Ed Mechmann points out that Andrew Cuomo’s Women’s Equality Act would open the doors for non-doctors performing abortions, including late-term abortions. (Kermit Gosnell was a doctor, and we saw how well that went.)
the Governor’s bill would permit non-doctors to do surgical abortions, even late-term abortions up until the moment of birth. It’s done by a combination of several key changes to current law they might easily be overlooked by the casual observer:
First, by an explicit repeal all of the current Penal Law provisions that permit criminal prosecutions of some abortions. Those sections of the law right now include a specific requirement that, to be lawful, an abortion must be performed by “a duly licensed physician” (Penal Law section 125.05(3)). The Governor’s bill would erase that requirement from the law.
Next, the bill is silent about who could do abortions. It doesn’t even have the provision from the old Reproductive Health Act about a “licensed qualified health care practitioner”. The only reference in the bill to a physician is to authorize an abortion at any stage in pregnancy if a doctor deems it necessary for her “health”. But it doesn’t say anything about who would actually do the abortion.
This silence is very significant, when taken together with the following provision in the bill:
“No prosecution or proceeding shall be brought or maintained under the penal law or otherwise for acts that are authorized or permitted pursuant to this section or by this chapter and the education law” (emphasis added)
To understand the incredible breadth of this simple sentence, you have to know that the Health Department, acting under wide authority granted to it by the Education Law, can define the proper “scope of practice” for health professionals. It can also enact wide-ranging regulations that govern surgical and medical activities. Those determinations are not reviewable by courts, and do not have to be ratified by the Legislature. The decision would be made by bureaucrats in Albany, accountable to nobody. They wouldn’t even have to publish regulations for the public to see — they routinely make such decisions by private letter rulings given to interested parties.
As a result, this sweeping provision would give the Health Department the unlimited authority to permit anyone — even non-health professionals — to do abortions. It would immunize any such non-doctor abortionist from any criminal prosecution (like practicing medicine without a license), or any kind of civil proceeding (including an action for professional misconduct). That means abortion with impunity for those favored by the Health Department.
It actually gets worse. The bill would permit abortion of any child who is not “viable” for any reason, at any time in the pregnancy. But this key term is completely undefined in the bill — it would be left entirely in the discretion of the abortionist to determine if a child is “viable” or not, with no legal standard to go by and no requirement that any other person (much less a trained doctor) concur with that determination.
Think about that for a second. This bill would allow non-doctors, people with far less training and experience than physicians, to make their own decisions about whether a baby could survive outside the womb, and then to perform surgery to kill that child — even up to the moment of birth.
This is a stunning expansion of abortion. And it is not an accident, given that the bill was written in collaboration with abortionists and their apologists.
I’ve been calling the Governor’s proposal the Stealth Abortion Expansion Act.
We should be calling it the Abortionist’s Dream Act.
This afternoon, Cardinal Dolan sent a letter to parishes in the Archdiocese of New York, calling the abortion-expansion exclamation point on the legislation ”literally, ‘a killer.’”
Mother and daughter, Gabrielle M. and Elissa Sanchez-Speach make the point:
It is also misleading to say that the WEA would “update” existing law. By moving abortion from criminal law to public health law, the WEA would change the very nature of abortion law. It will repeal several abortion-related crimes from New York’s penal law. One practical consequence of this change: Someone who has murdered a pregnant woman and the child she is carrying cannot be convicted of a double homicide.
Cuomo’s law is an open invitation to future Kermit Gosnells seeking safety. Remember that Gosnell was only convicted of murder in cases where he killed babies outside the womb, not those in which he killed them while they were still in utero. And he snipped their spinal cords because he wasn’t skilled enough to finish the job in utero. Other abortionists who can accomplish their gruesome task (read the Levitano testimony for a description) before the baby exits the womb will be able to continue their practice without fear of penalty. They will be welcomed with benevolence by Cuomo, who has sanctioned the most distressing site for both pregnant women and their unborn children: the abattoir.
In closing, consider again how needless (and, to be blunt, ludicrous) Cuomo’s WEA will be. In the rare cases where abortion may seem a necessary option to preserve the mother’s health, there will be an alternative that can save both mother and baby. “Terminating a pregnancy” needn’t involve abortion, especially when abortion risks the physical and psychological health of women. By subjecting New York women to a law based on ideology, not sound science, Cuomo is guaranteeing these women not a right to health, but a right to a dead baby.
This right to a dead baby stuff …. this is not who we want to be … is it? We want to make sure women have the support they need. Let’s make sure of that, with both patients in mind.
There are women helping women in New York. There’s common ground here. At least if you’re not a governor looking to win a Democratic primary in 2016.