Planned Parenthood: Bill Requiring Medical Care for Infants Born Alive After Abortion Criminalizes Doctors, Shames Women

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Posted: Feb 26, 2019 11:45 AM
Planned Parenthood: Bill Requiring Medical Care for Infants Born Alive After Abortion Criminalizes Doctors, Shames Women

Source: AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

Planned Parenthood and Democratic lawmakers claimed Monday that the “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act” was a bill that shamed women and interfered in private medical decisions as it fell short of the needed 60 votes in the Senate by a vote of 53-44. The measure failed to get support from all but three Senate Democrats.

The text of the bill, introduced by Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) and available here, states that “(i)n the case of an abortion or attempted abortion that results in a child born alive…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 “ensure that the child born alive is immediately transported and admitted to a hospital.”

The bill also requires a “health care practitioner or any employee of a hospital, a physician’s office, or an abortion clinic who has knowledge of a failure to comply” with those requirements to “immediately report the failure to an appropriate State or Federal law enforcement agency, or to both.”

The penalties for not complying with these requirements include fines and imprisonment “for not more than 5 years, or both.” Anyone who “intentionally performs or attempts to perform an overt act that kills a child born alive” will “be punished as under section 1111 of this title for intentionally killing or attempting to kill a human being.”

Sasse’s office pointed out that “currently, federal law does not adequately protect a born child who survives an abortion. On January 22, 2019, New York repealed protections (section 4164 of the state's public health law) for an infant born alive during an abortion.”

This bill would have provided stronger protections for newborns than the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, which became law in 2002 and ensured full legal rights for infants “born alive at any stage of development.” That measure does not specify a requirement of basic medical care for infants or any criminal penalties for doctors who did not comply.

However, Planned Parenthood claimed that Sasse's bill “would have singled out physicians who perform abortions and potentially expose them to harsh criminal penalties based on lies and misinformation.”

The nation's largest abortion provider did not elaborate in any way on what “lies and misinformation” the legislation contained, instead simply claiming that “the people spreading this misinformation have one motive in mind – to ban safe, legal abortion in this country.”

The facts remain that the existing 2002 law does not outline the requirement of medical care for infants born alive after a failed abortion attempt or specific criminal penalties for doctors who fail to give appropriate medical care.

Also contrary to the narrative of Planned Parenthood, the stories of abortion survivors like Gianna Jessen and Melissa Ohden show that infants who survive abortions do exist.

Amazingly, the group tried to claim that “abortion until or after birth” does not exist. Late-term abortion is very real. While these abortions after 21 weeks make up only 1.3 percent of abortions annually, according to the most recently available 2014 data from the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, that still comes to just over 12,000 abortions a year.

Late-term abortion up to birth is legal in seven states and D.C., but there are only a handful of doctors willing to perform these abortions which does limit access.

President Trump called the Senate’s vote “shocking” Monday.