Kermit Gosnell-like Abortion Coming to New York State if Cuomo Has His Way

Governor Andrew Cuomo is vigorously pushing to legalize third-trimester abortion in New York. New York already leads the nation in abortion rates; 40 percent of all pregnancies in New York City end in abortion. Worse still, more New York City black babies are aborted than born. Pro-abortion extremists are still not satisfied and are working overtime to deregulate the industry throughout the state. If New Yorkers do not take a stand now, third-trimester abortion will become a reality in our communities, put our daughters' health in jeopardy and rob innocent human beings of their lives just weeks from birth.

Cuomo's abortion expansion bill, the "Women's Equality Act," is anything but protection for women. The key provision of the bill waters down the exception for third-trimester abortion to include the "health" of the mother, which has been broadly interpreted by the courts to encompass age, economic, social, and emotional factors – in other words, justifying any reason to have a late-term abortion. The bill also allows unqualified individuals to preform dangerous third-trimester abortions on vulnerable women. Furthermore, the law does not define what conditions constitute "viability" of the baby. Instead, determining the viability of the baby will be left entirely up to the abortionist -- who need not be a physician.

To understand what late-term abortion entails, one need only look at the practices of the Philadelphia abortionist Dr. Kermit Gosnell, who was convicted killing babies after they were born by snipping their spinal cords. He was also convicted for the involuntary manslaughter of Karnamaya Mongar, who died from the anesthethics necessary to preform an abortion. It was not just the heartless treatment of Mongar and her needless death that horrified Americans. The brutal nature of late-term abortion brought to light in graphic detail horrified Americans.

Third-trimester abortion is rightly illegal in Pennsylvania. But if Cuomo's bill passes, Gosnell's "shop of horrors" would have been able to operate in New York largely unimpeded. If abortion facilities are able to function freely in New York, more vulnerable women will fall prey to butchers like Gosnell, sold on the false premise that late-term abortion is a "safe" medical procedure. In fact, unlike an emergency c-section, which takes minutes and is routinely done late into pregnancies, a third-trimester abortion can take days. Women facing extreme life-threatening complications don't have days.

In 1993 in New York City, an abortionist named Dr. Abu Hayat coerced a woman, Rosa Rodriguez, to undergo an abortion at 32 weeks. After she expressed a change of heart, Dr. Hayat told Rodriguez that it was too late to change her mind and she was forced to submit to the procedure. Rodriguez reported that she was held down as Hayat sedated her. Hayat badly botched the abortion and sent Rodriguez home. Severe pain and bleeding forced Rodriguez to go to the hospital, where she delivered her baby alive, a girl she named Ana Rosa Rodriguez. Ana Rosa was perfectly healthy -- accept for a severed arm she suffered as a result of Hayat's butchery. After Rodriguez's horrific experience and the terrible damage he did to the baby, 30 other women came forward to report botched abortions by Hayat. He was convicted and sentenced to 29 years in prison.

Most insidiously, Cuomo's bill actually increases the likelihood that more women will suffer from such botched abortions. This is because the law does away with the requirement that only a "duly licensed physician" may preform an abortion. This crucial language change allows anyone to preform an abortion under the law. How many young, confused women in desperate circumstances will have their lives stolen from them due to this reckless deregulation? This is to say nothing of the countless healthy infants who may be legally killed anytime prior to their birth and for practically any reason. How can such an effort be enacted by the so-called champions of compassion?

To associate this bill with the notion of "women's equality" is a grave insult to New York's great feminist tradition. Many of the country's most influential feminists, including Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Alice Paul, abhorred the practice of abortion, calling it child-killing and viewing it as an attack on women. Stanton's herself explicitly opposed the "murder of children, either before or after birth"-and that was in 1868.

With almost 120,000 New York babies killed in 2009 alone, our state is certainly not one that needs to expand abortion. In fact, it's precisely the opposite. With so many New York women turning to abortion, the first priority our state should address is what are the underlying factors that affect these women in need -- not sending them to depraved, Kermit Gosnell-like late-term abortionists. Now is the time for New Yorkers on both sides of the aisle to come together to oppose an unnecessary, dangerous practice that no compassionate people wish to see come to the state.

Lori Kehoe is the executive director of the New York State Right to Life Committee. She also serves as the Senior Congressional Liaison for the Robert Powell Center for Medical Ethics for the National Right to Life Committee.