Letter: Read New York abortion law again

Published 7:00 pm Monday, April 15, 2019

Dear Editor,

I recently read Drew Ferguson’s column talking about “on demand abortion up until a child’s due date and even blatant infanticide.” That would be horrible, if it were true, but it’s not.

With the recent passing of the new New York abortion law, there has been a successful legislative push to modify our Georgia law, which now permits abortion through 20 weeks (mid second trimester).

Our proposed law (HB 481) is clearly an overreaction, spurred on by Gov. Kemp’s campaign promise to have the “toughest abortion” law in the United states. HB 481 states that doctors must “determine the existence of a human heartbeat before performing an abortion,” which occurs at about six weeks, giving a woman less than two weeks to decide if she will have an abortion.

And, since 30 percent of women have irregular menstrual cycles, it effectively eliminates choice.

I believe that misconceptions on the right about the New York law have driven this move locally versus any need to reduce abortions, which is happening on its own.

There are already numerous abortion restrictions in Georgia. Only in cases of life endangerment, rape or incest does the government pay for abortions and most women seeking any abortion are financially challenged.

Further, the U.S. has a much higher maternal mortality rate (13.3) versus other developed nations and Georgia is the worst state with 20.5 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births (per Amnesty International).

I recently had a call from a close friend, a FOX-watching conservative evangelical Baptist in rural Georgia, who has been very vocal to me over the years about any abortion being murder.

A bright and good man, he filled my ears with what he said were facts about the New York abortion law permitting the arbitrary killing of newborns.

It turns out that the state of New York did no such thing. It is very clear from this language that any abortion taking place after 24 weeks will be done only when the fetus is dying/dead or when the mother’s life or health is endangered.

There is no provision in the New York law to deliver a viable baby and then perform “blatant infanticide.”

That is murder under NY law. GOP Congressmen should have read the New York laws before proposing a politically motivated, divisive, unnecessary national law.

Jack Benard

Peachtree City