Let’s Digress About Life or Health

Disclaimer: This might offend people. This also isn’t an article discussing when life begins, at what stage (if any) abortion is okay, women’s rights, fetal rights, what Jesus would do, or how abortion is ideologically the same as slavery.

Since the new New York abortion bill passed, I’ve been seeing more and more posts about how abortions are necessary to save the lives of the mothers if the pregnancy is life threatening.

Here’s my opinion: I’m okay with abortion in rare cases when the mother’s life is genuinely threatened. I don’t like it, but I understand, and I would prefer for only one human to die instead of two. Really, I would like for both lives to be just fine, but that isn’t always how life works. 

From what I have read on the internet with statistics and stuff, a very small percentage–like 0.83% small–of pregnancies are mortally dangerous for pregnant women. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are roughly 6,000,000 pregnancies in the U.S. annually, with an average of 50,000 of them being mortally dangerous, which is roughly 0.83%.  

It sucks that pregnancies can sometimes be life threatening. And I understand a woman having an abortion if it would legitimately save her from dying. But that’s not the only thing this bill says; it adds more. 

Check out lines 19 and 20 on page 2:

“…or the abortion is necessary to protect the patient’s life or health.” 

https://legislation.nysenate.gov/pdf/bills/2017/S2796

The lawmakers could have easily just left it at “to protect the patient’s life.” But they didn’t. They added “or health” to the end of it. 

Also, interestingly enough, the bill doesn’t actually define what “life” or “health” are. It defines “person” later on in the bill, but not once does it define “life” or “health.” 

I’m not an expert or lawyer, but from my understanding, these bill things are written carefully and intentionally with specific wording and sentence structure. So, assuming I’m assuming correctly, this bill is written the way it is written on purpose with everything being intentional. Meaning, some things being vague and definition-less are vague and definition-less on purpose, like “life” and “health.” 

If the lawmakers were writing this new bill primarily for the purpose of giving women a safe, legal, and rare option to end the pregnancy in order to save their lives, then why add in the undefined “or health” at the end of the sentence?

By adding that “or health” at the end, it fundamentally shifts the argument about women having late-term abortions just in life threatening cases. 

From other things I have read on the internet, since “life” and “health” aren’t defined in the bill, that means it’s up to judges and such to define what “life” and “health” mean. 

From even more other things I have read on the internet, “health” can be, and often is, defined as things related to age, social and emotional factors, economic situations, convenience, etc.

Using that definition of “health” as a reason for having an abortion is far different from saying the main purpose of this bill is to keep women alive in probable-death pregnancies. So the primary purpose of this bill isn’t actually about saving the lives of women in high-risk pregnancies.

With that in mind, could the lawmakers who wrote this bill have other, more sinister motives for writing the it the way they did? Furthermore, what does that say about the character of those who wrote it and those who ardently support it?

https://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/maternalinfanthealth/pregnancy-complications.html

https://legislation.nysenate.gov/pdf/bills/2017/S2796

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