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

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Apr 18, 2019   |   11:48AM   |   Charlotte, North Carolina

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed a bill Thursday that would have protected newborn babies from infanticide in his state.

Cooper, a pro-abortion Democrat endorsed by Planned Parenthood, criticized the bill as “unnecessary” and claimed it would “criminalize doctors for a practice that simply does not exist,” Fox News 8 reports.

“Laws already protect newborn babies and this bill is an unnecessary interference between doctors and their patients,” Cooper said in his veto message. “This needless legislation would criminalize doctors and other healthcare providers for a practice that simply does not exist.”

The state legislature passed the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act on Tuesday. 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. Health workers also would be require to report these instances to authorities. Abortion workers who violate the measure could face felony charges.

Republican lawmakers swiftly condemned the governor for refusing to protect newborn babies from infanticide.

The News and Observer reports:

In a joint statement, two of the bill’s top supporters, Sen. Joyce Krawiec of Forsyth County and Rep. Pat McElraft of Carteret County, said that “caring for a living, breathing newborn infant is too restrictive for Governor Cooper’s radical abortion agenda.”

“We thought Democrats would agree that children born alive should be separate from the abortion debate, but it’s clear they want the ‘right to choose’ to even extend past birth,” they wrote.

The state Democratic Party, however, supported Cooper’s decision to veto the bill Thursday, according to the report.

Leading pro-life advocates condemned Governor Cooper’s veto.

“Shame on Governor Cooper for siding with extremists against innocent children and the will of his constituents,” said SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser, a North Carolina native. “North Carolina citizens are appalled by the extreme agenda on display in New York, Virginia, and several other states, as well as by Democratic Party leaders in Congress who have repeatedly blocked compassionate, popular legislation to protect vulnerable babies who survive abortions. It is no wonder state lawmakers, took decisive action of their own. Governor Cooper is radically out of step with North Carolinians and his record will be a liability with voters in 2020.”

“During Easter holy week when Christians around the world pause to remember the birth, sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus Christ, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper instead vetoed the life of innocent babies, created in the image of God, and chose to support infanticide standing side-by-side with New York Governor Cuomo and Virginia Governor Ralph Northam and groups like Planned Parenthood and NARAL,” said Tami Fitzgerald, NC Values Coalition Executive Director. “Roy Cooper didn’t just veto a bill, he vetoed babies—babies who are innocently born alive as the result of a botched abortion. Our coalition of pro-life advocates will gather our supporters in Raleigh and encourage the General Assembly to override this murderous action.”

It is not clear if there are enough votes in the state legislature to override Cooper’s veto. House lawmakers approved the bill 65-46, while the state Senate voted 28-19 in favor. A bill needs at least 60 percent support to override a veto.

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

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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.

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.

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.

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