Letters to the Observer: New York legislation passes ‘barbaric’ abortion bill; N.M might follow


Last week, the New York Legislature passed a barbaric and sweeping bill legalizing abortion up to the moment of birth.

After passing this bill, legislators gave themselves a standing ovation.

Our youngest was born prematurely at 26 weeks gestation (six months). Our child was intubated for 48 hours, on a C-Pap for 12 hours, and then on a nasal canula until just prior to release from the NICU 2½ months later.

Some of the parents at the NICU were newcomers to the U.S., in punjabs, burkas, turbans and full tribal dress. Many did not have a language in common, but we had in common the fight for our babies’ lives.

This profound bond cut across all religious, cultural, national, ethnic and racial lines and went deep into our very souls. Not all of these babies survived.

The grief and heartache of the loss of one of these was real.

It is an odious insult to compare this loss of a baby to the loss of just a piece of the mom’s body tissue, like a haircut or a nail trim.

Today our child is in the gifted program at school, a talented artist and creator of several cartoon series, a trumpet player for band and marching band, studies Mandarin Chinese, has a quirky and hilarious sense of humor, a talent for working with children and above all, is a loving and compassionate human being.

If I had aborted this child (according to law, my husband would have had no say in the matter) at six months, the New York Legislature would have given a standing ovation.

Yet, if one did that to an unborn puppy, they would face animal cruelty charges.

Twenty-first century science and neonatal medicine have made incredible advances, with premature babies viable as early as 20 weeks.

The National Institute of Health has developed imaging technology to track the brain activity of pre-born infants.

The unborn child has a heartbeat at day 21, brainwaves register on an EEG at day 40, at eight weeks all organs function, at nine weeks individual fingerprints appear and at 10 weeks the baby feels pain.

All of these are the hallmarks of an individual human being.

For 50-100 years, drunk drivers have been convicted of wrongful death, on two counts, when they kill a pregnant woman and her pre-born baby.

Insurance companies have given payouts for the same.

Killers have been convicted of two counts of murder in the murder of pregnant women.

In both criminal and civil cases, our courts have recognized the personhood of pre-born children for decades.

This New York law throws all of these legal precedents under the bus.

The New Mexico Legislature is considering passage of a similar bill.

It is time for our legislature and U.S. Congress to abandon the medieval torture chambers of abortion, and join 21st century science, neonatal medicine and criminal and civil court precedents to recognize the personhood of unborn babies and their right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness… Something worthy of a standing ovation!

Ida Mitchell

Rio Rancho