Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers Will Veto Bill to Stop Infanticide, Care for Babies Born Alive

State   Steven Ertelt   Apr 23, 2019   |   11:13AM    Madison, WI

Tony Evers, the Wisconsin Democratic governor will veto a bill that would have protected newborn babies from infanticide in his state.

Doctors who fail to provide appropriate medical care and treatment for babies who survive abortions could face life in prison for just letting their newborn patient die. But that accountability will not be in place because Governor Evers plans to veto the legislation.

One legislator behind the bill explained the rationale for it:

“We wanted to reaffirm the fact that babies that survive abortions have the right to anything any other living, breathing individual in the state does,” Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke, R-Kaukauna, said. “And doctors have the responsibility to care for that child as they would for any other person who was living and breathing.”

The bill, co-authored and sponsored by Republican leaders of both houses, requires health care providers present during a failed abortion attempt “to exercise the same degree of professional skill, care, and diligence to preserve the life and health of the child as a reasonably diligent and conscientious health care provider would render to any other child born alive.”

If a doctor or nurse fail to do so, and fail to admit the infant to a hospital, he or she could face felony charges and up to $10,000 in fines. Health care providers  “intentionally causing the death of a child born alive” as a result of a failed abortion, could face life in prison.

But Evers says he won’t sign the anti-infanticide bill because he claims penalties currently exist in Wisconsin law and because the thinks women should have the choice to kill their babies — both before and after the abortion.

“I think those protections already exist,” Evers said in an interview Monday. “We have all sorts of issues to deal with in the state of Wisconsin and to pass a bill that is redundant seems to be not a productive use of time. And clearly I ran on the belief — and I still believe — that women should be able to make choices about their health care. But this deals with a specific issue that’s already been resolved.”

But one legislative co-sponsor says the bill is needed to make it clear that doctors must provide the right care and treatment for babies born alive following abortions and that punishments must exist in the law so courts have clear direction on how to handle such cases.

In response, Wisconsin Right to Life told LifeNews that Ever didn’t even wait for Wisconsin residents to speak out about the bill before saying he would veto it.

“Before Governor Evers even gave the public an opportunity to speak, he announced that his veto pen was out and ready,” shared Heather Weininger, Executive Director of Wisconsin Right to Life.

“Thankfully, Wisconsin did pass a bill to protect unborn babies born alive from failed abortion attempts that was signed into law on December 18, 2003. I would encourage Governor Evers to read our current law and the current bill that was introduced. He would see they are not the same,” she added.

She told LifeNews:

“This recently introduced bill will help health care providers understand the degree of care they must offer a baby born alive during a failed abortion. It will also give guidance to those who are an employee of a hospital, physician’s office or a clinic where abortions are performed who know that a baby born alive from a failed abortion and didn’t receive the proper care report this failure to the appropriate law enforcement agency.

“When a child is born prematurely via natural labor, induced labor or via cesarean section doctors have a clear understanding of the steps that must be taken to ensure they are giving the child every opportunity at life. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case when a baby is born alive during a failed abortion.

“We knew Governor Evers was extreme when it came to abortion, but now we understand how far he is willing to go to protect the abortion industry in Wisconsin. He refuses to give babies who have already survived death from abortion the same care as a baby born at the same gestational age.

“Wisconsin’s children – both born and unborn – deserve better than this. Governor Evers needs to stand up for all of our children, not just the ones he thinks are valuable. All life is valuable.”

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That Evers would not sign the bill is no surprise given the fact that he compared killing babies in abortions to a legitimate medical procedure.

Data reports from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) show the incidence of born-alive abortion survivors who are killed 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.”

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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.

We know it is an underestimate because these are just reported numbers from hospitals, not abortion facilities.  Gosnell is only one abortionist who was responsible for “hundreds of snippings” of born-alive babies, yet he did not report even one.  His numbers alone exceed the “definitive” numbers of the CDC.

Moreover, a total of 19 states do not require any protection for babies born alive after botched abortions. The Wisconsin bill will make it crystal clear that infanticide is not tolerated under law.