Governor Andrew Cuomo is defending New York’s new state abortion law after it was criticized by president trump during his State of the Union address.
Speaking Tuesday, the president said, ““Lawmakers in New York cheered with delight upon the passage of legislation that would allow a baby to be ripped from the mother’s womb moments from birth. These are living, feeling, beautiful, babies who will never get the chance to share their love and their dreams with the world.”
Governor Andrew Cuomo fired back saying: “New York has a message to those who spread lies and fear to control women’s reproductive health: Not gonna happen. Not now, not ever.”
The new health act codifies at the state level abortion rights protected by Supreme Court ruling Roe v. Wade — a ruling some fear could be in jeopardy if challenges under the current court.
It also removes homicide charges for an unborn after 24 weeks, allows non-physicians — including physicians assistant, midwives and nurse practitioners to perform abortions. The much-heated debate within the law is procedures after 24 weeks may be performed if necessary to “protect the patient’s life or health,” a definition pro-life advocates say is a gray area.
“One of the problems New York state law is that we’ve taken it completely out of the criminal statutes,” said Anne Leblanc, Right to Life. “Which is one reason why doctors are just not to be as careful about defining what health is, because they can’t be criminally prosecuted anymore.”
However, those who support the law say a lot of what anti-abortion activists are saying is misconstruing the law. For example, during Trump’s speech, he said that the law allows abortions moments before giving birth.
“This is a decision with late-term abortion a woman makes under the guidance of a medical professional, so the medical professional will work with this woman in determining if this is possible,” said Debora McDell-Hernandez, Planned Parenthood. “It’s not something you decide on your own and walk in and say, ‘I want a late-term abortion.'”