New York Times - FCLNY Responds

January 6, 2019

December 28, 2018, the editorial board of the New York Times published the opinion piece “A Woman’s Rights.”  The board of Feminists Choosing Life of New York submitted six letters to the editors in response.  We are pleased that the letter submitted by Sarah Mullen was accepted for publication.  Below are the unpublished FCLNY response letters.

 

 

The Reproductive Health Act (RHA) referenced in, A Woman’s Rights Part 3: The Cost of Complacency About Roe, potentially endangers women’s lives and completely disregards humans in utero. While every person’s heart must extend to Ericka Christensen for the difficult pregnancy that led her to Colorado to abort, the RHA goes well beyond Roe. To be clear, the RHA permits fully viable infants born alive during an abortion to die, in anguish, without any treatment, whatsoever. The RHA also permits persons other than ‘duly licensed physicians’ to perform late-term surgical abortions. In addition, the bill also allows late-term abortions to occur in facilities other than hospitals. According to, Risk Factors for Legal Induced Abortion-Related Mortality in the United States, published by Obstetrics & Gynecology, the "risk of death" for "women obtaining legally induced abortions" "increase[s] exponentially by 38% for each additional week of gestation." As a feminist, I wonder how removing these safeguards for women can be considered a right. It smacks more of exploitation.

 

 

Submitted by Michele Sterlace-Accorsi, JD, LLM

Feminists Choosing Life of New York, Executive Director

 

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According to research conducted out of the Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health at UCSF and published in Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, most late term abortions are not performed for medical reasons.

 

In “A Woman’s Rights” the NY Times editorial board argues for the passage of the RHA and legalized late term abortion in NYS by citing rare cases like Erika Christensen’s.  However, any honest discussion of the RHA must recognize that fully viable, healthy fetuses of healthy mothers would become legal to abort in NY for essentially any reason.   

 

Even in rarer circumstances like Ms. Christensen’s, resolution is possible without late term abortion access.  It is within a woman’s rights to request an induction or c-section following such a diagnosis.  Late term procedures can take hours or days before the child dies.  It is hard to argue this is a kinder end than palliative care.     

 

Cecelia Hayes

Feminists Choosing Life of New York, Vice President

 

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“A society that embraces a legal concept of fetal personhood would necessarily compromise existing ideals of individual freedom”. What? By that logic, granting full personhood to enslaved Blacks compromised individual whites’ freedoms! How absurdly ludicrous. Until the inherent worth of every human being is recognized and valued, America can hold no claim on the “ideal(s) of  individual freedom”. 

 

Amy Crossed-Rieck

Feminists Choosing Life of New York, Member- Board of Directors

 

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The Reproductive Health Act is more complicated than portrayed in, “The Cost of Complacency about Roe”. Formally known as the Reproductive Health and Privacy Protection Act and later, part nine of Governor Cuomo’s Women’s Equality Act, the bill, despite its ever-changing title, failed not only because the Republicans were the senate majority but because New Yorkers expressed consistent opposition to the bill’s content. Opposition was strong enough, in fact, to cause the much-praised WEA package to fail until the RHA component was removed entirely. One point of opposition is the heinous legalization of abortion during the second and third trimester of pregnancy through the inclusion of a broad health exception allowing women to abort viable fetuses for essentially any reason; including economic or familial health. The vast majority of Americans, including in New York, oppose these late-term abortions. As a New Yorker, Democrat and feminist, I can’t help but wonder what history will say about a people who allowed the legalized killing of fully formed human beings for the sake of exerting political dominance.

 

Kelly Brunacini

Feminists Choosing Life of New York, Member- Board of Directors

 

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The Cost of Complacency About Roe fails to mention that the Reproductive Health Act (RHA) potentially re-victimizes victims of sex trafficking as well as domestic violence. Something Roe surely never intended. The RHA completely guts abortion from NY’s penal laws.  And while this appeals to some feminists who claim abortion is self-care, health-care, and has no place in any criminal statues, the consequences of this blanket removal are discriminatory and devastating.  The RHA repeals key statutory provisions that allow for the prosecution of individuals who coerce abortions, and for the prosecution of abusers who kill or cause the death of wanted unborn fetuses. Studies consistently show, including, Acknowledging a Persistent Truth: Domestic Violence in Pregnancy, published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, that domestic violence escalates during pregnancy, with significant consequences for women and their unborn children, including death. Studies also reveal, including, Associations Between Intimate Partner Violence and Termination of Pregnancy, andThe Health Consequences of Sex Trafficking, Their Implications for Identifying Victims in Healthcare Facilities, respectively, that victims of domestic violence and sex trafficking undergo coerced abortions. Women’s rights are supposed to empower not deprive women of justice.  

 

Candice Renaldo

Feminists Choosing Life of New York, Member- Board of Directors

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FCLNY is one of over 200 member organizations of the Consistent Life Network, Inc.  ​​© March 2018

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