Thursday, January 31, 2019
Last week, on the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, New York state enacted a new abortion law, called the Reproductive Health Act. A long-term goal of pro-choice advocates, the law was passed by the newly elected Democratic majority in the state Senate and signed by Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo. The governor even ordered that One World Trade Center in New York City and several other New York state landmarks be lit in pink to celebrate the legislative victory.
While pro-choice advocates were celebrating, the pro-life movement described the R.H.A. as a tragedy, arguing that it legalized abortion up to the point of birth. Defenders of the law described it as a bulwark for women's rights, designed to guarantee that even if the Supreme Court were to overturn or limit its decision in Roe, abortion access in New York would be maintained...
...Much of the coverage describing the law and its effects has been polarizing, with advocates on each side describing each other's accounts of it as biased.
As with any charged and divisive issue, the choice of emphasis and focus in coverage can give the same facts very different interpretations and implications -- and it is likely that I will be accused of doing the same in this article. Both I and America magazine are strongly pro-life and not on the sidelines of this argument. However, it is worth trying to get to a more even-handed account of what the law does and does not do in order to have a clearer conversation about it, even if we do not expect to fully convince people on the other side.
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