Senate Democrats Vote Down Record-Keeping Requirements for Medical Abortion

John J. Flanagan

February 05, 2019

As New York State Senate Democrats moved to update public health law on record-keeping for veterans’ children and inmates, Republicans demanded they put back into the public health law requirements on record-keeping related to medical abortion. These requirements were removed from the public health law when Democrats hurried to pass extreme abortion legislation, now law, that is being panned nationally.

Republicans introduced a proposal to put medical record-keeping removed in the RHA back into law, consistent with other record-keeping requirements found throughout state law.

The record keeping requirement ensures that an attending physician maintain all life-sustaining efforts if an abortion results in a live birth, and include whether efforts to sustain a baby’s life succeeded or failed. It also requires that vital statistics are kept.

“It is chilling that Democrats believe it is good policy to stop keeping medical records which track life-saving procedures for babies born during abortion procedures. The RHA is extreme and the lack of record keeping is dangerous for women’s health. Records help health professionals understand how a state’s policy impacts its population. This is shameful,” said Senate Republican Leader John J. Flanagan (2nd Senate District).

Democrats rushed to pass the Reproductive Health Act in the New York State Senate on January 22. Now law, the measure — opposed by every Republican and two Democrats who broke ranks — allows late-term abortion for almost any reason right up until the moment of birth.

RHA removed physician record-keeping on medical abortion from the public health law, meaning in cases where babies are born during abortion, no record of life-sustaining efforts needs to be kept.

The extreme law also decriminalized all forms of abortion, including acts of violence against pregnant women.

Republicans have since introduced the “Liv Act” (S2408), to create a Class D felony for violence against pregnant women. The legislation is named after Liv Abreu, an army veteran who lost her wanted baby after her ex-boyfriend stabbed her six times and left her to die. She survived, but her baby did not.