Kansas House Passes Bill to Stop Infanticide, Protect Babies Who Survive Abortions

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Mar 22, 2023   |   3:14PM   |   Topeka, Kansas

Kansas House lawmakers overwhelmingly approved a pro-life bill Wednesday to protect babies who survive abortions from infanticide.

The state Born-Alive Infant Protection Act (House Bill 2313) passed in an 88-34 bipartisan vote, and now heads to the state Senate for consideration.

“This is not an abortion bill…this bill only covers the messy aftermath of abortion,” said state Rep. Ron Bryce, R-Coffeyville, according to KSNT News. “That’s where the state has the duty and the right to take care of the innocent.”

The bill would protect viable, late-term babies from infanticide by neglect if they survive abortion attempts on their lives. It requires any healthcare worker present at the baby’s birth to provide the same degree of care to preserve the baby’s life that would be provided to any other baby born at the same gestational age. Additionally, it requires the abortion facility to transport the baby to the hospital, and outlines consequences for abortion workers who fail to do so.

A few Democrat lawmakers spoke out against the legislation, claiming the protections interfere with doctors’ and patients’ “healthcare decisions,” according to the report.

“We are telling these professionals that we don’t trust them to make these important decisions,” state Rep. Christina Haswood, D-Lawrence, said.

But Republican lawmakers said saving newborns’ lives is healthcare.

ACTION ALERT: Help get this important bill passed in the state Senate. Contact Kansas Senate lawmakers.

“How can we kill or watch a baby die? How can we justify doing that?” state Rep. Mike Thompson, R-Bonnor Springs, asked.

The bill has a good chance of passing the state Senate, which Republicans also control, but Gov. Laura Kelly, a pro-abortion Democrat, may veto the legislation if it reaches her desk.

Babies survive abortions every year in the United States, but no one knows exactly how many.

LifeNews recently examined abortion data from seven states between 2020 and 2022 and found reports of 34 babies who were born alive in botched abortions. The numbers almost certainly are much higher because most states do not keep track of abortion survivors.

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 many more.

Aborting unborn babies is still legal in Kansas due, in part, to a 2019 state Supreme Court ruling, which found a “fundamental right” to abortion in the Kansas Constitution. Additionally, a few weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court Dobbs v. Jackson decision in June, Kansas voters rejected a state constitutional amendment that would have overturned the ruling and allowed lawmakers to pass legal protections for babies before birth.

The future for unborn babies remains uncertain in Kansas. Although voters rejected the pro-life amendment last year, they also voted to elect a state attorney general and Republican super-majorities to the state House and Senate.

In January, newly-elected state Attorney General Kris Kobach made protecting unborn babies from abortion a priority when he asked the Kansas Supreme Court to overturn its 2019 ruling in light of the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade.

ACTION ALERT: Help get this important bill passed in the state Senate. Contact Kansas Senate lawmakers.