Planned Parenthood Opposes Bill to Protect Babies Who Survive Abortions

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Jan 12, 2021   |   6:37PM   |   Frankfort, KY

Planned Parenthood demanded that lawmakers reject a pro-life bill last week that would protect infants who are born alive from botched abortions.

The Born Alive Infant Protection Act, introduced by state Sen. Whitney Westerfield, R-Hopkinsville, would require abortionists and medical workers to provide basic medical care to newborn babies who survive abortions. It is similar to federal legislation that Republicans have been trying to pass for years to protect babies from dying by neglect.

Even though Planned Parenthood has “no legitimate reason” to oppose the bill, it has been lobbying aggressively against it, according to National Review.

“This bill’s intent is to shame patients and threaten healthcare providers,” Dr. Brittany Myers, an abortion activist with Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, told the state House Judiciary Committee last week.

Myers argued that the bill would force abortionists and their staff “to intervene and attempt to resuscitate what this bill is calling a ‘born-alive infant,’ but in actuality what, in medical terms, is referred to as a non-viable fetus.”

National Review explained why Myers is wrong:

Nowhere does the bill require doctors to attempt to resuscitate any infant, let alone an infant born early enough to earn Myers’s dehumanizing label “non-viable fetus.” Instead, the bill prohibits doctors from denying “medically appropriate” care; it leaves each individual doctor free to determine what medical treatment is appropriate for any given infant of a certain gestational age or medical condition.

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What’s more, Kentucky’s bill explicitly militates against the point Myers raises, stating that its provisions should not be construed as requiring parents to assent to treatment that “is not medically appropriate or reasonable,” including that which “is not necessary to save the life of the infant, has a potential risk to the infant’s life or health that outweighs the potential benefit . . . or will do no more than temporarily prolong the act of dying when death is imminent.”

The American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky used similar rhetoric in its opposition to the bill, calling it an attack on “reproductive freedom” and an attempt to “shame and ostracize” women. In a statement, the group urged Gov. Andy Beshear, a pro-abortion Democrat, to veto the bill.

However, both the state House and Senate passed the life-saving legislation by strong majorities late last week – likely enough to override Beshear’s veto, 11 Alive reports.

Babies do survive abortions, though no one is sure exactly how many. In America, most states do not keep track of abortion survivors, but a few do. Between 2016 and 2018, three states reported 40 babies were born alive after botched abortions. According to the state health data, 11 babies were born alive in Minnesota, 10 in Arizona and 19 in Florida. Texas reported six babies were born alive in botched abortions in 2019. In Michigan, state health reports from 2008 through 2013 indicate that 11 babies were born alive during abortions.

For the past several years, Republicans in Congress have been trying to pass the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which would increase protections for babies who survive abortions. The bill would require that the same basic medical care be provided to babies who survive abortions as would be provided to any other baby born at the same gestational age. It also would impose penalties on medical workers who neglect to provide that care. However, Democrat leaders blocked the legislation dozens of times.

Reports from other countries prove that babies survive abortions, too, and legal protections for them are needed. In Canada, the Canadian Institute of Health Information recorded 766 late-term, live-birth abortions over a five-year period in 2018. And in Australia, the country’s health minister admitted that 27 babies survived abortions in the state of Western Australia between 1999 and 2016. A report out of Ireland in the fall also suggests babies are surviving abortions and being left to die there.