The North Carolina Senate has passed the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, legislation that would protect newborn babies who survive abortions from infanticide.
Sen. Joyce Krawiec, R-Forsyth, the lead sponsor of the bill, says failing to care for a newborn because they should have died in the womb from an abortion is “not humane.”
“That is not humane in my world, not humane at all,” Krawiec said.
Her pro-life legislation, state Senate Bill 405, would require abortionists and health care practitioners to provide the same degree of care to a baby who survives an abortion that they would to any other baby born at the same gestational age. It also would require that the baby immediately be transported to a hospital for further care. Mothers could sue abortionists who fail to follow the law.
Senate Bill 405 passed the Senate Tuesday evening on a 28-21 party-line vote, much as it did in 2019. It moves now to the House, where it’s expected to pass. But, just as in 2019, Republicans don’t have the numbers to override, should Cooper veto it again.
The bill says infants born alive after an abortion should have “the same claim to the protection of the law that would arise for any newborn” and that doctors must “exercise the same degree of professional skill, care, and diligence to preserve the life and health of the child as a reasonably diligent and conscientious health care practitioner would render to any other child born alive at the same gestational age.”
The bill would also require anyone who knows of a violation to report it to the authorities.
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Responding to criticism from Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union, Krawiec said the legislation does not limit women’s health care in any way.
“This bill changes nothing, nothing, except how an infant born alive is treated,” she said. “It does nothing to limit women’s access to health care.”
Abortion survivor Melissa Ohden also submitted testimony to the committee in support of the bill. Ohden told lawmakers how she survived an abortion attempt on her life and how better legal protections are needed for abortion survivors.
The committee also heard testimony from a Planned Parenthood spokeswoman. She criticized the bill, claiming it is “not based in medical science or fact” and would criminalize “a practice that simply does not exist.”
But Tami Fitzgerald, executive director of the pro-life North Carolina Values Coalition, pointed to evidence that babies do survive abortions, according to the report. She told the committee that an estimated 400 to 600 babies survived abortions between 2003 and 2014, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control.
“The right to an abortion should not translate to a right to a dead child, no matter what,” Fitzgerald said. “This is really about infanticide, plain and simple.”
Gov. Roy Cooper, a pro-abortion Democrat, vetoed a similar bill in 2019. Republicans control the North Carolina legislature, but it is not clear if the bill would garner enough votes to override a likely veto.
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 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 also prove that babies survive abortions, 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. In Australia, the country’s health minister admitted in 2018 that 27 babies survived abortions in the state of Western Australia between 1999 and 2016. A recent report out of Ireland also suggests babies are surviving abortions and being left to die there.