Blog born-alive Legislation

Pro-life House leaders hold press conference condemning Senate Dems for killing the Born-Alive Legislation

By Dave Andrusko

Jennifer Popik, J.D., director of federal legislation for National Right to Life, stressed the need for the Born-Alive Abortion Survivor Protection Act during a press conference on the Hill.

This morning, Rep. Ann Wagner (R-Mo.) and five of her pro-life House colleagues held a press conference to condemn Senate Democrats for failing to Advance the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act (S. 311), sponsored by Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.). The final vote was 53-44 with all but three Democrats voting to block the bill from receiving the 60 votes necessary to move S.311 forward (“invoke cloture”). The bill would extend federal legal protection to babies who are born alive during an abortion.

In the House, Democrats have erected a procedural hurtle which prevents a similar bill from being heard. Along with her colleagues, Wagner urged House members to sign onto a “discharge petition” to force the same legislation to a vote on the floor of the House.

A discharge petition is a procedural tactic to circumvent the Speaker of the House when the Speaker opposes a measure. It allows an absolute majority of the House (218 lawmakers) to force a floor vote on a bill, even if pro-abortion leaders oppose the measure.

Rep. Wagner was joined by Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.), Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), Rep. Roger Marshall (R-KS), Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Tx.), and several prolife organizations who all made remarks. The message was united in expressing shock over the 44 members of the United States Senate who voted to protect what amounts to infanticide: willfully withholding life-saving care from a born-alive infant.

Center: Jennifer Popik, NRL director of federal legislation, flanked by pro-life Congresswomen Jacki Walorski (IN) and Ann Wagner (MO), lead sponsor of the Born-Alive legislation.

Action on the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act comes on the heels of enormous controversy in New York and Virginia. In January, the New York legislature passed, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) signed, the so-called “Reproductive Health Act.” Among other provisions, the law repealed protections for infants born alive during an attempted abortion. Previously, New York law stipulated that a second physician be present to care for a child 20 weeks or older born alive during an abortion.

In Virginia, Gov. Ralph Northam (D) waded into the debate over a New York-style measure in the Commonwealth. In a radio interview during the Virginia legislature’s debate over the “repeal bill,” Northam said an infant born alive during an attempted abortion wouldn’t necessarily be entitled to immediate treatment other than being made “comfortable.” His comments touched off a torrent of criticism.

Jennifer Popik, J.D., director of Federal legislation for National Right to Life, told reporters,

You have to ask yourself, can we really trust the abortionist, who was seconds earlier, was attempting to end this life of this baby, to now provide treatment? We need clear standards of medical care for babies born-alive. That is why we need this enhanced version of the Born-Alive legislation.

We are appalled that pro-abortion Democratic senators would filibuster the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. They need to explain to tell their constituents why their allegiance to the abortion industry agenda should allow a practice that is tantamount to infanticide.

We call on all members of the House to sign the discharge petition and bring this bill to the floor for a vote. Let the American public see how much they truly care for the most vulnerable among us.

Documentation on the history of the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act of 2002 (1 U.S.C. §8) and related issues is available on the NRLC website at:

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Abortion Abortion Survivor Blog born-alive

British Govt “doesn’t collect” information on babies born alive after abortion

In a nine year period, 102 babies were born alive during an abortion in the West Midlands alone

By SPUC—The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children

Editor’s note. “Ground E” is a sweeping loophole which allows abortions after 24 weeks if there is “substantial risk that if the child were born it would suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped. “Abnormalities” is flexibly defined and its usage very much under-reported.

The number of babies born alive during an abortion procedure “is not collected centrally,” according to a Department of Health spokesman, despite admitting that it takes place. This and other evidence of the poor oversight around late term abortion was revealed in a serious of answers to parliamentary questions posed by a pro-life MP.

Mary Glindon, MP, asked the “Secretary of State for Health, how many babies were born alive after an unsuccessful abortion procedure in each year since 2006 for which figures are available [and] how many of those babies survived beyond infancy in those years?” She also asked what support healthcare professionals and nurses are given after witnessing babies born alive.

“Not collected centrally”

Jackie Doyle-Price MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for the Department of Health, was unable to give any figures for the number of babies born alive, replying that “the number of live births following termination of pregnancy is not collected centrally.”

However, she referenced the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG)’s guidelines on Termination of Pregnancy for Fetal Abnormality(abortions late enough for the baby to survive tend to be because of disability) which gives some clue as to the numbers.

The RCOG guidance refers to a study on terminations for fetal abnormality in the West Midlands alone. Between the years 1995 and 2004, 102 of the 3,189 babies aborted were born alive. Of these, 36% survived one hour or less, and 6% for six or more hours.

At 23 weeks gestation, 9.7% of the babies aborted were born alive.

“Very uncommon”

The parliamentary answer says “as set out in the RCOG guideline on Termination of Pregnancy for Fetal Abnormality, live birth following termination of pregnancy before 21 weeks and six days of gestation is very uncommon.”

The RCOG guideline does indeed say this, but then goes on to say “instances of recorded live birth and survival increase as gestation at birth extends from 22 weeks.”

Disingenuously, the Under-Secretary’s response misses out this line, then continues to quote from the guideline word for word. It also does not include this line on what happens when all attempts to kill the baby have failed:

“Where the fetal abnormality is not lethal and termination of pregnancy is being undertaken after 22 weeks of gestation, failure to perform feticide could result in live birth and survival, an outcome that contradicts the intention of the abortion. In such situations, the child should receive the neonatal support and intensive care that is in the child’s best interest and its condition managed within published guidance for neonatal practice.”


Indeed, earlier in the guidance, the RCOG devotes two pages to the question, “What happens if the fetus is born alive after termination of pregnancy?”

Because “a fetus that is born alive after termination of pregnancy is deemed to be a child” and must be protected as such, doctors need to work out how likely the baby is to be born alive, and whether feticide (injecting poison into the baby’s heart) should first be carried out. (In 2008, this was done to 1,988 babies)

What counseling?

Ms. Doyle-Price also failed to give a satisfactory answer to Mary’s Glindon’s inquiry about support and counselling for healthcare professionals who witness live births during abortion.

She said in an answer: “All employers have a duty to protect the health, safety and welfare of their employees. It is for abortion providers to ensure that appropriate training, support and, if needed, counselling is available for all staff performing late term abortion.”

Given that, according to the RCOG guidance she quotes, the NHS [National Health Service] is where “the vast majority of terminations of pregnancy under Ground E are conducted” (as opposed to being outsourced to Marie Stopes or bpas). It is her department that has this duty of care to employees.

The news follows MPs posing searching questions to the Department of Health on abortion and disability.

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Abortion Blog born-alive pro-life Unborn Children

An important pro-life provision to protect, an important pro-life protection to enact

The Hyde Amendment and the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act

By Dave Andrusko

preemiehand93reEarlier this week, Lindsey Bever wrote a story for the Washington Post whose headline was a quote from congressional testimony: “The only reason I am alive is the fact that the abortionist had not yet arrived at work.”

To give Bever (and by extension the Post) her due, her account of abortion survivor Gianna Jessen’s testimony last week to the House Committee on the Judiciary was free of the usual snarkiness that is endemic to the Post’s coverage of pro-lifers (and Donald Trump). Instead of devoting half (or more) of the story to transcribing the remarks of critics, Bever let Jessen’s testimony speak for itself.

Gianna’s comments are always of interest; she frequently testifies about abortion-related bills. Her September 23 testimony is particularly enlightening in that the subject of the hearing was, “The Ultimate Civil Right: Examining the Hyde Amendment and the Born- Alive Infants Protection Act.”

Bever informs her reader about the Hyde Amendment. For those who might not know, this life-saving provision is a provision attached to the annual appropriations bill that covers many federal health programs (including Medicaid). A recent study by Prof. Michael New concludes that 2 million lives have been saved because of the Hyde Amendment.

Hillary Clinton and her party are dead-set on eliminating this provision, and once again opening the federal spigot. Remember, before the Hyde Amendment, the federal Medicaid program was paying for about 300,000 elective abortions annually, and the number was increasing rapidly.

By contrast, in a letter to pro-lifers (Bever writes)

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump slammed his Democratic opponent for wanting to repeal the Hyde Amendment and promised to make it “permanent law to protect taxpayers from having to pay for abortions.”

Gianna Jessen

Gianna Jessen

But Gianna’s testimony was geared to the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act. Bever notes that in 2002 Jessen attended the signing ceremony where pro-life President George W. Bush said, “It’s important that you’re here, to send a signal that you’re dedicated to the protection of human life.”

At the House hearing, Jessen said

Many Americans have no idea that babies can even live through abortions and are often left to die. But this does happen.

I know this because I was born alive in an abortion clinic after being burned in my mother’s womb for 18 hours. My medical records clearly state the following: Born during saline abortion/April 6, 1977/6am/ 2/1/2 pounds.

Apart from Jesus himself, the only reason I am alive is the fact that the abortionist had not yet arrived at work that morning. Had he been there, he would have ended my life by strangulation, suffocation or simply leaving me there to die. Instead, I lived and have the gift of cerebral palsy as a direct result of lack of oxygen to my brain while surviving an abortion. By the grace of God, in my case, a nurse called an ambulance and had me transferred to a hospital. That nurse saved my life and I am profoundly grateful to her for this.

However the story does not go into the proposed Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act (H.R. 3504/ S. 2066) and why its passage is essential in light of what has happened since the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act was passed.

In the letter to members of the United States Senate, NRLC President Carol Tobias, NRLC Executive Director David N. O’Steen. Ph.D., and Legislative Director Douglas Johnson wrote

evidences have multiplied that some abortion providers do not regard babies born alive during abortions as persons, especially if their “viability” cannot be proven, and do not provide them with the types of care that would be provided to premature infants who are born spontaneously. In some cases, such born-alive infants are even subjected to overt acts of deadly violence [for example, convicted murderer Kermit Gosnell]. …

National Right to Life believes that it is time for Congress to act decisively to put the entire abortion industry on notice that when they treat a born-alive human person as medical waste, as a source for organ harvesting, or as a creature who may be subjected to lethal violence with impunity, they will do so at grave legal peril. S. 2066/H.R. 3504 would enact an explicit requirement that a baby born alive during an abortion must be afforded “the same degree” of care that would apply “to any other child born alive at the same gestational age,” including transportation to a hospital.

The Hyde Amendment–to keep the abortion industry from picking the taxpayers’ pockets to pay for abortions. The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act to require that babies born alive during abortions are treated in the same manner as those who are spontaneously born prematurely.

An important provision to protect, an important protection to enact.

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