TO THE EDITOR: Some information about the New York State Women’s Equality Act and the legal history behind it has been missing from discussion.
When abortion was illegal, it came under the penal code. When it was legalized — putting all those back-alley coat-hanger operators out of business — it was neglectfully left under the penal code instead of rationally being moved to the body of law governing health practices.
Law cannot prevent abortion; it can only put desperate women’s lives at risk by making it unsafe.
All 10 sections of the bill correct or clarify things that make the lives of single parents (dads, too), victims of abuse and working women generally incredibly harder re: job security and housing, besides removing the infamous glass ceiling that denies women promotions and equal pay for equal work.
The only thing the 10th point changes is that the health, as well as the life, of the mother may be considered in making medical decisions about pregnancies that develop dangerous complications past the mid-point.
An example is a case where a woman went into renal failure due to a complication of her second pregnancy. Dialysis wasn’t working. When the mother’s kidneys aren’t working, the unborn baby is floating in toxicity, will certainly be badly affected and may not live, in any case. To insist on continuing this pregnancy could have left the mother unable to care for her living child. All the members of the State Assembly know about this case.
The law is clear that danger to the life of the mother is a valid exemption past mid-pregnancy, but questions of the health of the mother were murky. The controversial provision simply provides clarity for physicians.
Where is compassionate conservatism?