March 4,2013

More abortions for the abortion capital of the nation?

Last week I spoke at a press conference in Albany with a group of health professionals. We were there to oppose legislation that would expand access to abortions, especially late ones, in New York State. I’m not against all abortions; I believe there are rare circumstances in which it’s both medically and morally necessary. But with 33% of pregnancies ending that way, New York is already the abortion capital of the country. We need to find ways to have less abortion, not more.

Current NY state law permits abortion until 24 weeks, after that, only if the mother’s life is threatened. I’m told by experts in newborn medicine that it’s not uncommon for a baby born at 24 weeks to survive and do well.

That means it’s legal to terminate a pregnancy at a time when the fetus is fully viable.

How can anyone not be horrified by that? But Governor Cuomo recently said he supports repealing the current law and legalizing abortion at any time for “maternal health reasons”, a phrase that could be interpreted broadly by the courts.

Also speaking at the press conference were Anne Nolte MD, family practitioner; Kyle Beiter MD, Ob/Gyn; and Ali Ko Tsai MD, Ob/Gyn. We made the following points:

  1. There is no lack of access to abortions in New York state.
  2. The suggested changes in the law will result in even more abortions, especially late ones, which are more complicated and risky
  3. If a woman’s health is threatened by a pregnancy after 24 weeks, it’s safer for the woman to have labor induced or a C-section performed.
  4. For many women and men, abortion is not benign. Significant numbers experience chronic emotional distress following even early abortions.
  5. Mental health organizations are ideologically aligned with one side of the abortion debate and are more concerned with political correctness than with open inquiry and scientific integrity. As a result, the trauma of abortion to some women and men is whitewashed.
  6. More abortions will produce more women and men with deep sadness and regret. You won’t hear their voices, but they’ll be there.

I felt everyone did a great job! Unfortunately, most of the coverage was too brief to accurately portray our arguments. The best coverage was here on The Wall Street Journal Online.

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