(LifeSiteNews) — The sponsor of a Kansas law requiring basic medical care for newborns who survive botched abortions says he knows such legislation is necessary because, contrary to the the abortion lobby’s narratives, he personally witnessed a baby survive an abortion attempt.
Earlier this year, the Kansas legislature enacted HB 2313 over a veto from Democrat Gov. Laura Kelly. The law requires that, in the event of an infant being delivered alive after an attempted abortion, the abortionist must “[e]xercise the same degree of professional skill, care and diligence to preserve the life and health of the child as a reasonably diligent and conscientious healthcare provider would render to any other child born alive at the same gestational age” and “ensure that the child who is born alive is immediately transported to a hospital.”
It also requires failure to do so to be “immediately” reported to law enforcement. Those who commit abortions anyway would be guilty of a “severity level 1, person felony” and would potentially be liable for civil damages if brought by the mother. Facilities that fail to report violations would be subject to fines.
On October 9, Republican state Rep. Ron Bryce, who is a doctor, appeared in the Wichita Eagle with an op-ed detailing an incident he witnessed in 1988 as a medical resident at John Peter Smith Hospital in Texas. He was called to a Code Blue, typically an alert for medical emergencies, yet when he arrived in the room, neither the female patient nor the attending surgeon showed any signs of an emergency situation.
Bryce then heard the cry of a premature infant who “accomplished the seemingly impossible — survived his abortion. Though strong enough to live briefly outside the womb, he was still too young to survive very long separated from his mother.” Bryce transferred the baby boy to the Neonatal Intensive Care, where he died after several hours of difficult breathing.
“This was the first I knew of an infant surviving an abortion attempt. I assumed it was rare,” he writes. “But then our county health department investigated infant mortality cases, and found 27 of these babies born alive over a 3-year period.”
“It has been an honor for me to serve in the Kansas House of Representatives and to join with more than 50 of my colleagues in the 2023 session to co-sponsor the Born Alive Infants Protection Act,” he adds, encouraging other states to do the same.
Abortion defenders have attempted to discredit the need for such laws by claiming that infanticide is a myth and that existing laws already suffice to deter it. But several former abortion industry insiders and policy scholars have told Congress or admitted under oath that it still happens and that many cases of infanticide are not captured by official numbers.
Further, while killing such babies is technically illegal under the federal Born-Alive Infants Protection Act of 2002, that law does not contain criminal penalties that would provide for meaningful enforcement.
Over the past several years, congressional Republicans have repeatedly attempted to address that issue with a new bill, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, that requires basic medical care for such infants. But in January, all but two Democrats voted against it, and when in leadership, Democrats repeatedly blocked such legislation from even coming up for a vote.
“Although the United States fails to record reliable data on abortion survivors, we have estimated, through Canadian government extrapolations, that 1,734 infants are born alive after a failed abortion procedure every year in the United States,” according to the Abortion Survivors Network. “In other words, about 2 out of every 1,000 abortions result in a live birth. After 49.5 years of Roe v Wade, 85,817 babies lived through an abortion procedure.”
According to Family Research Council, 38 states have born-alive laws of some kind, but only 18 of those laws have what the group considers adequate requirements backed by meaningful enforcement mechanisms.