Alabama Bill Would Stop Infanticide, Require Medical Care for Babies Born Alive After Abortion

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Apr 25, 2019   |   11:04AM   |   Washington, DC

Alabama is joining a growing list of states this spring to consider legislation to protect babies who survive abortions.

State Rep. Ginny Shaver, R-Centre, introduced House Bill 491 on Tuesday to require that babies who survive abortions be provided with basic medical care, according to The Birmingham News. Abortionists who fail to provide medical care could be charged with a felony.

“Babies are left to die and measures are actually taken to end the baby’s life, that is infanticide,” Shaver said. “It’s not a frequent occurrence, but if and when it does happen, that child’s life does need to be protected.”

Currently, Alabama is one of 19 states that does not have a law requiring medical care for babies born alive after botched abortions, according to research by Americans United for Life. This spring, a number of state legislatures are taking action to remedy the problem.

Bills to protect abortion survivors are moving forward in Kentucky and Texas. Additionally, North Carolina and Wisconsin passed bills to protect abortion survivors, but their pro-abortion governors vetoed the legislation.

In Alabama, there is more hope that the bill will pass with Republicans leading the legislature and governor’s office. But abortion activists already are lobbying hard to prevent it from becoming law.

Dr. Margaret Boozer, a former Planned Parenthood employee and OB-GYN in Alabama, told the local news that a baby surviving an abortion “simply does not happen.”

“In Alabama abortions are not performed beyond 22 weeks,” Boozer said. “If we were to induce labor for an abnormal pregnancy beyond 24 weeks we would be only inducing due to significant lethal fetal abnormality or maternal indication, but that would not be abortion care.”

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But a wealth of evidence contradicts Boozer’s claims. There are the personal testimonies from medical staff who have witnessed babies being abandoned to die after they survived abortions, as well as testimonies of abortion survivors themselves.

Reports by the Centers for Disease Control also 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.

The 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.