The U.S. Supreme Court in the 1973 landmark case of Roe v. Wade ruled the following:
1. A woman has the right to an abortion within the first trimester (first three months of pregnancy).
2. Abortions may be prohibited, if a state has a compelling interest to protect a woman’s health of life.
3. Abortions may be prohibited, if a state has a compelling interest to protect the potentiality of life or viability of the fetus (unborn child).
Under Roe’s guidelines, the woman’s health exception includes several reasons such as physical, emotional, psychological, familial and woman’s age to be taken into consideration in order to consider an abortion after the first trimester.
During 2019, the state of New York passed the Reproductive Health Act, a law that allows:
1. Abortions legal up to 24 weeks of pregnancy.
2. Abortions at any time necessary to protect a woman’s health or life.
3. Moves the abortion law from the state’s penal code t the state health code (abortion after 24 weeks is not a crime).
4. Besides doctors, it also allows midwives and physician assistants to administer abortion-inducing drugs.
Under the state law’s woman health exception, it allows the pregnant woman and her doctor to decide if an abortion should/ can take place after the first trimester. It also defines a “person” as a “human being who has been born and is alive.” This removes the recognition of “personhood” in the unborn. As you might have guessed it, pro-choicers love it, while prolifers hate this law.
Silvestre Moreno Jr. Mercedes