Rebuttal: The only person who should make decisions about abortions are the patient and doctor 

Last week, an opinion article was published titled “Andrew Cuomo and other Democrats have heartlessly condoned infanticide,” written by Nick Sammarco. Within this article, Sammarco blatantly chooses to ignore definitions that do not suit his needs and relies on scare tactics in order to shame anyone who chooses to receive an abortion.

One of the first concepts Sammarco introduces is infanticide, which he defines as “the deliberate killing of an infant.” However, Sammarco deliberately left off a key phrase from this definition, “within a year of birth,” as defined by The Oxford Dictionary. Abortion, therefore, cannot be considered infanticide because an abortion is not performed on a baby afterbirth. By labeling abortion as infanticide, Sammarco has begun using one of his first scare tactics to shame the people who receive abortions.

Secondly, the definition of the Reproductive Health Act (RHA) that the New York Senate passed on Jan. 22, 2019 that Sammarco refernced hides key information regarding why the law was passed.

According to the justification section of the bill, “In 1970, New York legalized abortion in some circumstances, thereby recognizing that a woman has a fundamental right to make medical decisions about the course of a pregnancy. Three years later, the Supreme Court of the United States issued its landmark decision in (Roe v. Wade).” The bill goes on to explain that the purpose of the RHA is to decriminalize abortion and correct New York’s laws so they are not unconstitutional, as they are currently.

Sammarco states that “this law effectively allows for late term abortions on demand, up to the moment of birth, including abortions performed on perfectly viable unborn children.” The actual circumstances surrounding an abortion in New York that are supported by the RHA are “that an abortion may be performed by a licensed, certified, or authorized practitioner within 24 weeks from the commencement of pregnancy, or there is an absence of fetal viability, or at any time when necessary to protect a patient’s life or health,” according to Section 2 of the bill.

Breaking that down, an abortion is legal before the six-month mark during a pregnancy if the fetus will not survive the pregnancy or when a mother’s life is at risk if the pregnancy is carried to full term.

After the start of the third trimester, potential mothers don’t choose to get an abortion simply because they want to or because they’re concerned for their mental health. Abortions performed between 24 weeks and the beginning of labor are not performed on fetuses that are unwanted.  Those are wanted fetuses; fetuses with names, with cribs, with teddy bears, onesies and already painted nursery walls.

A pregnant person has the right to choose their own life over the life of an unborn fetus, and that is a hard choice to make. To threaten prison sentences on people who already have to grieve the death of their wanted child is cruel and unnecessary, but Sammarco did just that.

“If somebody murders an adult based on the belief that they may cause problems to their mental or emotional well-being in the future, they would go to prison. Why is this standard not applied to fully formed humans seconds away from birth?” wrote Sammarco.

This is yet another example of the scare tactics Sammarco heavily relied on in order to get his point across, including an extremely graphic detailing of the traumatic process of receiving an abortion.

The only person who can comment on a person’s right to an abortion should be the person who’s considering getting that abortion and their primary caregiver.