Abortion: To keep or to kill


A. Johnson, Emerson Pappas, Emma McCague, staff writers

New York’s Reproductive Health Act (RHA) was passed Jan. 22, fully legalizing abortions after 24 weeks in the state, if a health care professional determines the life of the mother is at risk or the fetus is not viable. However, the bill’s definition of “health” is vague, and could be extended to include factors that are physical, emotional, psychological, familial and physical,” according to FactCheck.org.
“I think that the law in New York is really disappointing because it shows us that people are quitting [the fight for social justice] and giving into society,” senior Catherine Gimino said. “That is really sad that we are that vulnerable.”
Democratic governor Andrew Cuomo, a Catholic, approved the law, for which some in the Catholic community have called for his ex-communication from the Church.
“I find it disheartening that people have really passed this law and see pregnancy and having a child as something that’s a negative when it really is a positive,” said biology teacher Emily Manning. “There’s just so many people that want to have children that [aren’t] able to and it’s something that’s disheartening. As a mom, just thinking about a baby being killed, [especially] late-term, it’s very saddening. It really hits you in the gut when you think about it.”
Along with making late-term abortions legal, New York’s homicide laws have also been changed to match the intention of the law. If a pregnant woman is killed, the perpetrator is only charged with one count of felony murder instead of two, as previously was the case. Opponents of the law argue that this addition takes away the ability for the state to prosecute intentional abortions due to domestic battery, according to FactCheck.org.
“There’s no criminal laws against abortion now,” religion teacher Beth Ferraro said. “Because, now if you kill even a woman who’s nine months pregnant, they cannot be charged for killing the baby.”
There are 38 states that have some form of fetal homicide laws. Twenty-nine of those laws apply at any point in the pregnancy when the mother is killed, including during the first trimester, when abortion is legal in all 50 states, according to the Guttmacher Institute.
“A lot of other states have recognized that if a pregnant woman is killed it’s not just one life that is ended, it’s [two],” Manning said. “Just because that baby is dependent on the mom doesn’t make it any less of a human. It’s still a human being and that human being was still killed.”
New York’s history with abortion is longer than any other state. According to CBS News, the RHA in New York replaced a statewide abortion law passed in 1970, three years before the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court case that guaranteed a woman’s right to abortion. Abortion rights supporters had been pushing the new bill for years, and when the democrats gained control of the state senate in the midterm elections, the bill was easier to pass, according to FactCheck.org.
“It’s amazingly disappointing,” Ferraro said. “I know why they did it—they did it because they are afraid that the Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade, and so they want to have a state law [legalizing abortion] in their constitution. The state of New York actually had abortion [laws] before Roe v. Wade.”
President Donald Trump called for legislation to ban late-term abortions in his State of the Union address in February, a move sophomore Max Fiebach would welcome.
“I believe that abortion should not be legal because if abortion is legal then why isn’t murder legal, because abortion is murder,” Fiebach said. “Abortion has the same argument of racism, ‘If you’re on my property, then I get to choose what to do with you.’ Even if you don’t view it as a life, it’s a potential life and that’s more important than your convenience.”
In a study done by the National Center for Biotechnology Information in 2015, women who are 12-13 weeks pregnant have a 3-6 percent rate of complications during or after an abortion. During a woman’s second trimester there is a greater percentage rate of complications. According to The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Preventions’ 2015 data, 65 percent of abortions in the country were performed within the first eight weeks of pregnancy. Freshman Vivian Hill does not support abortion because they not only lead to the death of the child, but could also kill the mother.
“My grandma’s roommate, after getting the abortion, felt bad because she wanted to keep the kid but could not due to money issues,” Hill said. “After receiving the abortion, she died of an infection because the tools were really unsanitary.”
At Kapaun Mt. Carmel’, many believe abortions at any stage of pregnancy should not be legal. In a survey of 84 students collected March 4-8, only 13 percent of girls said abortions should be legal, while 11 percent of boys support abortions. For those that listed exceptions, the most common were rape, if the mother could not take care of the child and if the mother would die. Eighteen percent of KMC’s abortion supporters said that it was the woman’s choice.
“I think that abortion is bad, but at the same time I feel like if you can’t take care of the baby, then it’s okay,” freshman Louise Harold* said. “If [I were to get pregnant] right now, I wouldn’t be in a position to take care of a baby, so I feel like I would have to have an abortion because I feel like I wouldn’t be prepared to have a baby and take care of it.”
Twenty-four percent of students survyed said they know someone who has had an abortion.
“Knowing someone [who has had an abortion] has made me look at them differently,” Hill said. “Knowing that that person went against my faith and did this sort of thing scares me, knowing that every day mothers are getting abortions and killing their kids makes me sad, not just for the kids but for the mothers, also.”
In 2017, Kansas recorded 6,782 abortion, with 3,405 of them being performed on Kansas residents. According to Kansas For Life.
“Abortion affects society as a whole because that person is never born so that person never becomes what they could be so it hurts society and it hurts families,” Fiebach said.