On the Topic of Abortion…

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

     Abortion has been a tough topic to talk about for several decades. Like most political topics, abortion has never had a definite answer as to if it is okay to perform or if it is wrong to do because everyone has a different opinion. However, with today’s political climate, these hard to talk about topics, like abortion, begin to inch their way into our everyday lives.

     The most recent headline about abortion that broke the news is when New York passed the Reproductive Health Act. The act states that women who desire to get an abortion can either do so within the first 24 weeks of pregnancy for any reason or after 24 weeks if a healthcare practitioner declares the woman may lose her life if she gives birth or the fetus will be non-viable. The law not only added fetus viability to the abortion process, but it also removed abortion from the state’s penal code. This act was signed into law on Jan. 22, 2019- which ironically, is the 46 anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court case that changed United States abortion laws. The act was faced with many supporters and many critics.

     As previously stated, abortion is now removed from the penal code, which it had been part of in the 1970 abortion law- the law that was used until January 2019. It was a felony to have a late-term abortion because it was considered homicide, which is described in the law as the “conduct which causes the death of a person or an unborn child with which a female has been pregnant for more than 24 weeks.” The new act replaced the 1970 abortion law which changed the process of abortion for the state and who was allowed to get one. For example, in the 1970 law, only New York residents could obtain an abortion. Now, if your state does not allow late-term abortions, you can travel to New York and get one. It did not matter that you were not a resident.

     The conflicting perspectives on this act come into play whenever one thinks about when life begins. Everyone has a different opinion on this subject and it varies from the point of conception to the birth of the baby. I believe life begins when the heartbeat of the fetus is detected. This can be anywhere from six to eight weeks. I consider the fetus as “alive” at the time it develops a heartbeat so aborting a fetus with a heartbeat is like killing a baby that is outside of the womb. Both have a heartbeat and a right to life. The only difference, in my opinion, is that one is living inside a mother’s womb- it is dependent on her- and the other is outside the womb- living independently from the mother.

     Some may argue against this perspective because they believe even though there is a heartbeat, that does not mean the baby will survive outside of the womb since this is detected six to eight weeks into the pregnancy and a typical pregnancy lasts about 40 weeks. They tend to say that viability is not detected until about 22-24 weeks into the pregnancy so a heartbeat means little to nothing at all until viability is established. Neither view is scientifically right or wrong. It all depends on one’s beliefs and when they consider life to start.

     One can see why there is controversy over this act. By allowing abortions to occur after 24 weeks, people who are pro-life begin to get even more defensive and outspoken seeing as this act goes against their beliefs. People who are pro-choice appreciate the newfound freedom this act gives women when deciding on an abortion. But they do not appreciate how pro-life supporters are against abortion since they do consider it a woman’s right. There is no way to tell if this new act is beneficial to the state of New York since the answer varies based on who you ask.

     In conclusion, the idea of abortion will continue to grow and seek its way into our everyday lives whether we agree with it or not. The laws will keep changing, but the views do not have to if one stays strong in their beliefs.