The womb will become an even less safe place for unborn babies in New York come Tuesday. Democrat legislators are set to legalize abortion up to birth and remove the fatal procedure from the state's criminal code altogether with the passing of the euphemistically named Reproductive Health Act.
The proposed legislation erases the current limitation on abortion in the state, which is set at 24 weeks. The Reproductive Health Act states, "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."
So long as a licensed practitioner acts in "good faith," a baby can be murdered in the womb up to birth in order "to protect the patient's life or health." Notably, the meaning of the word "health" is not defined within the legislation.
"A health care practitioner licensed, certified, or authorized under title eight of the education law, acting within his or her lawful scope of practice, may perform an abortion when, according to the practitioner's reasonable and good faith professional judgment based on the facts of the patient's case: the patient is within twenty-four weeks from the commencement of pregnancy, or there is an absence of fetal viability, or the abortion is necessary to protect the patient's life or health," reads the legislation.
The bill is set to be passed in the state legislature on Tuesday to commemorate the 46th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.
"This is only the beginning of the protections that we will have for our women, for our environment, criminal-justice reform, education — the list goes on," Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-Yonkers) told The Democrat & Chronicle, reports FaithWire. "But in January, the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we will make our statement, we will make our mark."
"The bill also removes abortion from the definition of homicide, and from the penal code entirely," reports the Times Union. "Opponents say this limits prosecutors when they look to charge individuals who harm a woman's unborn child in a domestic violence case or otherwise. Supporters say, in such cases, there remain plenty of other, much harsher criminal charges at prosecutors' disposal."
Since New York Republicans lost control of the Senate in November, the bill is expected to pass with Democrat support. Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY), a Catholic, is expected to sign the legislation.
"As many of you know, the Governor is pushing again for abortion through birth and even after with so-called 'Reproductive Health Act.' Now he has an anti-Life Democrat-led Senate to help him get it through," posted pro-life group New York State Right to Life via Facebook.
In 2014, Cuomo infamously said pro-lifers have no place in the state:
"Who are they?" Cuomo asked rhetorically during a radio interview, complaining about opposition to the anti-Second Amendment SAFE Act. “Are they these extreme conservatives who are right-to-life, pro-assault-weapon, anti-gay? Is that who they are? Because if that’s who they are and they’re the extreme conservatives, they have no place in the state of New York, because that’s not who New Yorkers are."
UPDATE: As reported by Life News, the Reproductive Health Act passed on Tuesday evening in a 38-24 vote. A reporter from New York Public Radio said someone yelled, "May almighty God have mercy on this state!" promptly following the Senate vote.