Let’s just call RHA what it really is – the legalization of infanticide and genocide. “RHA”, the recent legislation signed into law by Gov. Cuomo of NY on January 22, 2019 and titled the “Reproductive Health Act,” now allows babies to be killed when they are full-term, during or just before labor. Worse yet, the law even allows that babies be allowed to die when born alive in the event of a “failed” abortion, with no consequences to the abortionists who knowingly and intentionally take the lives of baby human beings who are fully-developed, can survive outside the womb, feel pain, recognize their mother’s voice, and have everything else that makes each of us fully human and full of God-given potential. This is abuse of power in its most evil form, as it seeks out and destroys the very most vulnerable among us – preborn human children. This deliberate and large-scale killing of millions of unborn babies and and the imposing of measures intended to prevent births within the group all constitute genocide.
How is a late or full-term baby aborted? The brutal procedures used to kill a baby from six months gestation through full-term vary, but one method is a lethal injection using a large needle to pierce the baby’s heart or brain, followed by injection of a chemical that causes cardiac arrest. If the murder of the child is “successful,” the mother’s labor is then induced and she delivers a dead baby. If unsuccessful, the child can be refused treatment and left to die. Other methods for second and third trimester abortions, such as “D&E”, are even more horrific, if that’s possible, and extremely disturbing to read about. What would have sounded like acts of pagan and immoral barbarism 50 years ago are now being celebrated by those whose selfish personal, political, and financial agendas trump basic morality and deny unborn children the rights guaranteed to all human beings under our constitution: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
How have we arrived at this culture of death in America, where human life is no longer valued and so easily discarded by millions? Where the most precious and vulnerable among us are willfully exterminated and the consciences of so many go on untroubled? It is due in part to the manipulation of language, false definitions, propagandizing, and wielding of financial and political power that have been going on since Roe v. Wade in 1973, preying not only on the defenseless unborn, but also on their mothers. The words “reproductive health” referenced in RHA are nothing more than intentionally deceptive language used to disguise the true nature and intent of this legislation.
“Reproduction” of human life has already occurred before a woman is seeking to end her baby’s life before, during, or after its birth. The more accurate terminology to describe late-term abortion is “infanticide” or “genocide”. These are not pro-life terms but rather come from the universally-accepted definitions: “the killing of an infant,” “the practice of killing newborn infants,” “the deliberate killing of a large group of people.” This act has nothing to do with reproductive health or choice. Sadly, many women are told that the only choice they have, now that reproduction has already taken place, is to kill their own babies. Changing a label doesn’t change what it really is. Killing a human baby has now been relabeled as a “woman’s right to choose,” “women’s reproductive health,” or “a woman’s right over her own body.” How is a baby – a separate human being with his or her own DNA and fingerprints – part of a woman’s body? It is not.
Think about it: Hitler referred to the extermination of Jews of all ages as the “final solution,” “ethnic cleansing,” and “resettling” of Jews. The words “murder,” “extermination,” or “genocide” were never used openly to the German people or the international community. In order to perpetuate his objective of Jewish annihilation, he used a calculated propaganda campaign to disguise and deceive the world, depicting Germans as “victims” of Jewish aggression, falsely depicting Jews as inferior and hiding his true sociopolitical goals to justify violence against the innocent (United States Holocaust Memories Museum, https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/deceiving-the-public). Propaganda is used to glorify the sinister intentions of the abortion industry, projecting a benevolent image of pro-abortionists as “protectors” of women and their rights, while simultaneously portraying pre-born children as somehow sub-human, non-human, or of no value. This dehumanization is “what opens the door for cruelty and genocide,” (David Livingstone Smith, “Less Than Human: The Psychology of Cruelty”, NPR, https://www.npr.org/2011/03/29/134956180/criminals-see-their-victims-as-less-than-human). This is the observable result of the abortion industry and its genocide of over 60 million human children to date – approximately TEN TIMES the number of Jewish people exterminated during the Holocaust. Millions of women have become convinced that the inconvenience or hardship of having a child justifies killing their own babies, many claiming that their children will be better off dead.
The pro-abortion death-on-demand movement has effectively used propaganda for the intentional murdering of unborn babies, using it to paint women as victims deserving rights “over their own bodies” and disguising what really happens during an abortion as nothing more than a simple, safe “choice” that removes unwanted “fetal tissue.” Many choices have already been made by women by the time reproduction occurs and they become pregnant, but like many other life choices in our current culture, there is a growing refusal to accept responsibility for those choices and their consequences. In situations where a woman with an unplanned pregnancy feels truly desperate, perhaps feels unable to financially care for a child, or a pregnant teen feels that having a baby will “ruin her life,” there are other choices that can be made that will not put these mothers at risk and will not subject them to the possible emotional and spiritual turmoil of knowing they ended the life of their child. The abortion industry does not want women to seriously contemplate alternatives to abortion and intentionally steers them away from pro-life pregnancy centers that provide ultrasound, counseling, information on and alternatives to abortion, and practical resources and help.
Pro-abortion advocates would argue that sometimes, late-term abortion is necessary for the “health of the mother,” a statistically false claim. In fact, the Guttmacher Institute, an organization that supports abortion rights, has published research proving that abortions for fetal abnormalities “make up a small minority” of late-term abortions, and the number of abortions performed to save the life of the mother is even smaller (Lila Rose, New York Post, https://nypost.com/2019/01/31/the-abortion-debate-the-rha-legalizes-infanticide/). According to their research, the majority of late-term abortions are not performed for “medical reasons” at all. However, the real point in the abortion debate is that there are many “choices” available other than abortion, even in the case of serious complications. The baby NEVER has to be killed in order to deal with such pregnancies. Labor can be induced and a C-section performed, and there are many loving adoptive parents who would love and care for a child with disabilities or health challenges. Doesn’t every human child deserve love and care? Dr. Omar Hamada, an OB/GYN in NY stated recently on Twitter, “There’s not a single fetal or maternal condition that requires third-trimester abortion. Not one. Delivery, yes. Abortion, no” (https://nypost.com/2019/01/31/the-abortion-debate-the-rha-legalizes-infanticide/).
Similarly, reformed abortionist Dr. Anthony Levatino testified recently before a subcommittee of the US House of Representatives: “During my time at Albany Medical Center, I managed hundreds of such cases by ‘terminating’ pregnancies [via live delivery by C-section] to save mothers’ lives. In all those hundreds of cases, the number of unborn children that I had to deliberately kill was zero.” (https://nypost.com/2019/01/31/the-abortion-debate-the-rha-legalizes-infanticide/). It is almost never necessary to kill a baby in order to save its mother, and since induced labor occurs in every third-trimester abortion, why are these children not allowed to be born alive and cared for? It is a false and evil pretext that the abortion industry uses: that babies must be murdered in order to save their mothers’ lives.
And while many of those who advocate for death-on-demand may claim that late-term abortions account for only a small percentage of all abortions, the Guttmacher Institute estimates that approximately 12,000 late-term abortions are performed each year. To put that figure in perspective, a comparable number of people are murdered by firearms each year (David French, “It’s Time for the Truth About Late-Term Abortions,” National Review, (https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/truth-about-late-term-abortions/).
RHA also changes New York’s criminal code, removing any criminality if a child is killed in the womb as part of a violent criminal assault on the mother, whether or not the baby is “wanted.” State Sen. Catharine Young, R-Olean, released this statement regarding the legal protections RHA strips from women, while claiming to care about women: “It is unconscionable to think that anyone would deprive a pregnant domestic violence victim the justice she deserves. . . . The Reproductive Health Act is, in my opinion, extreme and filled with gaps. In fact what it does is decriminalize abortion in all aspects, including abortion as a product of an assault on a pregnant female.” (National Institute of Family and Life Advocates, https://nifla.org/abortion-dominates-headlines-nifla-center-vandalized/ ) According to the CDC, murder is the second most common cause of death in pregnant women. All of us should be concerned about RHA and any similar legislation that actually removes essential legal protections for assault victims (https://nifla.org/abortion-dominates-headlines-nifla-center-vandalized/).
Aside from the clear reprehensible moral implications of all abortions and the propagandizing that has driven the abortion movement, the double standards, hypocrisy, and complete disregard of logic and science by pro-death advocates is astounding. For example, few would question that the egg of an endangered bird species is valuable and worth protecting, and animal rights activists still fight tenaciously to completely prohibit the killing of baby seals and other baby animals including lambs, baby cows, and baby ducks. We instinctively and morally agree that unborn and baby animals are vulnerable and deserve certain protections from cruelty, abuse, and actions that would lead to their extinction. And yet, every 30 seconds, a baby human is murdered by abortion in America, to the delight of Planned Parenthood and other financially-motivated abortion providers, and to the tune of nearly a billion dollars per year. An abortion procedure for a 16-week old infant will cost anywhere from $765-$1,050, once the infant is beyond 19 weeks, the procedure typically costs around $1,700, and at 22 to 24 weeks an abortion can cost as much as $3,275 (Joshua Denton, “The Abortion Industry is Pro Cash. Not Pro Choice.”, California Family Council, https://californiafamily.org/2017/the-abortion-industry-is-pro-cash-not-pro-choice/).
Individuals and organizations who most loudly and vigorously defend the killing of unborn children have a vested interest in easy access to abortion – they are typically the ones who receive tremendous financial gain from this extremely profitable industry. “Planned Parenthood’s 2016-17 annual report reveals that over 320,000 abortions were committed in one year, they received over half a billion in government funding, and nearly $100 million in profit (a staggering 27% increase over the prior year). Big Abortion is big business” (American Center for Law and Justice, https://aclj.org/pro-life/a-balance-sheet-of-death-planned-parenthoods-abortion-business-profits-continue-to-soar-as-prenatal-and-miscarriage-services-precipitously-dwindle).
So what are the answers that will help stem the tide of infanticide in America? Pro-life advocates and organizations are often accused by pro-abortionists of being only concerned about saving lives of unborn babies and ignoring the needs of women. While saving the lives of children is clearly a primary aim, there is significant impactful work being done to help expectant and new mothers that is largely ignored in the abortion debate. Pro-lifers don’t just talk about the evils of abortion but also provide real, tangible help to mothers. For example, the Human Coalition works to rescue the approximately one million abortion-determined women being targeted and exploited by the abortion industry in the U.S. each year by building a “pro-life, holistic, comprehensive care network” that includes women’s care clinics, providing a network of long-term assistance for mothers, and providing information to mothers about the choices and services available to them. To date, Human Coalition has saved close to 12,000 baby human lives (Human Coalition, https://www.humancoalition.org/what-we-do/).
There are also up to 3,500 crisis pregnancy centers in the U.S. providing services to expectant and new mothers as well as organizations fighting to support them (National Institute of Family and Life Advocates, Care Net). Organizations like Human Coalition, Save the Storks, and crisis pregnancy centers across the country are all providing practical, real-life solutions and assistance to pregnant mothers who wish to either keep their babies or give them up for adoption. Organizations can save lives of both preborn children and their mothers by providing:
- free ultrasounds and the truth about abortion
- compassionate, life-affirming care from best-in-class medical staff
- the “choice” to keep their child, as well as access to tangible resources that will help them do so
- information and assistance in placing their babies with adoptive parents
According to Human Coalition, “studies show that the majority of abortion-determined women will choose LIFE after seeing a sonogram of their child” (https://www.humancoalition.org/donate/save-a-child/).
The recent “heartbeat bills” in Georgia and other states could be a promising way to help overturn Roe v. Wade. This legislation makes abortion illegal once a baby’s heartbeat has been detected. “They didn’t have the technology that we have now. They didn’t have ultrasound technology like we do. And legal scholars (contend)… again and again about how backwards and wrong Roe v. Wade was,” states Alison Centofante of the pro-life organization Live Action. “So these heartbeat bills could be used to challenge the Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade and restore the right of life to the pre-born child,” she says (CBN News, https://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2019/january/abomination-after-ny-abortion-celebration-these-states-are-also-lining-up-to-enshrine-abortion-access).
All unborn human children deserve basic human rights and protections under our constitution, from conception to birth, and exposing the deceptive tactics of the abortion industry and its advocates is key to ending death-on-demand in America. In addition, every woman must have accurate information about their developing child and the opportunity to consider how keeping their babies could greatly bless them in ways they cannot anticipate, or how their babies could be the answer to the prayers of the many adoptive parents awaiting children. We must speak with courage on behalf of those who are the most vulnerable among us – our precious unborn. We must be the voice of those who have no voice.
Jeannie Finnegan, Vice President of Institutional Advancement, Abuse of Power