A Wisconsin Democratic leader slammed a bill to protect newborns from infanticide this week, arguing that it is “selfish” to provide medical care to a disabled baby who survives an abortion.
Nancy Stencil, chair of the Democratic Party of Marathon County, told WSAV News that she opposes a state bill that would require doctors to provide basic medical care to an infant who survives an abortion. She also defended discriminating against newborns with disabilities.
“Late term abortion is a hard enough decision for parents,” Stencil said. “If something is drastically wrong with their child, it’s selfish to have it live just for the sake of living.”
She criticized President Donald Trump for bringing up the legislation when he visited Wisconsin last week.
“I could not believe what I was hearing coming out of his mouth. I really couldn’t,” Stencil said.
Pro-abortion Democrats have argued that the bill is not necessary because babies do not survive abortions. Others said it will wrongly punish doctors by forcing them to provide medical care for newborns.
Democratic Gov. Tony Evers said he will veto the legislation.
The state Department of Health Services doesn’t track [abortion survivor] births because Wisconsin bans non-emergency abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy and any baby born before then would be too young to survive outside of the womb, agency spokeswoman Jennifer Miller said.
The agency does report that in 2017, the latest year for which data is available, 1% of abortions were performed after 20 weeks. Miller explained it was difficult to determine the fetus’ age in those instances. The data did not indicate if any of them survived the abortion attempt.
Pro-life state Assemblyman Jim Steineke, the lead sponsor of the legislation, defended the measure. He told the AP that modern medical advances are saving babies earlier and earlier, and babies someday may be able to survive outside the womb before 20 weeks. The earliest known premature infant to survive was born at 21 weeks and four days of pregnancy.
“We have no way of knowing in the future how early we’ll be able to save these kids,” he said.
Evers said he will veto the bill anyway.
“I think those protections already exist,” Evers said last week. “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.”
Wisconsin Right to Life told LifeNews that the new legislation provides better protections for babies who survive abortions than the current law.
“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,” said Heather Weininger, executive director of Wisconsin Right to Life.
Weininger said Evers’ extreme position on abortion is becoming clear.
“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,” she said.
Democratic political leaders across the country have been vehemently opposing similar legislation in their states and in U.S. Congress. Pro-abortion Democrats repeatedly blocked the a Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act in the U.S. House and Senate this spring. North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed similar legislation in his state in April.
Currently, 19 states do not require any protection for babies born alive after botched abortions. The Wisconsin bill will make it clear that infanticide is not tolerated under law.
Centers for Disease Control statistics indicate that at least 143 babies were born alive after botched abortions between 2003 and 2014 in the U.S., though there may be more.
Pro-life lawmakers are working to crack down on infanticide across the nation. States including, Kentucky and Texas, North Carolina, Wisconsin and Alabama are moving forward with legislation to require basic medical care for newborns. 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.