The New York and Virginia bills on abortion are causing an uproar in the pro-life community.
Abortion. The word itself is loaded. Depending on the perspective, it can cause feelings of pain, passion or pity. It’s no wonder the recently passed abortion bills in New York and Virginia have caused so much controversy.
On the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, the state of New York passed a bill expanding its abortion laws. The pro-life movement was enraged by the contents of the bill. To add fuel to the fire, the state of Virginia is trying to pass a bill reducing restrictions on abortion.
One of the controversial issues in the New York bill is that it allows women can get an abortion in their third trimester, with one big caveat. According to FactCheck.org, the law only allows abortions to happen in the third trimester of pregnancy if a woman’s health is at risk or the fetus is not able to live outside of the womb.
Ralph Wells, a retired delivery doctor and pro-choice supporter, said that once a woman has reached twenty-four weeks — the third trimester — in pregnancy, the baby is able to live outside of the womb. It is more common for a pregnancy to simply be ended early.
“Viability is reliant on the expertise and the cost. It can cost upward of a million dollars to keep the baby alive,” Wells said.
Past twenty-four weeks, there is no reason to have an abortion. If a woman’s health is at risk, the pregnancy can simply be terminated, and the baby can try to survive outside of the womb. Christian News says, there are simply not a lot of examples of a woman needing an abortion because of health reasons in the third trimester.
According to a Huffington Post article, in the rare case that there is a late-term abortion, it is often not the mother’s health but the baby’s quality of life in question.
Therefore, an abortion for a women’s health is not necessary. At the third trimester, the pregnancy can simply be ended even if the babies quality of life is in question. There is no guarantee that the baby will not survive.
The story of Easton De Jong exemplifies this. He did not have a bladder or kidneys in the ultrasound. When he was born, he was able to survive because his father gave him a kidney. His life might be more complicated, but it’s still worth living.
American Magazine explained the pro-life and pro-choice thoughts on the New York bill, saying that the pro-life movement takes issue with the broad definition of “women’s health.” The argument from the pro-choice side is that a little over 1 percent of abortions are in the third trimester.
The argument of irrelevance does not work. Being pro-life means that each fetus is a life and every abortion is equivalent to murdering a baby. The 1 percent of abortions happening in the third trimester is still relevant and sad.
Elizabeth Fitzgerald, a sophomore nursing and honors humanities major and pro-life supporter offered her thoughts on the issue.
, “They’re not acknowledging the sanctity of human life,” Fitzgerald said. “Scientifically, you are able to hear a baby’s heart at six weeks with a sonogram.”
The bill that is trying to be passed in Virginia is a different beast altogether. According to Vox, this bill would take away the 24-hour waiting period, second trimester abortions would not need to take place in a hospital, a women’s mental and physical health only needs to be threatened and only one doctor would have to approve a late-term abortion. This bill should never have been brought to the floor.
In a video, Kathy Tran, a Democrat in the Virginia House of Delegates, said her bill would allow a woman to have an abortion while she is dilated. Wells strongly opposes the bill.
“The Virginia Bill is totally screwed up. I don’t think they really knew what they were doing, and the comments were not really accurate,” Wells said.
The New York and Virginia bills should never have happened. A mother does not need to abort a baby in the third trimester of pregnancy for any reason. Taking a baby’s life at this point in the pregnancy is inhumane and a crime and so the fight for life continues.
The fight for life has been an uphill battle since Roe vs. Wade. Not only does the pro-life movement have to overturn the decision made by the Supreme Court, they also have to fight state laws. Bringing life into the world is a tricky and scary process, but abortion is not the only option.
“Women are in a difficult position and caring for a child is not easy. However, there are options open to them,” Fitzgerald said. “Abortion does not have to be the answer.”