The following comes from a Feb. 1 story by The Epoch Times.
While a wave of backlash hit New York’s government for passing a law relaxing abortion restrictions, California has had similar, if not looser, abortion laws for years.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a measure on Jan. 22 that allows abortions as late as the time of birth if “necessary to protect” the woman’s life—or health.
A major point of contention for opponents of abortion comes with the addition of “health” to the reasons for allowing late-term abortion. Previously, New York only allowed abortions after 24 weeks of pregnancy if the life of the mother was at risk.
Cuomo said the bill simply codified the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade, a claim contested by others, including Albany Bishop Scharfenberger.
Yet, California has had Roe v. Wade codified for years in a way that seems to go beyond the New York law.
In California, abortion is “unauthorized” if “in the good faith medical judgment of the physician, the fetus was viable” and “in the good faith medical judgment of the physician, continuation of the pregnancy posed no risk to life or health of the pregnant woman.”
Neither the New York law, nor the California law, defines the “health” part, but a 1973 Supreme Court decision in Doe v. Bolton stated that the attending medical professional may judge the woman’s health considering “all factors—physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age—relevant to the well being of the patient.”
That opens the door to a situation described by Abby Johnson, the former director of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Texas who later turned against abortion.
“What this means is that a late-term abortion can be provided for any reason, as long as the abortionist checks a box on her chart stating it was affecting her ‘life or health.’ No documentation of proof is required,” she wrote in a 2016 article.
California’s legal barrier of “no risk” suggests that even a small amount of risk to mental health would suffice to clear the threshold.
Because California doesn’t release official statistics on abortion, it’s hard to tell how many late-term abortions it performs. Close to 160,000 abortions were performed in California in 2014, according to a 2017 paper by the left-leaning Guttmacher Institute.