Democratic Gov. Tony Evers vetoed four abortion bills Friday, including one that would require doctors to provide basic medical care to newborn babies who survive abortions.
The legislature passed the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, sending it to the governor for final approval. 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.”
Today, Evers continued calling infanticide health care.
“Everyone should have access to quality, affordable health care, and that includes reproductive health care,” Evers said in a statement. “Politicians shouldn’t be in the business of interfering with decisions made between patients and their healthcare providers.”
That upset pro-life advocates.
“I’m incredibly saddened, though not surprised, that Gov. Evers has chosen to ignore the voices of Wisconsinites from all over the state who support these pieces of legislation,” said a statement from Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke, R-Kaukauna. “As a father, conservative, and legislator, I will continue fighting for those who don’t have a voice and ensuring our unborn receive the protections they deserve.”
To rally Wisconsin voters behind the legislation, Wisconsin Right to Life sponsored a rally and hundreds of pro-life advocates showed up to urge the governor to sign the bill.
“Yesterday, hundreds of pro-life activists from across Wisconsin joined us in Madison to show their support for four common-sense prolife pieces of legislation,” shared Heather Weininger, Executive Director of Wisconsin Right to Life.
She told LifeNews: “Not only were hundreds of supporters there, but Melissa Ohden, a survivor of a failed saline infusion abortion, and Claire Culwell, a survivor of an abortion that ended the life of her twin, also joined us to let Governor Evers know babies do survive failed abortion attempts. The only signature missing from these bills from being enacted into law is Governor Evers.”
“Governor Evers wants to connect the dots on many issues in Wisconsin, but it remains clear that he doesn’t understand that to have healthy women and healthy babies we must stop discrimination in the womb; we must provide truthful information to women who are making life-and-death decisions; we must provide care to babies born alive after failed abortion attempts,” Weininger continued.
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.
Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control, as well as the personal testimonies of nurses and abortion survivors themselves, indicate that babies do sometimes survive abortions. According to the CDC, at least 143 babies were born alive after botched abortions between 2003 and 2014 in the U.S., though there may be more.
However, research by the American Center for Law and Justice estimated the number is much higher, at least 362 between 2001 and 2010.
Our analysis is further supported by data from Canada that shows in the last reported ten years, “491 babies were left to die after they were born alive during abortions.” A look at how these statistics are recorded by Canada’s official recording agency (also using ICD-10 code P96.4), explained here and here, further confirms the data recorded by the CDC. In Britain it is reported that 50 babies are born alive as the result of botched abortions each year. Additionally, an “estimated 44,000 abortion survivors” are living in the United States today.
Interestingly, one of Planned Parenthood’s own leaders once unintentionally admitted the need for such legislation. In 2013, during a hearing in the Florida legislature, Planned Parenthood lobbyist Alisa LaPolt Snow said the mother and doctor should be allowed to decide if a born-alive infant receives medical care. In other words, the baby could be denied medical care and left to die.
Currently, 19 states do not have laws requiring medical care for babies born alive after botched abortions, according to research by Americans United for Life. The Wisconsin State Journal reported in 1982 that two babies survived abortion attempts in Madison and later died.
ACTION: Contact Governor Evers here or call 608-266-1212.