Kentucky Bill to Stop Infanticide, Care for Babies Born Alive After Abortions Becomes Law

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Jan 22, 2021   |   2:18PM   |   Frankfort, KY

The Kentucky Born Alive Infant Protection Act became law Friday, ensuring that babies who survive abortions in the state will receive the basic medical care that they deserve.

State Sen. Whitney Westerfield, R-Crofton, who sponsored the pro-life legislation, noted the significance of the date: the 48th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, The Lexington Herald-Leader reports. Under Roe, the U.S. Supreme Court forced states to legalize abortion on demand.

The new Kentucky law protects babies from infanticide by requiring abortionists and medical workers to provide “appropriate and reasonable” medical care to newborns who survive abortions. It also recognizes abortions survivors as legal persons and imposes penalties on those who fail to provide basic medical care to them.

Last week, the state legislature passed the bill by an overwhelming majority and sent it to Gov. Andy Beshear’s desk.

Beshear, a pro-abortion Democrat, vetoed a similar bill in 2020. This time, however, he allowed the legislation to become law without his signature, according to the local news.

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His veto would not have succeeded. In November, Republicans gained enough seats in the state legislature to override the governor’s veto, and the pro-life law passed by more than a two-thirds majority.

“I’m disappointed he didn’t sign it, but I’m grateful he didn’t veto it,” Westerfield said. “I’ll take what I can get.”

Planned Parenthood lobbied against the legislation, claiming it would “shame patients and threaten healthcare providers.”

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.

National polling shows Americans — including people who are “pro-choice” on abortion — oppose abortions up to birth and infanticide.