On the afternoon of January 22nd, the New York State Senate passed the innocuously-named “Reproductive Health Act” (Article 25-A), clarifying when, within the geographical bounds of New York State, aborting a child in the womb is legal.
The bill, which was passed by a vote of 38-24 (the No votes were cast by all the Republican as well as two Democratic senators), certifies that any abortion is legal within the first 24 months of pregnancy, and then becomes legal after that up until the baby emerges from the birth canal into the light of day if an “authorized practitioner” deems the abortion necessary “to protect the patient’s life or health.”
This, of course, is a slippery slope. According to all I’ve read, it is almost unheard of that a baby carried to full-term endangers the life of the mother — if there are life-endangering complications from the actual birthing process, C-sections are performed to save the lives of both mother and child.
The most reprehensible part of this new law is the intentionally vague wording “health,” which as ordinarily defined includes “all factors — physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age.” So, for example, if the soon-to-be mother suddenly becomes fearful that a new life will be too much for her to handle financially or emotionally, or will tie her down to a routine which “cramps her style” socially, the abortion provider may conclude (in agreement with the “patient”) that the baby must die to “protect the patient’s…health.”
This bill shows callous disregard for the human nature and dignity of the unborn, and indeed intentionally denies legal personhood to a child in the womb. This semantic manuever was employed to prevent anyone involved in abortion from every being charged with murder (homicide). The law specifically states that “Person,” when referring to the victim of a homicide, means a human being who has been born and is alive.” So as long as a full-term baby has not yet made the six-inch journey through the birth canal, no “person” yet exists and so the killing of the baby by abortion cannot be treated as a crime.
What compounds this evil even more is that the politicians did not pass this law regretfully, wishing that things could be different but bowing to unrelenting outside pressures. No, they voted and then celebrated raucously, along with a rabidly pro-choice gallery, as you can see for yourself in the short clip below.
Immediately upon confirmation of the vote, Governor Andrew Cuomo eagerly signed it into law, surrounded by laughter and smiles as he joked about a conversation he had with one of his daughters about how long it had taken to get the bill passed.
Now, I’m not so naive as to believe that those who are governed by worldly principles would naturally be inclined to enact legislation which accords with a biblical world view, even on matters related to human nature and human rights. Since 1973, our nation has decided that babies in the womb are not yet human, and don’t deserve the same rights as those who have made it safely outside the womb. I believe that is a terrible stain on the virtue and rectitude of our commonwealth, having resulted in over 61 million abortions since Roe vs. Wade.
It is one thing, however, to allow for an evil to exist. It is another to celebrate and encourage that evil to expand. That is what the New York politicians and pro-abortion advocates have done in this most recent travesty.
In the apostle Paul’s letter to the Romans, he speaks in his opening chapter about what happens when human beings suppress what they innately know of God and His will. When they willfully “worship and serve the creature rather than the Creator,” God finally hands them over to their destructive passions, and they (we) spiral down into deepening moral and spiritual darkness. Toward the end of the chapter, he provides a representative but by no means comprehensive list of behaviors illustrative of human beings living without divine restraint — you can find that list in 1:26-31.
But he ends that list with a crowning indictment in v. 32: “Though they know God’s decree that those who do these things deserve to die, they not only do them but approve those who practice them.” In other words, they are not satisfied with pursuing such evils personally, but are actively engaged in cheering others on in the same pursuits, perhaps to justify their own choices or to create a “new morality for the masses.”
When I saw the video of the NY Senate chambers echoing with cheers and applause on the passage of this abortion bill, I couldn’t help thinking how timely Paul’s assessment of fallen human nature is. Though these politicians and their sycophants had not the slightest intention, by their behavior on January 22nd they have publicly confirmed a deeply biblical truth — human beings, when separated from the light and life of God, will continue to spiral downward into the abyss of evil, all the while cheering one another on in the belief that we are progressing to new moral heights.
We need a Savior — the one Savior whom God sent into the world. Only he can effect a revolution in the human heart, freeing us from our malign and deluded selves, and creating in us a yearning for the virtues and choices reflected in heaven.
Come, Lord Jesus.