Wisconsin Bill Would Protect Babies Born After Botched Abortions

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 18, 2003   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Wisconsin Bill Would Protect Babies Born After Botched Abortions

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
August 18, 2003

Madison, WI (LifeNews.com) — The Wisconsin legislature will have a joint public hearing on Thursday on a pro-life bill that would protect babies who are born alive following a botched abortion.

"The purpose of this important legislation is to guarantee that every infant born alive after an abortion has the same legal status and legal rights under Wisconsin law as an infant born alive after a normal delivery resulting from a natural or induced labor or a caesarian section," explains Sue Armacost, legislative director for Wisconsin Right to Life.

In some instances, babies who are born alive following a botched abortion are left to die. Jill Stanek, a former nurse at a Chicago-area hospital brought the practice to national attention.

President Bush signed the Born Alive Infants Protection Act into law in 2001. That legislation offers babies such protection on the federal level, but states must still pass similar bills.

Stanek will testify at the August 21st hearing. She witnessed numerous atrocities inflicted upon babies who had survived abortions at Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, Ill. She testified before Congress when it passed the bill Bush signed.

The debate over a ban on partial-birth abortions touches on the discussion about this legislation.

During debate on the ban, pro-life advocates say Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold (D) endorsed the kind of infanticide this bill is attempting to prohibit.

Feingold stated that even if a baby would completely slip out of a woman’s body during a partial-birth abortion, it should still be a matter between a woman and her doctor to decide whether to kill the baby. 

Feingold’s statement created a firestorm throughout the nation and almost cost him re-election to the U. S. Senate in 1998.  Feingold faces re-election again in 2004.

"The Born Alive Infant Protection Act is legislation that Wisconsin’s ‘pro-choice’ and ‘pro-life’ legislators and the Governor should be able to agree on because it deals with infanticide, not abortion," said Armacost. "Even congressional ‘pro-choice’ stalwarts like Tom Daschle did not stand in the way of the federal bill.  If Congress could do it, so can the Wisconsin Legislature."