TOPEKA (LifeSiteNews) — Kansas Democrat Gov. Laura Kelly vetoed legislation Friday to require basic medical care to babies who survived botched abortions, although her veto is expected to be reversed by the state legislature.
HB 2313 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.
The bill passed the state Senate 31-9 and the state House 86-36. But Kelly vetoed it, calling it “misleading and unnecessary.”
“Federal law already protects newborns, and the procedure being described in this bill does not exist in Kansas in the era of modern medicine,” she claimed. “The intent of this bill is to interfere in medical decisions that should remain between doctors and their patients.”
“These babies deserve protection and the same medical care as any other newborn of the same gestational age,” said Kansas for Life spokeswoman Danielle Underwood, who called the governor’s action “heartless,” the Kansas City Star reports.
“This is not only radical, but also inhumane and I am confident House Republicans will make every effort during veto session to protect all living, breathing infants in our state regardless of the conditions surrounding their birth,” Republican state House Speaker Dan Hawkins added.
GOP lawmakers have enough votes to override the veto, as they recently did with legislation to keep biological males out of female school athletics.
Abortion defenders have attempted to discredit born-alive protections 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, existing federal laws on the subject do not contain specific criminal penalties for withholding medical treatment from newborns.
“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.