Whether pro-life or pro-choice, we should be able to agree that if a baby survives an abortion, they deserve the same attention and life-saving medical care that any other child would receive after birth. To believe otherwise is to support infanticide.
Over three dozen times this year Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives have asked the Speaker of the House to bring The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Act up for a vote. This common-sense law would hold accountable any medical professional who withholds care to the baby while giving the mother – the second victim of abortion – the ability to bring a civil lawsuit against health care professionals who do not take appropriate actions to protect this innocent life.
With more states enacting laws that allow unconscionable late-term abortions, passing The Born-Alive Survivors Protection Act has become even more important. The state of New York celebrated legislation that allows an abortion until the time of birth, and Illinois is working on similar legislation. This year, the governor of Virginia defended the passive infanticide of babies born alive after failed abortions – which occurs more often than thought.
Opponents of this legislation state it is not necessary because babies are never born alive after abortions. A large European study found that over half of fetuses from induced abortions between 22 to 26 weeks survived. Undoubtedly this is true in the U.S. as well when abortionists opt not to kill the fetus before starting the abortion. The only reason we so rarely hear about it is because the abortionist is not going to report those live births. Sadly, they are going to complete the job after birth.
Many Americans generously assume that a woman would turn to a late-term abortion in only the most difficult situations. They may feel it is appropriate to leave the decision to the discretion of “a woman and her doctor,” assuming the doctor will offer the woman guidance, and the procedure will be performed for only truly compelling reasons.
Most would be surprised to learn that only 7 percent of obstetrician/gynecologists will perform an abortion when requested by their patients. Almost all abortions in this country result from a business transaction whereby a woman hires the technical skills of an abortion provider. There is usually no medical judgment involved, and very little counseling about other options.
Around 97 percent of abortions are obtained for social and financial reasons, meaning very few result from rape, incest, severe fetal anomalies or to protect a woman’s life. Reasons frequently given for controversial late-term abortions include “trouble deciding about the abortion” and “disagreeing about the abortion with the man involved.” Thus, indecision, coercion and partner abandonment seem to represent the real reasons many women choose late-term abortions.
Late-term abortions are far more dangerous to the mother than early abortions. The risk of death from abortion increases by 38 percent for each week beyond 8 weeks and is 76 times higher after a pregnancy has reached viability, when survival outside the mother’s womb is possible (currently around 22 weeks gestation).
America is out of the mainstream. Worldwide only 6 percent of countries allow elective abortion after the first trimester, and only 3 percent allow it after viability. By having such infant-endangering laws, we find ourselves in the company of notorious human rights violators like China and North Korea.
Recent polling by the Susan B. Anthony List found that 62 percent of Americans are opposed to legislation that allows late-term abortions – with 50 percent being “strongly” opposed. When asked if they support legislation like the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, 77 percent said yes; only nine percent were opposed.
It used to be claimed by Democrats that they wanted abortion to be rare and safe. The radical stance now being advocated by congressional Democrats is out of step with American values – mainly that life is an unalienable right as declared in our founding documents – and endangers the health of mothers and the lives of innocent children.
Protecting innocent babies is a human rights issue. Democrats are fond of saying that Republicans are on the wrong side of history. Future generations will look back and clearly see that in this case, protecting life is the just and noble cause.
LifeNews Note: Kevin Brady is the U.S. Representative for the 8th District of Texas and an adoptive father of two. Dr. Ingrid Skop has cared for women and their babies as an ob/gyn in San Antonio for 27 years. She is the Vice-Chairman of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists.