The Arizona Senate has passed a bill to ban infanticide and protect babies who survive abortions. The measure would have the southwesten state joining the list of 35 other states to protect such babies.
Senator Janae Shamp sponsored the bill to protect babies, parents, and physicians by spelling out commonsense standards making it so all babies born alive are to be treated with “medically appropriate and reasonable” care. A doctor violates the law if he or she knowingly and intentionally violates the law and withholds care from a baby who survives abortion.
The law would allow parents to forego further care beyond what is medically appropriate and reasonable. Republicans supported the measure while Democrats opposed it.
Cathi Herrod, the president of the Center for Arizona Policy applauded passage of the bill in remarks to LifeNews.
“Every baby deserves a chance at life. SB 1600 ensures all babies receive the care needed to give them that chance by prohibiting infanticide. An infant’s value is not based on his or her life expectancy, and health professionals should not be picking winners and losers,” she said.
“The Senate’s passage of SB 1600 along party lines tells you everything you need to know about which lawmakers refuse to draw the line before infanticide. The bill ends the inhumane practice known as “slow code,” in which healthcare professionals withhold medical care to babies not expected to live long in order to hasten their death,” Herrod said. “SB 1600 is the least we can do as a civil society to protect the most vulnerable among us from unnecessary and inhumane death.”
Earlier this year, the House of Representatives passed a national measure to provide care for abortion survivors.
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The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act requires that, when a baby is born alive following an abortion, health care practitioners must exercise the same degree of professional skill and care that would be offered to any other child born alive at the same gestational age. It also requires that, following appropriate care, health care workers must transport the living child immediately to a hospital.
Current federal law does not sufficiently protect a child born following an abortion.
In addition, the bill applies the existing penalties of 18 U.S.C. Sec. 1111 (the federal murder statute) to anyone who performs “an overt act that kills a child born alive.” Further, the bill provides a civil cause of action to women who are harmed by violations of the act.
Republicans approved the common sense bill on a 220-210 vote with all Republicans voting for the pro-life bill and all Democrats but two voting for infanticide.
The practice of letting babies die after abortion is widespread and 100-200 cases have been documented over the years by the CDC.
Abortion data from just seven states show babies continue to be born alive in botched abortions every year across the United States. Most states do not keep track of the number of babies who survive abortions, and the few that do provide little information about whether the babies received care, survived or were abandoned to die. LifeNews examined abortion data from seven states between 2020 and 2022 and found reports of 34 babies who were born alive in botched abortions.
Melissa Ohden, who survived a botched abortion, told LifeNews she is grateful for the bill.
“This legislation will save lives. The Abortion Survivors Network is committed to serving survivors of abortion at any gestational age, along with their mothers, who deserve compassionate prenatal and postpartum care, a delivery plan, and emotional support. Let us work together to ensure that infant survivors and their mothers receive the best medical and emotional care possible. We are proud to stand with Congresswoman Wagner in support of this legislation,” she said.