Last week, the Alabama Senate passed HB 237, a born-alive abortion survivor’s protection bill known as “Gianna’s Law.” The bill is named for Gianna Jessen, an abortion survivor and pro-life activist. The Alabama House previously passed the bill in March. It will now head to the desk of Governor Kay Ivey who is expected to sign it.
“There is no such thing as post-birth abortion,” said the bill’s sponsor, State Rep. Ginny Shaver (R). “Think about those three words. That’s infanticide.”
“That’s what it is and what my bill does is in this situation where a child survives an abortion attempt and is born alive, it would require a physician to exercise the same reasonable care to preserve the life of the child that is born alive,” she continued. “When this happens, if there is any sign of breathing or any other sign of life … there would then exist a doctor-patient relationship between the doctor and the child so that he would be required to exercise the same degree of physical skill and care to make an effort to reasonably preserve the life and health of that child.”
While opponents of the bill, or any born-alive bill introduced in recent years, claim such a law is unnecessary because infanticide is illegal, many babies who survive abortion are not actively killed but rather, are left to die. As pointed out by the National Review, it is not illegal, under either federal law or Alabama law, for an abortionist to neglect a baby who has survived his attempt to abort her. Under this law, the abortionist would be required to provide medical care to that child.
Despite the abortion industry’s claims that abortion survivors don’t exist, babies have been surviving abortions for decades, including Jessen, who survived an abortion at Planned Parenthood in 1977. In 2016, across just three states, 40 babies survived an abortion attempt on their lives. A woman named “Angele” shared the heartbreaking story of her son Rowan whom she decided to abort in 2005 when she was 22 weeks pregnant.
Angele explained that after choosing an induction abortion, her son was supposed to die in the womb before being delivered. But after he was born, he was very much alive. She gave birth to him in the clinic bathroom and began to sob and scream for help. She watched him move and curl up “like he was cold.” The nurse came in but ignored Rowan’s signs of life before leaving again.
I was touching Rowan softly and he moved again. I called her back. Rowan jumped, I think startled by the loud sound of my calling for help. I showed her that he was moving and alive. I begged her to hurry and call 911, now!
I stayed beside Rowan talking to him, telling him how strong he was being and how proud I was of him. I told him God must really want us to be together for him to make it through everything he had just been through and that Mommy was so sorry but so happy to have a chance to love him. I told him he was a strong little miracle and that I couldn’t wait for him to meet his brother and sister. I just kept touching him, trying to warm him with my hands and talking to him so he would not feel any more afraid than he already must.
Babies born as young as Rowan (and as young as 21 weeks) have a chance of surviving when given proper medical care, yet abortionists haven’t done their job if a baby survives an abortion and they are currently under no legal obligation to give them that care. No action was ever taken against the clinic for Rowan’s death or the countless other deaths of abortion survivors over the years. Alabama’s law would help change that.
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