Coming on the heels of the annual Pro-Life March in Washington, D.C., the Pro-Life movement took a substantial hit this week with the passage of some disturbing legislation. Although the proposal was intensely debated, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed a bill into law legalizing abortion for any reason from conception up until birth.
The bill, called the Reproductive Health Act, in essence, allows health care professionals, such as physician assistants and midwives to perform abortions up and until birth, for any reason within the state. This bill was of course vehemently opposed by conservative and religious groups, but passed with a 38-28 vote.
Those in favor of upholding the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision in 1973 have been trying to get this bill passed for some time. In fact, for the past 12 years, abortion advocates have been trying to push this legislation through. It has become even more pressing for them with the election of President Donald Trump, who leads an administration staunchly opposed to abortion. After the vote was announced as passing in the state Senate chamber, there was thunderous applause.
“We have a president who’s made it very, very clear that he wants to overturn Roe v. Wade,” Senate Majority Andrea Steward-Cousins said. “Today, here in New York, we are saying no. We are saying no, not here in New York. And we’re not just saying no. We’re saying that here in New York, women’s health matters. We’re saying here in New York, women’s lives matter. We’re saying here in New York, women’s decisions matter.”
The law in New York State was effectively changed by removing certain words from the state’s penal code. Even with Roe v. Wade, the state’s criminal code still made it illegal to perform late-term abortions. This was because the law previously defined homicide as “conduct which causes the death of a person or unborn child with which a female has been pregnant for more than 24 weeks.” The Reproductive Health Act removes abortion from the penal code and adds the following via notation:
“Every individual has the fundamental right to choose or refuse contraception or sterilization. Every individual who becomes pregnant has the fundamental right to choose to carry the pregnancy to term, to give birth to a child, or to have an abortion, pursuant to this article.”
As expected, religious groups are saddened to realize the Reproductive Health Act is now law. One such group, the Office of Adult Faith Formation of Archdiocese of New York, tweeted out the following regarding the bill:
“New Yorkers, join us tonight, it is important more than ever to pray as we expect that the Reproductive Health Act-Abortion Expansion will become law in the state of NY making late-term abortion legal in NY.”
It’s understandable for believers to become discouraged by the passage of this bill that refuses to protect innocent, unborn life. The Bible makes it clear that life begins at conception, and is considered valuable from that moment, while abortion advocates would argue that a baby, while in the room, is unworthy of protection or value. This is truly a sad state.
However, believers must keep fighting for the rights of the unborn and opposing those who seek to expand abortion, allowing more and more precious lives to be killed in the name of “choice.” Remember the following verse from Jeremiah 1:5, which says, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, and before you were born, I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” This verse showcases the value God gives each person, born or not. Therefore, believers should continue to fight for their right to be born, no matter the opposition’s victories.
~ 1776 Christian