By an overwhelming majority, Kentucky lawmakers passed a bill Saturday to protect newborn babies who survive abortions from infanticide.
The Born Alive Infant Protection Act (Senate Bill 9), introduced by state Sen. Whitney Westerfield, R-Hopkinsville, passed the state House by 76-18 and the state Senate by 32-4.
The bill requires 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 abortion survivors from dying by neglect.
“Senate Bill 9 supports the human rights of any child born alive during an abortion procedure to receive appropriate and ethically responsible medical attention,” according to the Kentucky Right to Life Association. It also recognizes abortions survivors as legal persons and imposes penalties on those who violate the requirements.
Kentucky Today reports state pro-life leaders celebrated the victory Monday on the steps of the state Capitol with lawmakers and state Attorney General Daniel Cameron, a pro-life Republican.
“Senate Bill 9 … unmistakably shows the substance of our commonwealth’s conscience,” Cameron said. “It says with a loud voice that life is sacred and government’s highest calling is to protect it. When children are born alive, they have the same right to live as you and me, and now they can.”
Gov. Andy Beshear, a pro-abortion Democrat who received campaign donations from abortionists, is expected to veto the legislation. Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky are urging him to do so, but state lawmakers asked him to do the right thing.
“I pray that [Beshear] would sign and I pray that his heart would be softened and that he would see the value of protecting lives born alive,” Westerfield said at the rally. “But I’m prepared to override his veto if and when he signs one.”
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Republicans gained seats in the Kentucky legislature in November. Westerfield said the bill passed by a 78-percent majority, more than the two-thirds necessary to override a governor’s veto.
State Rep. Joe Fischer, R-Fort Thomas, who sponsored a second pro-life bill that passed Saturday, emphasized their commitment to life at the rally.
“You know, in the past four years, we have passed probably the strongest pro-life legislation in the nation. Of course, we had about a decade, didn’t pass any of them. But once we, the Republican majority took office, we have been relentless,” Fischer said, according to the report.
His bill would give the state attorney general power to hold abortion facilities accountable if they do not comply with state health regulations. Currently, that power rests with the governor-appointed state health cabinet. The bill also defines most abortions as elective procedures.
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.