by Steven Ertelt
February 7, 2005
Springfield, IL (LifeNews.com) — The third time may be the charm for an Illinois bill with the simple goal of making sure that babies who survive botched abortions are provided appropriate medical care and attention. The measure has been defeated in two previous tries.
State Representative Brandon Phelps, a Democrat from Harrisburg, introduced the bill (HB 984) last week, according to a report in the Illinois Leader newspaper.
The Leader reports that a lobbyist from a state pro-life group says House Speaker Michael Madigan, also a Democrat, has promised that the bill will receive an up or down vote on the House floor.
Bills in 2001 and 2002 passed through the state Senate but died in Democrat-controlled committees when they moved to the state House. Madigan was an obstacle to getting the bill out of the committee and onto the floor for a vote.
Some 30 lawmakers have already signed on to the bill, which specifically defines the moment at which an unborn child has been born, in order to provide protection for her when an abortion goes awry.
Nurse Jill Stanek, who gained fame after exposing "live birth abortions" at a Chicago hospital, says unborn children have been born at 23 weeks after pregnancy who could have survived had they not been left to die by hospital staff.
Congress approved a similar bill and President Bush signed it into law in August 2002.
However, concern came up last February that some hospital staff are not following the law.
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.