the bill did more than extend abortion up until labor pains begin. The bill drops the requirement that only doctors perform abortion and decriminalizes violence against children in the womb. Even if it’s by a woman’s thug boyfriend.
“Safe” … scratch that. Legal and rare? Scratch “rare,” too. In New York City, one in three babies are aborted.
In legalizing and then celebrating the brazen removal of protections for not just unborn children, wanted or unwanted, but women as well, New York dramatized something the left is increasingly struggling to hide: they are only interested in legal abortion, full stop. Safe and rare be darned.
Abortion extremism grows even as use fades out
Strangely enough, the left’s litany of extremism on abortion continues to grow as its political efficacy wanes. Just this month, Democratic leaders in Congress announced they would push to overturn the Hyde Amendment, which bars the use of taxpayer funding for abortion, despite the fact that a solid majority of Americans support it. Co-chair of the Pro-Choice Caucus, Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., promised the “boldest pro-choice legislation in history” and called the new Congress an opportunity to unleash a “a new era of reproductive rights.”
It certainly is a new era, one in which the Democrats are further away from the American people on abortion than they’ve ever been in history, and one in which American views on abortion are more nuanced than ever before. A slight majority of Americans continue to support legal abortion, but primarily in the first trimester, and it’s something that makes them morally uneasy. Democrats who have been tossed out of office for their extremism on the issue can see this.
In a recent podcast interview with The New York Times, former Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-MO, who voted against the 20-week ban on abortion, lamented the party’s emphasis on the issue, saying Democrats should “shut up” about abortion. “It was not an issue that was going to bring me more votes,” she said.
The left celebrates death itself
No doubt former Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., who became known as “High Five Heidi” for her infamous high-five with Senate Democrat leader Chuck Schumer after voting against the 20-week ban, would agree.
Already, the four women who have entered the presidential race for the Democratic party from the U.S. Senate have made their abortion bonafides plain: All are in the New York school of abortion extremism. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., gets special kudos for her efforts to undermine crisis pregnancy centers in her home state while acting as attorney general, before the Supreme Court stepped in to protect their free speech rights.
What happened in New York last week is somber and tragic. But it was a teaching moment for us all in that it made plain the left’s position on a deeply divisive issue. As the bishop of Albany wrote in a letter to his parishioner, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, pleading him not to sign the bill, “Do not build this Death Star.”
The reality is that the left has moved past building Death Stars to celebrating death itself.
Nicole Russell of the Washington Examiner wrote Disgusting: New York not only legalized late-term abortions, but also celebrated like it won the Super Bowl.
On Tuesday, coincidentally the 46th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the New York State Senate passed the Reproductive Health Act, and it was signed into law by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The law, which is likely the most expansive abortion bill in the country, allows late-term abortion until the baby’s due date if it meets certain requirements. Not only is this kind of legal protection of late-term abortion an affront to the humanity of the unborn and the dignity of society, but New York celebrated it publicly, as if it had just won the Super Bowl.
The Bishop of Albany wrote the following open letter to his parishioner, Gov. Andrew Cuomo:
Dear Governor Cuomo,
Although in your recent State of the State address you cited your Catholic faith and said we should “stand with Pope Francis,” your advocacy of extreme abortion legislation is completely contrary to the teachings of our pope and our Church. Once truth is separated from fiction and people come to realize the impact of the bill, they will be shocked to their core. By that time, however, it may be too late to save the countless lives that will be lost or spare countless women lifelong regret.
The so-called Reproductive Health Act (RHA) will expand abortion under the pretenses of choice and progress, which, in fact, it will do little to enhance. At the same time, this legislation threatens to rupture the communion between the Catholic faith and those who support the RHA even while professing to follow the Church, something that troubles me greatly as a pastor.
Contrary to what its proponents say, the RHA goes far beyond Roe vs. Wade in its aggressive extremism. Granting non-doctors permission to perform abortions does nothing to advance the security and health of women. Condoning coerced or involuntary abortions by repealing criminal sanctions even in cases where a perpetrator seeks to make his partner “un-pregnant” through an act of physical violence does not represent any kind of progress in the choice, safety or health of women. Removing protection for an infant accidentally born alive during an abortion is abject cruelty, something most people of conscience would deem inhumane for even a dog or cat. Finally, allowing late-term abortions is nothing less than a license to kill a pre-born child at will.
It is very difficult to understand how you can align yourself with Pope Francis and so vehemently advocate such profoundly destructive legislation.
I find myself wondering how it can be viewed as “progress” to have gone from a society working to make abortion “rare” to one that urges women to “shout your abortion” as some advocates of this bill boldly announce.
How is it progress to ignore the harm that this will do, not only to innocent infants, born and unborn, but to their mothers? Does the heartache of so many New York women who have been pained by their abortion decisions matter? Is anyone listening to them? How is it really “pro-choice” when a law, which claims to guarantee choice, moves to expand only one option for women?
If abortion is deemed a fundamental right in New York State, will the State then still be able to issue licenses to pro-life nurses or physicians? Will health facilities which do not provide abortions be certified? Will the law allow that even one dollar be given to maternity services without offering women the “choice” of abortion? These are unanswered questions, but I shudder to think of the consequences this law will wreak. You have already uttered harsh threats about the welcome you think pro-lifers are not entitled to in our state. Now you are demonstrating that you mean to write your warning into law. Will being pro-life one day be a hate crime in the State of New York?
Our young people especially, who have seen their sonograms and who follow the discoveries the sciences have made, know the lies and the despair that proponents of such dangerous and death-dealing legislation are promulgating, even if blindly or unwittingly.
Giving up on life is no excuse for us as a responsible and compassionate people. In so doing, we evade the challenge of accompanying women and the families they are trying to nurture on the long journey. They deserve our courageous and ongoing support in creating conditions under which they will be free to bear and provide for their children.
As a society, we can and must do better. The teaching and intuition of our common faith readies us to help. It is an essential part of our mission to support the lives of all, especially the voiceless, the most vulnerable and marginalized, as Pope Francis always reminds us to do.
Let’s not bequeath to our children a culture of death, but together build a more humane society for the lives of all of our fellow citizens.
Mr. Cuomo, do not build this Death Star.
Most Rev. Edward B. Scharfenberger Bishop of Albany
An extreme minority of people think that unrestricted abortion is a good idea. And yet, the New York legislature is expected to pass a bill in January, called the Reproductive Health Act, totally deregulating abortion.
Imagine your 12 year old daughter wants an appendectomy and there’s a bill permitting nurses to perform appendectomies without parental consent. Do you think that the State legislature knows best when it comes to your daughter’s health and life? Wouldn’t you question the quality of care your daughter would receive?
The Reproductive Health Act represents just this kind of irresponsible overreach…government getting between parents and their children and patients and their doctors. Further, it expands abortion to all nine months of pregnancy and allows babies who survive an abortion procedure to be killed.
David Lombardo of the Times Union Capitol Bureau sketched the rough outline of the New York Senate and Assembly legislative calendar, including the excerpt below:
In the Assembly’s third week (January 22 and 23), the chamber is planning on passing a package of women’s health bills, including the Reproductive Health Act and Comprehensive Contraception Coverage Act, and education priorities, such as an overhaul of teacher evaluations and the DREAM Act.
Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, a Manhattan Democrat, announced last week that the goal in both house of the Legislature was to pass the RHA on the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, which would be Jan. 22.
New York plans to pass the Abortion Expansion Bill [Reproductive Health Act] in January. Governor Cuomo vowed to see it signed into law within the first 30 days of the 2019 session. Variations of this bill have been rejected for years by members of both parties. Why? Because it drastically lowers the medical standard of care for women.
The bill makes abortion a human right equal to freedom of speech, permits non-doctors to perform surgical procedures, protects abortionists from liability over botched abortions, expands abortion to all nine months of pregnancy, and allows babies who survive an abortion procedure to be killed.
After numerous bipartisan defeats does this radical abortion expansion really reflect the will of the people of NY?
“Pro-life advocates in New York State have a big challenge before them in the new legislative session as pro-abortion Democrats are expected to leverage newly acquired power to advance legislation posing significant assaults on life. “