South Carolina Committee Approves Botched Abortion-Born Alive Protection Bill
by Steven Ertelt
February 6, 2009
Columbia, SC (LifeNews.com) — A South Carolina legislative committee has approved a bill that would provide appropriate medical care and protection for babies who are born alive after a failed abortion. The bill implements a federal law that accomplishes the same purpose and is similar to the Illinois measure President Barack Obama opposed.
The Born-Alive Infant Protection Act says any child born alive in South Carolina is a person under state law.
It applies in cases such as a baby born after a failed abortion or where a premature birth is purposefully induced.
Rep. Greg Delleney, a Republican, is the sponsor of the bill and the head of a subcommittee that approved the measure. The bill now heads to the full House Judiciary Committee for its consideration.
There, earlier this week, the panel approved a bill calling for a 24-hour waiting period before an abortion can be done.
Delleney says the bill requires medical care be given to infants in the same way any other patient deserves proper treatment.
"It seems pretty simple," he said, according to an AP report. "If you come here a living, breathing person, you have to be treated as such. But since Roe v. Wade, life has been devalued."
Holly Gatling, the head of South Carolina Citizens for Life, the statewide pro-life group that also backs the bill, agrees.
"Unlike a fetus that has no more legal right that this Styrofoam cup, a premature infant is a premature infant and should be a legally protected person — regardless of how he or she reached that state," she told the panel.
She held up a crushed Styrofoam coffee cup to illustrate the point.
"While there is debate about whether or not to aggressively treat premature infants below a certain birth weight, this is a dispute about medical usefulness, not regarding legal status," Gatling added.
"Medical authorities who argue that treatment below a given birth weight is futile are not arguing that these low-birth weight infants are non-persons, or that it would be legally permissible to dispatch them with hammer blows to the skull, or toss them in the garbage with the mornings coffee cup," she said.
When he was in the Illinois legislature, state lawmakers considered a similar bill but Obama voted against it saying it would interfere with legal abortions. Even after an abortion-neutralization amendment was added, Obama continued to oppose the bill.
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