Born-Alive Infanticides May be Occurring Despite Federal Law Preventing It

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 4, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Born-Alive Infanticides May be Occurring Despite Federal Law Preventing It

by Maria Gallagher Staff Writer
February 4, 2004

Tallahassee, FL ( — A Florida pro-life group is investigating allegations that babies are being left to die in the state — despite a federal law requiring medical care to be given to them. And a nurse who drew nationwide attention to the practice says many hospitals still may not know about the pro-life law designed to care for the infants.

Florida Right to Life’s president, Robin Hoffman, confirmed to that she has met with a Florida nurse who witnessed a baby left to die.

"What she (the nurse) went through was horrific for her," Hoffman said.

The infanticide practice, that some describe as a "born-alive abortion," refers to cases when a premature baby is delivered, sometimes following a botched abortion, and intentionally left to die.

Congress passed the Born Alive Infants Protection Act to help prevent their deaths and require hospitals to provide such infants with proper medical care. President Bush signed the legislation into law.

A few weeks ago, the nurse called the Florida Right to Life state office regarding her knowledge of a "born-alive" abortion.

Hoffman says she expects the nurse to go public with her story. "What happened to this baby, that’s horrific enough. That can’t be going on," Hoffman said. "That’s just wrong."

"We now know this [practice] is still continuing in Florida even though a federal law that was signed by President Bush on August 5, 2002 outlawed this practice," Hoffman said.

"This horrific practice must not continue in our hospitals and Florida nurses should be protected from participation," Hoffman added.

The issue of "born-alive" abortions first emerged on the national scene when nurse Jill Stanek went public with information that the practice was taking place at Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, Illinois.

According to Stanek, "There is concern growing among pro-life leaders that hospitals are unaware that the Born Alive Infants Protection Act exists."

Stanek adds that "there is communication ongoing with government officials on this, that if U.S. hospitals have not been notified of the Born Alive Infants Protection Act, they should be."

"I hear from nurses in every area of the country [where] I speak or am on the radio, that this [practice] is going on in their hospitals," Stanek said.

In her testimony to Congress during hearings on the legislation, Stanek recounted her experience with a victim of these types of infanticides.

"One night, a nursing co-worker was taking an aborted Down’s Syndrome baby who was born alive to our Soiled Utility Room because his parents did not want to hold him, and she did not have time to hold him," Stanek explained

"I could not bear the thought of this suffering child dying alone in a Soiled Utility Room, so I cradled and rocked him for the 45 minutes that he lived. He was 21 to 22 weeks old, weighed about a pound, and was about 10 inches long."

"He was too weak to move very much, expending any energy he had trying to breathe," Stanek said. "Toward the end he was so quiet that I couldn’t tell if he was still alive unless I held him up to the light to see if his heart was still beating through his chest wall.

"After he was pronounced dead, we folded his little arms across his chest, wrapped him in a tiny shroud, and carried him to the hospital morgue where all of our dead patients are taken," Stanek recalled.

When he signed the ban into law, President Bush said, "The Born-Alive Infants Protection Act is a step toward the day when every child is welcomed in life and protected in law.

"It is a step toward the day when the promises of the Declaration of Independence will apply to everyone, not just those with the voice and power to defend their rights."

At the time of the bill signing, Douglas Johnson, legislative director for National Right to Life, said, "This law is badly needed, because some people in our society have convinced themselves that some newborn infants — particularly those born alive during abortions, or with handicaps — are not really legal persons."

When the legislation was originally introduced in 2000, pro-abortion groups attacked it.

Later, however, they toned down their rhetoric and did not actively oppose the legislation’s journey through Congress.

Stanek’s story of being forced to hold a baby until the child died has stunned a number of Congressmen, public officials, and even journalists.

In one memorable interview, the normally talkative Bill O’Reilly, host of Fox News’ "The O’Reilly Factor," was left speechless after Stanek described the practice of "born-alive" abortions.

Those with information about such infanticides being performed in Florida can contact the Florida Right to Life office at 407-422-7111.

Related web sites:
Florida Right to Life –