Wisconsin Democratic Gov. Tony Evers is expected to veto a bill this week that would require doctors to provide basic medical care to newborn babies who survive abortions.
The state Senate passed the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act on Wednesday in a 17-14 vote, sending it to the governor for final approval, the AP reports.
Evans, who supports abortion on demand, previously said the legislation is a waste of time and he would veto it. The state Senate does not have enough votes to override his veto.
“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,” the governor said in April. “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.”
Kristen Nupson, legislative director at Wisconsin Right to Life, said Evers is following the Democratic Party’s increasingly radical stance on life issues.
“We hear opponents of these bills saying we’re restricting women’s health care and access to abortion, when in fact not a single one of these bills actually restrict a woman’s access to abortion,” she told One News Now.
The bill would require medical workers to provide the same basic medical care to an infant who survives an abortion that they would to any other infant born at the same gestational age. It includes punishments for doctors who fail to provide that care.
“We know this is happening across the country and these newborns are not worthless,” said state Senate President Roger Roth, the lead sponsor of the bill. “Babies who survive failed abortions deserve to be treated the same way and given the same level of care as babies in maternity wards.”
WAOW News 9 reports Roth said his bill does not restrict abortion, it merely requires basic medical care for newborns.
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 the organization.
However, Democratic politicians in North Carolina argue that the bill is not necessary because there already are laws that protect newborns from infanticide, according to the local news.
Last week, the Wisconsin Senate also passed bills to strip away taxpayer funding from Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the U.S., to ban discriminatory abortions based on an unborn baby’s sex, race or disabilities, and to require that women be told of the possibility of an abortion pill reversal prior to having an abortion, according to the AP.
Evers likely will veto these bills as well.
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.