True or False? Current Law Protects Babies Born Alive After Abortion

Commentary by Susan Brinkmann, OCDS

A favorite talking point among pro-abortion politicians – particularly those who recently voted against the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act – is that this law is not needed because current law already protects these infants. Is this true?

No, it is not.

According to the Heritage Foundation, these lawmakers are referring to the 2002 Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, a law that determines all infants born at any stage of development to be “persons” under the law regardless of the circumstances of their birth – which includes a failed abortion attempt.

However, as the Foundation points out, “it does not specify that doctors must provide care for such infants, so in effect the baby can be left to die after birth without any clear legal consequences.”

The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act would close this deadly loophole by requiring that infants who survive abortion be given proper medical care. Those who fail to do so would face criminal consequences.

This means that the “we don’t need this new law because the law already protects these infants” excuse – which was used by “Catholic” Senator Patty Murray after she single-handedly defeated the bill last month – is just another example of the abortion industry’s disingenuous tactics.

What about those who say that the whole subject of a baby born alive after an abortion is a hypothetical problem because this never really happens?

Again, they are wrong.

As the Foundation’s Melanie Israel writes, “Between 2003 and 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recorded 143 cases of infants surviving abortion and acknowledged that the total number was likely underestimated. Florida reported 17 cases of abortion survivals between 2017 and 2018. Arizona reported 10 cases in 2017. Minnesota reported three cases in 2017. Oklahoma reported at least one case in 2017.”

She goes on to clarify that this data is limited because “the vast majority of states do not record or publish abortion data.”

In other words, “an abortion procedure does not always result in a dead baby,” she writes. “The public record is undeniable: Babies can be born alive after an abortion attempt.”

The industry’s other favorite excuse, that the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act would somehow restrict a woman’s access to abortion, is just as unfounded as the rest of their excuses.

“The bill would simply ensure that a living newborn baby, regardless of the circumstances of his or her birth or whether or not they were ‘wanted,’ receives proper medical care,” Israel states.

What living, breathing, human being with a heart could object to that? For that matter, what living, breathing human being with a heart even has to think about it? Isn’t this just common human decency?

Israel recommends that going forward, lawmakers must listen to the American people they represent – the vast majority of whom disapprove of allowing these infants to die – rather than to “well-funded professional abortion advocates.”

Advocates for life must always remember that the only thing the abortion industry does better than kill babies is convince people that complete falsehoods are the truth. We need to arm ourselves with the truth and be fearless in exposing the facts that the abortion industry cannot afford to face – at least not if it wants to keep its deadly business afloat.

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