North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper May Veto Bill to Stop Infanticide, Care for Babies Born Alive

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Apr 17, 2019   |   9:46AM   |   Charlotte, North Carolina

North Carolinans are watching Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper to see if he will veto a bill to protect newborns from infanticide.

The state legislature passed the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act on Tuesday, but the governor, a pro-abortion Democrat, may veto it, the AP reports.

State Senate Bill 359 would require abortion workers to provide the same level of medical care to an infant born alive from a botched abortion that they would any other infant born at the same gestational age. It also would require the infant to be transferred to a hospital for further care. Abortion workers who violate the measure could face felony charges.

The state Senate passed the bill Monday, and House lawmakers approved it 65-46 on Tuesday.

Cooper has not said for sure that he will veto the bill, but his spokespeople have criticized it repeatedly, suggesting that a veto is likely. During his election campaign, Cooper was endorsed by the largest abortion chain in America, Planned Parenthood.

North Carolina Democrats claimed the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act is not necessary, and the bill is just a political stunt to vilify abortionists.

“This unnecessary legislation would criminalize doctors for a practice that simply does not exist,” said Ford Porter, a spokesperson for the governor.

During the House debate, however, state Rep. Pat McElraft, R-Emerald Isle, gave a powerful testimony about working as a phlebotomist and seeing newborns who survived abortions being abandoned to die in the hospital where she worked, according to North Carolina Health News.

“I was on a break and went in to visit with the pathologist in the pathology lab and I asked him, I said, ‘What are all these little pigs doing in these buckets?’ He told me, ‘Pat, look again,’ and I did. They were perfectly formed little human babies in those buckets,” she said.

McElraft said the incident occurred in the 1970s, soon after she began working in the medical field. She also said she knew of a doctor at the hospital who drowned newborns who survived abortions.

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State Lt. Gov. Dan Forest supports the legislation. Prior to the vote, he encouraged lawmakers and Cooper to pass the bill.

“No matter the circumstance, the life of a newborn child needs to be protected,” Forest said in a statement.

Currently, 19 states do not have laws requiring medical care for babies born alive after botched abortions, according to research by Americans United for Life. However, Kentucky and Texas lawmakers are considering similar legislation this spring.

All three state bills are similar to federal legislation that pro-abortion Democrats are blocking in the U.S. House and Senate. The Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act requires abortionists to provide the same level of medical care to an infant who survives an abortion as a doctor would to any other baby at the same stage of life.

Some states never have passed laws to protect abortion survivors, while at least one other, New York, recently repealed its law requiring medical care for infants who survive abortions.

Reports by the Centers for Disease Control indicate that there are infants born alive after botched abortions in the U.S. According to Congressional testimony:

Data that the CDC collects also confirms babies are born alive after attempted abortions.  Between the years 2003 and 2014 there were somewhere between 376 and 588 infant deaths under the medical code P96.4 which keeps track of babies born alive after a “termination of pregnancy.”

The CDC concluded that of the 588 babies, 143 were “definitively” born alive after an attempted abortion and they lived from minutes to one or more days, with 48% of the babies living between one to four hours.  It also admitted that it’s possible the number is an underestimate (B).

Data from other countries suggest the same. In 2018, for example, the Canadian Institute of Health Information reported 766 late-term, live-birth abortions over a five-year period. In Western Australia, at least 27 babies survived abortions between 1999 and 2016, according to the state’s health minister.

ACTION: Contact Gov. Roy Cooper by email or phone at (919) 814-2000.