Recent weeks have brought a great deal of conversation concerning new abortion laws being introduced and subsequently passed across the country. New York, the most recent state to move in this direction, passed the Reproductive Health Act (RHA) on January 22nd. This act, that legalizes abortion through the third trimester and removes abortion from the state’s criminal code, was quickly signed by Governor Cuomo and put into law on the same night of its passing.
This hasty signing has already proven to have the negative impact that many opponents feared. Pro-life leaders in New York argued, and I made this same case on HOPE’s podcast a couple of weeks ago, that removing abortion from the criminal code would not, in fact, empower women, but, instead, would empower abusers. Unfortunately, our fears were realized just this week, less than 20 days after the RHA was passed, as a man murdered his pregnant girlfriend in the state of New York. He was originally charged with an illegal abortion, but those charges were removed due to the new law.
It’s staggering to me that some would be so attached to their abortion ideology that they would refuse to see the damage left in the wake of the laws they champion. The mindset, it seems, is you have the right to an abortion in the state of New York, but not necessarily a right to your pregnancy as it can be taken away by an abuser.
Is this progress? Is this empowering women? Is this standing for the vulnerable? Is this what some of the great feminists of our past hoped for?
Government entities are to protect the vulnerable in our society. This was our motive and mission when we ended slavery, in the women’s suffrage movement, in the civil rights movement, with the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the list goes on and on. Sure, we still have much to do, but we should, at the very least, create an environment socially and politically that would protect the most innocent and vulnerable in our society; i.e., the unborn.
Their silence cries out to us, their innocence is displayed in us, and their humanity is reflected by us. Recently, former Senator Jim DeMint put it this way when discussing laws like the RHA out of New York, “Every baby announcement, every sonogram image, every gender-reveal party, every baby shower, every first kick or hiccup from the womb, every tragic miscarriage, and every miraculous preemie testifies anew to what we already know: they’re babies in there [the womb]…”
We have spent 46 years in regression since Roe v. Wade. We have reached a place where some would even argue that survivors of abortion be “made comfortable” but not necessarily saved after birth. We are blinded by power, influence, and political wins, but this power, influence, and these wins can only last so long until a generation decides to stand up for a generation that has been aborted.
Today, as I write this, roughly three thousand abortions will occur in this country. That number should haunt us all. Our answer and our hope is not found in the halls of our state Capitols or in Washington D.C., but as a people we must, as Abraham Lincoln once argued, call on the better angels of our nature to protect the most vulnerable among us. It is worth the effort and fight.
We are not a perfect people. We have skeletons in our closet as a nation, but we have always chosen to look in the mirror and make corrections as we progress. Abortion is one of those skeletons that we have yet to address, but I believe a change is upon us as many are speaking out about the RHA and other pieces of legislation like it. Our voices and our support for life are needed now more than ever as we seek to right the wrong that gave us abortion 46 years ago. This occurs when we decide to say that the most vulnerable in our society have intrinsic value and deserve protection and love. Join us at HOPE as we continue in this work.
-posted by Andrew Wood, Executive Director