Planned Parenthood is lobbying members of Congress to oppose a new pro-life bill the House of Representatives will vote on tomorrow that would hold the abortion business criminally liable for harvesting body parts from aborted babies who are technically still alive.
The center for Medical Progress has released 10 videos catching and exposing Planned Parenthood officials selling aborted babies and their body parts. One of the most shocking videos caught the nation’s biggest abortion business harvesting the brain of an aborted baby who was still alive.
The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, sponsored by pro-life Congressman Trent Franks would make failure to provide standard medical care to children born alive during an abortion a federal crime. It would also apply stronger penalties in cases where an overt act is taken to kill the abortion survivor.
Under the pro-life bill, slated to get a full House vote later this week, there is also a civil right of action for mothers of children who survive an abortion to hold the abortion provider accountable.
However, Planned Parenthood is lobbying against the bill and circulated a memo to members of Congress urging them to vote against it and to allow it to continue harvesting body parts from aborted babies born alive. Here’s some of the text from the memo, which couches the opposition in terms of women’s health:
This week the House is set to continue pressing it’s all out assault on women’s health by voting on two bills that seek to restrict women’s reproductive health. In the 114th Congress, the House has already taken four anti-women’s health votes and is set to take two additional votes to restrict access to women’s health care. This is already twice the number of anti-women’s health votes than at this same point in the 113th and 112th Congresses–and this Congress is not even half over.
This bill is yet another attempt to politicize women’s health and limit women’s access to abortion.
This bill would interfere with the sacred doctor-patient relationship and substitute a physician’s best judgment with that of a group of politicians. That is why providers groups like ACOG oppose this legislation.Unfortunately, this legislation offered by Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) rolls back that carefully crafted bipartisan agreement reached in 2002.
The bipartisan Born Alive Infants Protection Act state that when a baby is born alive, it requires a certain standard of care. Women’s reproductive health organizations did not oppose this bill at the time because it did not alter current law in a significant way, did not change current clinical practice and did not roll back the important protections of Roe v. Wade. Planned Parenthood strongly opposes this bill because it would also add new criminal penalties against doctors and clinicians as a scare tactics that serves the sole purpose of scaring women away from seeking safe, legal, abortion.
Finally, the vague language and broad provisions leave significant uncertainty about what the bill actually does. By rushing a vaguely drafted bill to the floor, Rep. Franks is forcing his colleagues to vote on a bill without full knowledge of its impact.
President Barack Obama has already pledged to veto the bill should it be approved by Congress.
In the video CMP released exposing how Planned Parenthood harvests organs from babies who are still alive, the video features Holly O’Donnell, a licensed phlebotomist who unsuspectingly took a job as a “procurement technician” at the fetal tissue company and biotech start-up StemExpress in late 2012. That’s the company that acts as a middleman and purchases the body parts of aborted babies from Planned Parenthood to sell to research universities and other places. StemExpress was partnered with Planned Parenthood up until last week, when it quietly announced it ended its relationship with the abortion corporation.
The video includes O’Donnell’s eyewitness narrative of the daily practice of fetal body parts harvesting in Planned Parenthood abortion clinics. She tells the harrowing story of harvesting an intact brain from a late-term male unborn baby whose heart was still beating after the abortion.
O’Donnell describes the harvesting, or “procurement,” of organs from a nearly intact late-term baby aborted at Planned Parenthood Mar Monte’s Alameda clinic in San Jose, California.
The procurement of body parts from aborted babies who are still alive is a violation of the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, a pro-life bill President George W. Bush signed into law to protect unborn babies who survive abortions. Now, Congress wants to add teeth to that law to make it so Planned Parenthood or other abortion companies would be held criminally liable for breaking the law.
The National Right to Life Committee provided LifeNews a detailed analysis of the groundbreaking new pro-life legislation, H.R. 3504. The information comes in the form of a letter from top NRLC officials to members of Congress urging a vote for the bill.
In 2002, Congress approved, without a dissenting vote, the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act (BAIPA), subsequently signed into law by President George W. Bush and codified as 1 U.S.C. §8. This important law states that “every infant member of the species homo sapiens who is born alive at any stage of development” is a “person” for all federal law purposes. The bill defines “born alive” in terms of explicit criteria – “complete expulsion from his or her mother . . . at any stage of development, who after such expulsion or extraction breathes or has a beating heart, pulsation of the umbilical cord, or definite movement of voluntary muscles, regardless of whether the umbilical cord has been cut, and regardless of whether the expulsion or extraction occurs as a result of natural or induced labor, cesarean section, or induced abortion.”
The BAIPA was a response to troubling indications, well summarized in the House Judiciary Committee’s excellent 2001 report on the legislation, that some abortion providers and pro-abortion activists did not regard infants born alive during abortion procedures as legal persons – especially if the infants were deemed to be “pre-viable” (i.e., have limited life expectancy due to prematurity). Such a mindset puts a substantial number of live-born infant persons in jeopardy of gross neglect or overt violence. Live birth, as defined in 1 U.S.C. §8, may occur a month before “viability.” BAIPA made it crystal clear that life expectancy is entirely irrelevant for purposes of legal personhood.
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However, in the years since 1 U.S.C. §8 was enacted, evidences have multiplied that some abortion providers do not regard babies born alive during abortions as persons, and do not provide them with the types of care that would be provided to premature infants who are born spontaneously. In some cases, such born-alive infants are even subjected to overt acts of deadly violence. In 2013, Dr. Kermit Gosnell of Philadelphia was convicted under state law of multiple homicides of such born-alive infants, but such a prosecution and conviction is uncommon. In some jurisdictions, local authorities seem reluctant to investigate reports of infants born alive during abortions, or to bring appropriate indictments even in cases in which the publicly reported evidence of gross neglect or overt lethal acts seems strong.
Public concern has been increased by a recent series of hidden-camera videos released by the Center for Medical Progress, in which various persons described events and practices within certain Planned Parenthood abortion clinics that, at the very least, raise questions about whether it is generally recognized among abortion-clinic personnel that a born-alive baby is a legal “person,” whether before or after “viability.” Other passages raise similar questions regarding some persons who operate firms that obtain and sell baby body parts, obtained from abortion clinics.
National Right to Life believes that it is time for Congress to act decisively to put the entire abortion industry on notice that when they treat a born-alive human person as medical waste, as a source for organ harvesting, or as a creature who may be subjected to lethal violence with impunity, they will do so at grave legal peril. H.R. 3504 would enact an explicit requirement that a baby born alive during an abortion must be afforded “the same degree” of care that would apply “to any other child born alive at the same gestational age,” including transportation to a hospital. This language does not dictate bona fide medical judgments nor require futile measures, but rather, requires that babies born alive during abortions are treated in the same manner as those who are spontaneously born prematurely. This language is based on very similar provisions contained within H.R. 36, passed by the House of Representatives on May 13, 2015.
In addition, the bill applies the existing penalties of 18 U.S.C. Sec. 1111 (the federal murder statute) to anyone who performs “an overt act that kills a child born alive.” This would apply, for example, to an abortion clinic staff person who dissects a breathing born-alive infant in order to harvest an intact liver, or to an abortionist who ends a born-alive baby’s whimpers with a sharp blow to the skull, or by snipping the spine.
In addition, the bill provides a civil cause of action to women who are harmed by violations of the act. The civil action provisions are similar to language in H.R. 36.
ACTION: Contact members of Congress to urge a vote for the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act.