House Republicans working to get a vote on the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act

Left: Watch our educational spot related to this issue.

 

On Tuesday, September 10th, Priests for Life had a very successful lobbying day in Washington, talking to Democratic Representatives to persuade them to support the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act (H.R. 962).

We gave them an information packet that describes the need for this bill.

In the afternoon was this powerful hearing, which we assisted to bring together.

And this is the documentation pertaining to the hearing.

 

More information about the bill is below and actions you can take in regards to this are…

1) Say the daily prayer to protect children born alive after a failed abortion.
2) Communicate with your member of Congress.
3) Indicate your support on social media by adjusting your profile picture and posting/sharing the materials we will provide.
4) Watch our regular broadcasts about this issue at www.EndAbortion.TV.
5) Ask your pastor to speak out about this.

The Bill and its Introduction

H.R. 962, the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, introduced by Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO) on February 5, 2019, is a bill that would protect a baby born alive after a failed abortion, and provide for appropriate medical care for that child.

It is hard to understand how anyone could oppose such a measure.

Yet the Democrats in Congress are opposing it. In the last Congress, House Republicans did pass this measure, as they also did in the previous Congress. In this Democrat-controlled House, however, the leadership does not even want to allow a vote on the measure.

Moreover, each day of the legislative session since February, Republican members have requested unanimous consent for consideration of the bill, but Democrat leadership has refused.

So in order to force a vote on the bill, on April 2 Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) and Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO) used a Congressional procedure called a discharge petition that requires 218 signatures to bring the Born Alive bill up for a vote despite the objections of the Democrat leadership.

All Republican members of the House have signed, as have three Democrats (out of 235). We need only 17 more of those 235 Democrats to muster the courage to sign the petition.

Here you can watch speeches that were made by its supporters shortly after it was introduced.

What Does the Bill Do?

The Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act does not restrict abortion in any way. It simply recognizes that when a child has been born, he or she deserves the same legal and compassionate protections as every other American. This should not be a partisan issue.

The bill would expand the protections currently in federal law enacted through the Born Alive Infants Protection Act of 2002, which defines as a person any infant human born alive at any stage of gestational development. However, this federal law does not indicate specific duties, or a standard of care, for an abortion doctor to follow in such a case. Nor does it provide any penalties if those duties are not followed.

 

That’s where the current bill strengthens and augments the protections of the 2002 law.

 

H.R. 962 amends the United States criminal code to ensure that any child who survives an attempted abortion receives access to the same level of care that any other “wanted” premature baby of the same age would receive. It takes the common-sense step of not placing survivors at the mercy of the practitioners who sought to abort them.

 

H.R. 962 includes the following operative provisions in the case of a child born alive:

 

• Any health care practitioner present must exercise the same degree of professional care to preserve the life of the child as he or she would render to any other child born alive at the same gestational age.

 

• The child must be immediately transported and admitted to a hospital.

 

If a baby born alive is left to die, the practitioner can be imprisoned for up to five years, or a fined, or both. Anyone found guilty of intentionally killing (or attempting to kill) a child born alive shall be punished under federal law for murder. The bill requires that known violations of these provisions be reported by both practitioners and employees of a hospital, physician’s office, or abortion clinic. A failure to report subjects the practitioner or employee to the bill’s criminal penalties.

 

H.R. 962 allows a woman upon whom an abortion was performed to file a civil law suit if her live baby was not provided the care required in this bill. H.R. 962 also prevents the mother of the child born alive from being prosecuted under this law.

 

Legislation similar to H.R. 962 passed the House on a bipartisan basis in the 114th and 115th Congresses.

 

Aren’t children born alive already protected by law?

Not sufficiently.

As mentioned above, in 2002, the “Born Alive Infant Protection Act” became law, but this law simply acknowledges that all newborns, regardless of the circumstances of their birth, are to be recognized as persons from the moment of their birth if they show any sign of life. It is, in other words, a “definitional” law, but does not provide specific duties for an abortion doctor to follow or penalties if they are not followed.

The Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, in other words, augments and specifies the current protections.

On the state level, moreover, there are laws protecting babies who survive abortions, but not everywhere.

While state laws prohibit homicide, they often do not clarify with any specifics what a doctor is expected to do should a baby inadvertently be born alive following an attempted abortion. The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act does. It makes his/her obligation clear – to treat this newborn infant with the same medical attention and care as other babies born at the same age and then transfer the baby to a hospital for further evaluation and care by a qualified specialist.

 Twenty-nine states have such laws; but some of the states with the most permissive abortion laws, particularly for abortions late in pregnancy, where the chances of born-alive infants increase, do not have such protections.

A federal law is necessary to ensure that all infants who survive abortions are protected, not just those born in certain states.

For obvious reasons, abortionists do not want what they call the “dreaded complication,” that is, a live birth of a child they were aborting. Therefore it is not far-fetched to conclude that they may take active or passive steps after the child’s birth to ensure that the child does not survive. This makes children born alive following an attempted abortion more vulnerable than their non-abortion birth counterparts. Nevertheless, these newborn children have an equal right to life and protection.

State legislative testimony like this, given in Florida as they were preparing to pass their law protecting children born alive, shows the need for this protection, because the abortion lobby is unwilling to provide it on their own.

Further reflections on the necessity of this law can be found in this article, Why is the Born Alive Act necessary?

 

But does this actually happen?

Some may doubt that this happens, but it is a matter of public record that babies sometimes survive abortion.

The question then becomes whether the fact that they were scheduled to be aborted means that they lose their protection even if they are born.

The phenomenon of live births after abortions is documented by government agencies on the federal and state levels as well as internationally, and is also corroborated by individual case testimonies, some of which have received considerable publicity.

A Fox News report gives the following details: “At least 40 babies were born alive after botched abortions across three states since 2016, according to state health data…The data on babies surviving abortions is compiled on a mandatory basis by only a handful of states.

“The most recent information comes from Minnesota, which reported in June that three infants were born alive in 2018 after induced termination of a pregnancy. That brings the state total to 11 since 2016. Arizona reported 10 in 2017 and Florida had 19 such instances since 2017. Nationally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 143 cases between 2003 and 2014 of infants born after attempted abortions, though those figures may be incomplete.”

Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration reported two infants born alive after an induced termination of pregnancy so far in 2019. The state reported six cases in 2018 and 11 cases in 2017.

The Minnesota Department of Health data shows three cases of “abortion procedures resulting in a born-alive infant were reported” in both 2017 and 2018, and five in 2016.

Internationally, we also see reports of babies born alive after failed abortions. In the UK, the Daily Mail has reported that in just one year 66 infants had been left to die after abortions. Canada, moreover, reports 491 babies born alive during abortion between 2000 and 2009.

Aside from government reporting, individual medical professionals have come forward to report on instances where they have seen babies born alive after abortions and then left to die or actively killed.

Nurse Jill Stanek’s testimony about what happened at Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, IL was a key impetus for the Born Alive bill that was signed in 2002. Other examples abound, like the Hialeah case, the emergency call from Family Planning Associates in Phoenix, the Baby Hope case, and more.

Abortionist Kermit Gosnell is serving life in prison precisely for killing babies born alive during abortions.

Former abortion clinic employees of Douglas Karpen, moreover, describe how he killed babies born alive.

And there is an entire network of abortion survivors, like Josiah Presley and Claire Culwell, whose stories are becoming more and more known.

 

Where does public opinion stand?

A February 2019 poll by McLaughlin and Associates shows 77% of the public supporting legislation to protect children born alive after a failed abortion. Some 70% of Democrats, moreover, support it.

A YouGov/Americans United for Life poll at that same time shows 82% of Americans (including 77% of prochoice people) opposed to removing care for viable children after birth.

While the partisan divide on abortion has been clear over the years, it is not clear that there should be such a divide when it comes to protecting children outside the womb.

 

Further articles

Numerous op-eds can be found on this topic, including from people like Senator Mitch McConnell, Senator Marsha Blackburn, Rep. Steve Scalise, and Fr. Frank Pavone.


Priests for Life PO Box 236695 • Cocoa, FL 32923
Tel. 321-500-1000, Toll Free 888-735-3448 • Email: mail@priestsforlife.org