A number of pro-life obstetricians and nurses nationwide have spoken out against the New York Reproductive Health Act signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo last week, which not only codifies the “right” to an abortion, but also allows mothers to obtain an abortion past the 24-week mark and without limitation if the child in their womb is not expected to survive, or to “protect” the mother’s health or life.
“Every individual who becomes pregnant has the fundamental right to choose to carry the pregnancy to term, to give birth to a child, or to have an abortion,” the Reproductive Health Act, signed into law on Tuesday, reads in part. “A health care practitioner … may perform an abortion when … the patient is within twenty-four weeks from the commencement of pregnancy, or there is an absence of fetal viability, or the abortion is necessary to protect the patient’s life or health.”
The language reflects the 1973 Supreme Court ruling of Roe v. Wade, in which Justice Harry Blackmun, nominated to the bench by Republican president Richard Nixon, wrote, “If the State is interested in protecting fetal life after viability [written in the ruling to be as early as 24 weeks], it may go so far as to proscribe abortion during that period, except when it is necessary to preserve the life or health of the mother.”
“I want to clear something up so that there is absolutely no doubt,” Dr. Omar Hamada of Tennessee, who outlined that he has delivered more than 2,500 babies, wrote on social media on Wednesday. “There’s not a single fetal or maternal condition that requires third trimester abortion. Not one. Delivery, yes. Abortion, no. There is absolutely no medical reason to kill a near term or term infant. For any reason.”
“If there’s a problem—and there are problems in the third trimester, both with the babies and with the mom that require delivery—just deliver the baby. We don’t have to kill it,” Hamada further explained to Fox News.
Dr. David McKnight, also of Tennessee, likewise said that if a concern arises, the baby is simply delivered via C-section. There is no need to kill the child to save the mother.
“As a board-certified practicing OB/GYN physician for over 30 years, I need to say publicly and unequivocally, that there is NEVER a medical reason to kill a baby at term,” he remarked. “When complications of pregnancy endanger a mother’s life, we sometimes must deliver the baby early, but it is ALWAYS with the intent of doing whatever we can to do it safely for the baby too. The decision to kill an unborn baby at term is purely for convenience. It is murder.”
NICU nurse Olivia Scherlacher said that the concept of the “health of the mother” could mean a variety of things, such gestational diabetes or preeclampsia, or even the mental health of the woman, and similarly stated that if significant medical issues arise, the baby is simply taken early.
“The major problem with [the Reproductive Health Act] is that ‘the patient’s life or health at risk’ can mean so many different things,” she remarked on social media. “It’ll be abused and people will say they’re mentally unstable and need to abort their baby, or the baby is giving the mother gestational diabetes, or the baby is giving the mother high blood pressure or even preeclampsia.”
“But almost all of the conditions that put the mother’s life or health at risk can be solved by delivering the baby early by C-section when the risk gets too high, and very often these babies survive and grow up to be perfect,” Scherlacher outlined. “It is heartbreaking to me to see this [law] happening when I hold little 24-weekers in my hands and watch them grow, help them breathe, and help them jump all the hurdles.”
Dr. Bill Lile of Florida, who has delivered nearly 4,000 babies over the past 20 years, likewise noted that babies in NICU born as early as 24 weeks can survive if they need to be removed from their mother’s womb, and that third trimester abortion is therefore never necessary.
“We can have babies in our NICU doing great at 24 and 25 weeks gestation,” he stated in a video posted to YouTube. “Are there reasons we need to deliver babies early sometimes? Yes. But not [to] take their lives in the process. Deliver them and let them survive and thrive in our NICU. To take the lives of these babies in the womb breaks my heart.”
Speaking as well on the personhood of the child, and the medical advances that allow doctors to operate on babies even in the womb, Lile noted that the unborn can receive blood transfusions as early at 19 weeks, and that heart surgery can be performed as early as 22 weeks. Spina bifida has also been corrected in the womb as well, as recent news reports indicate.
“If they are a patient, they are a person, and if they are a person, they deserve our protection,” he stated.
“Don’t believe the lies. There is no need for late-term abortion. There is no need for an emergency abortion. There is no need for #abortion. Period,” said Sarah Cleveland, who has served as an ultrasound technician for more than 15 years.
While there is no such thing as an emergency abortion, she stated, emergency C-sections are common.
“If there is a true emergency (high blood pressure due to pregnancy, for example) doctors will in fact end the pregnancy to save the mother. It is called an emergency C-section. The baby is out—maybe very early, but the baby is out—and cared for. The pregnancy has ended and Mom can be cared for,” Cleveland explained.
“Isn’t that the so-called point of why pro-choicers advocate for abortion? That they need to be able to ‘terminate the pregnancy to save the life of the mother’?” she asked. “Well, here ya go. Emergencies ending in C-sections, ending the pregnancy and saving the mother, happen all the time.”
Cleveland noted that late-term abortions take two to three days, and that no true “life-threatening emergency takes three days to treat as an outpatient procedure,” as the woman would not be able to wait that long if she were in jeopardy of dying.
“You know what doesn’t happen all the time? As in, like, never? An emergency abortion. There is NO SUCH THING,” she declared. “Never in the 9 years while working in a large hospital, often in the ER, did I hear the words, ‘Quick! Get me forceps and suction! This woman needs an emergency abortion STAT!’ Why did I never hear these words? Because emergency abortions don’t exist.”
As previously reported, one of the numerous reasons that the organization New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms had spoken out against the Reproductive Health Act was because of the legislation’s expansion into the “health” of the mother, which it believes is a broad term that could be utilized for virtually any reason.
It pointed to the 1973 Supreme Court case of Doe v. Bolton, which determined that “medical judgment may be exercised in the light of all factors—physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age—relevant to the well-being of the patient. All these factors may relate to health.”
As also previously reported, former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop once stated the same information as the medical professionals who have spoken out over the past week—that the life or health of the mother is never a reason for an abortion as doctors will simply deliver the baby in order to save both lives.
“Protection of the life of the mother as an excuse for an abortion is a smoke screen. In my 36 years of pediatric surgery, I have never known of one instance where the child had to be aborted to save the mother’s life,” he said. “If toward the end of the pregnancy complications arise that threaten the mother’s health, the doctor will induce labor or perform a Caesarean section.”
“[The doctor’s] intention is to save the life of both the mother and the baby,” Koop continued. “The baby’s life is never willfully destroyed because the mother’s life is in danger.”