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Jenkins condemns New York abortion law

| Friday, February 8, 2019

University President Fr. John Jenkins condemned New York’s new law loosening restrictions on abortion and called for greater reverence for all life in a statement Thursday.

The law, passed Jan. 22 — the 46th anniversary of Roe v. Wade — allows for abortion after the 24th week of pregnancy when there is “an absence of fetal viability, or the abortion is necessary to protect the patient’s life or health,” according to a Jan. 31 New York Times article.

Several other abortion restrictions were curtailed, Jenkins said.

“The legislators removed from law provisions that require the mother’s consent including certain measures that require the mother’s consent, that allow manslaughter charges against an abortionist who causes the woman’s death during an abortion, that discourage self-induced abortions and — shockingly — that require care for a child born alive during an attempted late-term abortion,” he said in the statement.

Jenkins said he views the new law as reactionary in nature, drafted in response to pro-life initiatives that followed the Supreme Court’s decision to block abortion restrictions in Louisiana.

“The legislative initiative follows a pattern, adopted by both left and right, that makes our political life today so toxic: When your position is challenged, adopt an even more extreme, inflexible version of it, thereby eliminating any possibility of any reasonable compromise,” he said in the statement.

The new decision will only serve to further the country’s divide over abortion politics, Jenkins said.

“In addition to aggravating the denial of equal justice under law for the unborn, it will steal away the time, energy and goodwill we need to work together as a society to require that men support the children they father and the women who are their partners, and to strengthen families,” he said in the statement.

Jenkins said the law threatens to dismantle the moral framework of society.

“It is behind not only laws that protect the unborn or infants, but the protection for all innocent and vulnerable life. The great threat of the New York law is not only that it will remove protections for children in or recently out of the womb as well as for the mothers’ lives, but that it will also further numb this moral instinct so central to our common life,” he said. “ … As we contemplate the effects of this law and the lives it will take, we can only ask, with fear and trembling, ‘Who is next?’”

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