Letter to the Editor

New York legislation

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Randy Cauthron’s editorial and a letter to the editor in the 2-4-19 SDR are devoid of fact or reasoning. The New York legislation does not allow the mother to decide to kill a baby after delivery! The reproductive Health Care Act states that a health care practitioner “may perform an abortion when, according to the practitioner’s reasonable and good faith professional judgement based on the facts of the patient’s case: the patient is within 24 weeks from the commencement of pregnancy, or there is an absence of fetal viability, or the abortion is necessary to protect the patient’s life or health.”

Research, led by epidemiologist Michael A. Rysavy of the University of Iowa, involved 4,704 babies born at 24 different hospitals from 2006 to 2011. “Overall, if you look at the mean survival rates for 22-week-old babies (in the study), it was just 2 percent, and only 90 percent of those who received resuscitation (and other care),” said Dr. Michael Uhing, the medical director of the NICU at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. A study by the March of Dimes found that of the entire sample group of babies, 78 of the 22-weekers received aggressive care and just 18 of them survived into toddlerhood. Of those, only seven were largely healthy, left with no moderate or severe impairments like blindness or cerebral palsy (Time Magazine — May 7, 2015).

Keep in mind that care costs millions of dollars per baby and much pain and suffering for both baby and parents. What if it were your wife who was pregnant and the doctor warned that she was not likely to survive the pregnancy (the maternal death rate is skyrocketing in the U.S.)? More American women are dying of pregnancy-related complications than any other developed country. Only in the U.S. has the rate of women who die been rising according to a report by NPR. What if the baby were anencephalic (underdeveloped brain) — the life expectancy is only a few hours or days? Considering an abortion is a heart wrenching and difficult decision not to be made lightly. I certainly understand and support a woman’s right to choose against abortion, but to suggest that a woman would kill her baby because of a colic or the terrible “twos” is misogynistic and gross, not to mention ignorant.

Mary Marske, Spencer