AB 2223 says that no woman can be punished “based on their actions or omissions with respect to their pregnancy or actual, potential, or alleged pregnancy outcome, including miscarriage, stillbirth, or abortion, or perinatal death due to a pregnancy-related cause.” A previous version ended at “perinatal death,” which could be interpreted to protect infanticide, since perinatal could mean any time between one week to two full years of age.
Legal experts warn that even with that clarification, danger remains that the language could be interpreted to protect infanticide.
“The new modifying phrase may lessen the length of time during which the infanticide may occur, but it still leaves the newborn infant vulnerable to being killed by the abortionist or their partners in crime,” Thomas More Society special counsel Charles LiMandri previously told LifeSiteNews. “Since we already know that some abortion workers have either surreptitiously killed newborn infants, or left them to die without proper care, this Bill still stands to give more such criminals legal cover in the future.”
“While the bill’s April 6th amendments attempt to address problems concerning immunity for government investigations, the bill will likely chill investigation of infant deaths since it empowers mothers and ANYONE connected with the death of a newborn to bring a private cause of action for damages ($25,000 penalty), including the threat of attorney fees upon motion to a judge, against people who inquire into a newborn’s death,” reads an analysis by the Right to Life League. “What impact will this bill have on private health care providers, doctors or nurses who report a perinatal death to authorities?”
Pro-lifers raised these concerns during the committee hearing preceding the vote, with Right to Life League vice president of legal affairs Susan Arnall arguing that “a mother, her boyfriend or, for that matter, the babysitter, can starve or beat or shake a three-week-old baby to death and no one can investigate because under [the bill] it is a ‘perinatal death.’”
Pro-life groups Real Impact, Capitol Resource Institute, and California Family Council organized pro-lifers to descend on the state capitol to protest the bill, with a turnout of more than 1,500. Yet a majority of committee members disregarded their appeals.
“This is not the end. We have more votes ahead as the bill moves forward and we will continue to stand against infanticide,” Real Impact said after the vote.
LifeSiteNews will continue to follow the progress of AB 2223 through the California Legislature. Concerned Californians can find additional information with the aforementioned pro-life groups, as well as a special website California Family Council has set up, which includes tools for tracking the bill and contacting lawmakers.