Analysis

Let’s set the record straight on ‘born-alive’ bills that protect abortion survivors

preemie, Wyoming, abortion survivors

A bill that would guarantee health care for children surviving abortions is being mischaracterized by some who claim it would force babies with fatal conditions to spend their last moments in pain from unnecessary procedures that would cause suffering for them and their parents. But New Hampshire House Bill 233 would give protection to babies born alive after an attempted abortion — not torture dying infants.

The Concord Monitor recently featured stories from parents whose babies tragically died shortly after birth due to fatal birth defects or disorders. For them, the moments they were able to spend holding their children while they were still alive were understandably precious, and helped them grieve. Instead of being connected to tubes and wires, families were able to have their children baptized, get ink footprints, and take much-loved photos.

Janice Steenbeke’s grandson, Samuel, died 20 years ago. He lived for 30 minutes outside of the womb. “I can’t imagine knowing that you’re carrying a child that’s not going to live,” Janice told the Monitor. “We chose to go through with the pregnancy and do what we could do and mourn the loss of the baby. Don’t tell me you’re going to take this child and try to save it when it’s not possible.”

Yet HB 233 does not require a child expected to die within minutes to be forcibly intubated or given CPR. In fact, the bill specifically clarifies that it is meant for abortion survivors.

“Under this bill, a person shall not deny or deprive an infant of nourishment with the intent to cause or alter the death of an infant during an abortion,” the bill’s text reads (emphasis added). The bill merely states that any child born alive — meaning he or she is breathing, has a beating heart, or is moving — is a legal human being with a right to “medically appropriate and reasonable care and treatment.”

Put simply, it states that an infant cannot be deprived of medical care, something that is sadly common in the abortion industry.

 

Though the abortion industry often tries to deny their existence, abortion survivors are real. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least 143 children were born alive after an attempted abortion between 2003 and 2014 — with the CDC acknowledging that the real number is likely even higher. Babies are still born alive today, and it is completely unrealistic to think that the abortionist — whose goal is to end the life of that child — would turn around and try to save him or her.

Live Action’s InHuman investigation found that abortionists have no intention of providing aid or medical care to an abortion survivor. Horrifyingly, some even admitted to intentionally speeding up the process of death. In one example, a staffer at Emily’s Women’s Center in the Bronx said any child who accidentally survived an abortion would be placed in a fatal “solution” that would make the baby stop breathing and moving. In another example, an abortionist practicing in Washington, D.C., stated that if an infant survived the abortion, “we would not help it.”

Abortion supporters frequently claim that abortion survivors are already adequately protected, but this is not true. The 2002 Born Alive Infant Protection Act, while stating that abortion survivors are persons with full citizenship entitled to full protection under the law, also contained no penalties for breaking the law, nor did it mandate any kind of medical care for such children.

Abortion survivors deserve to be given the best medical care possible. They do not deserve to be left to die.

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