The Bill and its Introduction
H.R. 962, the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, introduced in the 116th Congress 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 opposed it. In the 115th Congress, House Republicans did pass this measure, as they also did in the 114th Congress. In this Democrat-controlled House, however, the leadership did not even want to allow a vote on the measure.
Moreover, on many days of the legislative session in the 116th Congress, Republican members have requested unanimous consent for consideration of the bill, but Democrat leadership refused.
So in order to force a vote on the bill, on April 2, 2019 Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) and Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO) used a Congressional procedure called a discharge petition that required 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 signed, as did three Democrats (out of 235). Only 17 more of those 235 Democrats were needed 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 Would 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 H.R. 962 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.
On Tuesday, September 10, 2019, 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.
Here is information about the bill and actions we asked you to take in regards to this…
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.