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Two Republican U.S. Senators have introduced the “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act” that would require abortion facilities and medical providers to treat babies born alive after a failed abortion with the same level of care as they would any other newborn.

Senators James Lankford (R-OK) and John Thune (R-SD) introduced the legislation that states if an abortion results in the live birth of an infant, the child is considered a legal person for all purposes under the laws of the United States and is entitled to all the protections of such laws.

On January 22, 2023, the 118th U.S. House of Representatives passed its version of the “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act” by a vote of 220 to 210.

The Senate bill states, “Any health care practitioner present at the time the child is born alive shall (A) 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; and (B) following the exercise of skill, care, and diligence required under subparagraph (A), ensure that the child born alive is immediately transported and admitted to a hospital.”

The bill also adds penalties for medical providers that do not comply, and they could be subject to civil liability and criminal charges including fines and/or imprisonment for not more than five years. In addition, the mother of a child born alive may not be prosecuted but may pursue damages against the person who committed the abortion.

The “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act” also defines the term “abortion” as “the use or prescription of any instrument, medicine, drug, or any other substance or device— (A) to intentionally kill the unborn child of a woman known to be pregnant; or (B) to intentionally terminate the pregnancy of a woman known to be pregnant, with an intention other than—(i) after viability, to produce a live  birth and preserve the life and health of the child born alive; or (ii) to remove a dead unborn child.”

Abortion survivors are not “hypothetical.” Even though most states do not keep track of the number of babies who survive abortions, data from just seven states between 2020 and 2022 found reports of 34 babies who were born alive in botched abortions. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that at least 143 babies were born alive after an attempted abortion between 2003 and 2014—a number derived from only eight states that reported this information.

During the preliminary criminal hearing for Liberty Counsel’s client Sandra Merritt, the undercover journalist who exposed Planned Parenthood’s trade in baby body parts, an expert in stem cell research testified that various studies involving baby human hearts had to have been conducted while the hearts were still beating when cut out. In other words, the babies had to have been born alive.

Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “The Senate must pass this bill to end infanticide. The ‘Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act’ will protect babies that have survived an abortion and are fighting for life. This common-sense bill should have overwhelming bipartisan support to ensure that every child is protected.”

Author: Liberty Counsel


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