Addressing a House of Representatives subcommittee March 27, Alisa LaPolt Snow said the fate of a baby born alive after an attempted abortion should be left to "the woman, her family and the physician."
A lobbyist for the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates, Snow testified against the Infants Born Alive Act, which would mandate an abortion doctor provide life-saving care for a child who survives an abortion. After Snow's testimony, some subcommittee members asked what Planned Parenthood's position is in such a scenario.
"t is just really hard for me to even ask you this question, because I'm almost in disbelief," said Rep. Jim Boyd. "If a baby is born on a table as a result of a botched abortion, what would Planned Parenthood want to have happen to that child that is struggling for life?"
Snow answered, "We believe that any decision that's made should be left up to the woman, her family and the physician."
Rep. Daniel Davis asked, "hat happens in a situation where a baby is alive, breathing on a table, moving. What do your physicians do at that point?"
Snow said, "I do not have that information. I am not a physician. I am not an abortion provider. So I do not have that information."
Rep. Jose Oliva next questioned Snow, saying, "You stated that a baby born alive on a table as a result of a botched abortion, that that decision should be left to the doctor and the family. Is that what you're saying?"
She replied, "That decision should be between the patient and the health-care provider."
Oliva responded, "I think that at that point the patient would be the child struggling on the table. Wouldn't you agree?"
Snow said, "That's a very good question. I really don't know how to answer that."
The Florida Association of Planned Parenthood Affiliates issued a written statement April 1 after Snow's comments were reported, initially by The Weekly Standard. That statement said:
"Last week, a panel of Florida state legislators demanded speculation about a vague set of extremely unlikely and highly unusual medical circumstances. Medical guidelines and ethics already compel physicians facing life-threatening circumstances to respond, and Planned Parenthood physicians provide high-quality medical care and adhere to the most rigorous professional standards, including providing emergency care. In the extremely unlikely event that the scenario presented by the panel of legislators should happen, of course Planned Parenthood would provide appropriate care to both the woman and the infant."
Such events occur, however. The federal government enacted the Born Alive Infants Protection Act in 2002 after it learned babies who survive abortion were being left to die in some hospitals.
Pro-life blogger Jill Stanek, whose testimony as a nurse helped provide momentum for enactment of that legislation, expressed skepticism about Planned Parenthood's commitment. It would be impossible for a Planned Parenthood clinic to "'provide appropriate care to ... the infant' unless it had neonatal resuscitation equipment, meds, and personnel trained to provide emergency care to preemies, which I happen to know is no easy task," she wrote April 2. "I'm confident no in the U.S. has a neonatal crash cart ... and nursing staff certified in Neonatal Advanced Life Support."
The House Civil Justice Subcommittee voted 10-2 for the bill.
Compiled by Tom Strode, Washington bureau chief for Baptist Press. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress ) and in your email ( baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).
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