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Arizona committee scraps Democrat’s bill lifting infanticide ban

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PHOENIX, Arizona, February 20, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Amid intense protests from hundreds of Arizonans, an Arizona House committee voted Wednesday to reject proposed legislation that would have repealed long-standing legal protections for infants who survive abortions in that state.

Democrat state Rep. Raquel Terán had introduced House Bill 2696 with the intent of repealing a 2017 law requiring abortionists to attempt to resuscitate any baby “delivered alive,” defined as displaying breathing, a heartbeat, umbilical cord pulsation, and/or voluntary muscle movement. Abortion defenders objected that it would go too far in applying to fetal-abnormality cases.

But thanks to what Terán calls a “drafting error,” her bill would have repealed the entire 1975 law the 2017 act modified, thereby erasing the state’s basic requirement that doctors use all "available means and medical skills" to save infants after botched abortions.

“Hundreds” of pro-lifers “filled” the Capitol Wednesday to protest HB 2696, the Arizona Republic reports. After the bill had been amended to correct the alleged blunder and repeal only the 2017 language, the House Judiciary Committee voted 8-0 to reject the bill. Two members of the committee voted “present.”

“Unfortunately, I learned through my conversation w/Chairman Allen that the bill as written goes farther than my intent,” Terán wrote on Twitter. “The responsibility for this mistake is mine & I have apologized to all involved for not reading it closer to ensure that my intent was clear.”

She requested that committee chair Rep. John Allen, a Republican, simply withdraw the bill from consideration. But Allen proceeded with a vote, arguing the other Democrats who endorsed the bill’s original version should own their stand.

“This is a core value of a lot of members on the other side of the aisle who signed onto this bill," he said. "It’s a discussion worth having."

Putting the number of pro-life protesters above 600, Center for Arizona Policy President Cathi Herrod issued a statement hailing them for making it “clear to lawmakers behind the ruthless bill that they stood alone if they repealed protections for babies born alive during an abortion.”

“Even the amended version would have left staff unequipped to carry out their duties,” she said. “A last minute attempt to halt discussion and hold the bill failed and witnesses were allowed to go ahead with their compelling testimony. With no legislators voting for the bill in the end, it is apparent just how out of touch sponsors are with the values and priorities of the people they represent.”

Infanticide has become a pressing issue again after Virginia’s Democrat Gov. Ralph Northam endorsed letting infants die if they survived abortions sought for “severe deformities” or “nonviable” babies. The U.S. Senate is voting February 25 on federal legislation to mandate care for abortion survivors, which congressional Democrats have repeatedly blocked.

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