Wyoming is on its way to passing a law that would ensure babies who survive abortions are not abandoned to die.
The pro-life bill would require doctors to provide the same “medically appropriate and reasonable steps to preserve the life and health” of a baby born alive from an abortion as they would to any other baby born at the same stage of development.
Last year, the Wyoming legislature passed the same bill, but Gov. Mark Gordon vetoed it. Gordon, a Republican who says he is pro-life, claimed the bill is unnecessary, KPVI News 6 reported at the time.
“Laws already in place protect children from being denied life-saving care simply because they were born as a result of an abortion,” he said in his veto statement.
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State Sen. Cheri Steinmetz, R-Lingle, one of the lead sponsors of the bill, said the governor is wrong. She said her bill clarifies existing law to ensure babies are protected from infanticide by neglect as well as infanticide that involves direct, intentional killing.
“I would like to see Wyoming be known as a place where we live up to our name, the Equality State, where everyone is equally protected under the law,” she told KGAB last year.
Infanticide by actively killing a baby is illegal already, and pro-abortion Democrats often point to those laws to claim legislation like Steinmetz’s is not necessary. But her legislation is necessary to protect abortion survivors from dying from a lack of basic medical care. The penalties for abortionists who fail to provide that care also are important measures that hold the abortion industry accountable.
According to the Star-Tribune, some state lawmakers previously raised concerns that “the legislation strips the rights of parents and their doctors to spare suffering for children born with profound birth defects.” Others claimed it would be unfair to punish doctors who do not provide basic medical care to a baby who “has serious medical issues that would make the child incompatible for life,” the report states.
But these are dangerous arguments that smack of eugenics, and they are precisely why such legislation is needed. It should not matter if a newborn is healthy or sick; that baby deserves the same basic medical care as any other child. Sometimes, a baby has a fatal disorder and comfort care is all that is needed – care that allows their parents to hold them until they die. In other cases, a baby who survives an abortion will live and grow into adulthood if they receive basic medical care.
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.
Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control, as well as the personal testimonies of nurses and abortion survivors themselves, also provide evidence that babies 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 likely are more.
Research by the American Center for Law and Justice estimated the number is much higher, at least 362 between 2001 and 2010.