Florida lawmakers added new protections for babies who survive abortions this week as growing evidence indicates that viable babies are born alive in botched abortions every year in the U.S.
Tampa Bay News 10 reports Florida already has a law in place that requires abortionists and support staff to provide medical care to a baby who is born alive from a botched abortion and transport the baby to a hospital.
But the new law, signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday, increases the penalties for failing to provide that basic care.
Florida Senate Bill 404 makes it a third-degree felony for a doctor or medical worker to neglect to provide care to a baby who survives an abortion. Previously, the penalty was a misdemeanor.
“This law sends a clear message that here in Florida, we will do everything we can to prevent the abomination of infanticide in our state,” Senate President Bill Galvano said after the governor signed the law. “When a child miraculously survives this brutal medical procedure, that child’s life must be preserved and treated with great respect and care. The penalty for refusing to provide medical care to an infant struggling for life should be significant.”
Galvano thanked state Sen. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland, the lead sponsor, for her courageous leadership on the pro-life law.
Earlier this year, a Fox News investigation found that 40 known abortion survivors were documented in just three states between 2016 and 2018, including 19 in Florida. It is not clear from the report if any of the babies survived.
Abortions are legal for any reason up to 24 weeks of pregnancy in Florida. Premature babies now are surviving at 21 weeks of pregnancy, and, in 2018, the state reported 213 abortions at or after 21 weeks of pregnancy.
Despite the evidence, the abortion chain Planned Parenthood fought aggressively against the legislation. Stephanie Fraim, who runs the Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida affiliate, claimed the law threatens “a reinterpretation of our constitutional right to privacy and the right to a safe and legal abortion in Florida.”
But the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops and other pro-life leaders praised lawmakers for supporting the life-saving legislation, according to the Catholic News Service.
“As Catholics, we condemn abortion as a grave injustice that denies the fundamental human right to life. However, as long as abortion is legal, we support measures such as parental consent that will reduce the grave harm it inflicts,” they said in a statement.
Stargel’s law also requires a girl under 18 to have at least one parent’s permission before going through with an abortion. The bill includes exceptions for medical emergencies and allows a judge to grant permission instead of a parent.
Meanwhile, growing evidence indicates that babies are born alive in botched abortions every year in the U.S. Earlier this week, Minnesota, one of only a few states that keeps data on abortion survivors, reported three babies survived abortions in 2019.
This week, the Center for Medical Progress also released a new video showing sworn testimony by abortion industry leaders who admitted that babies sometimes survive abortions.
Reports from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) provide more evidence. 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).
The Florida law is similar to federal legislation that pro-abortion Democrats blocked in the U.S. House. Demonstrating their loyalty to the billion-dollar abortion industry, Democrats blocked the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act at least 80 times last year. The bill requires abortionists to provide the same basic medical care to an infant born alive after a failed abortion that a doctor would to any other infant born at that stage of pregnancy.