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TOPEKA, Kansas (LifeSiteNews) — Kansas Republicans have voted to override Democrat Gov. Laura Kelly’s veto of legislation to require basic medical care to babies who survived botched abortions, ensuring the new protection will become state law over her objections.

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.

Kelly vetoed the measure earlier this month, claiming it would “interfere in medical decisions that should remain between doctors and their patients” while existing law already protected newborns. Pro-lifers called the move “heartless” and “inhuman.”

On Wednesday, the Kansas House voted 87-37 and the state Senate voted 31-9 to override the veto, the Kansas City Star reports. The expected move guarantees that the born-alive law will take effect starting in July. 

“We owe it to these people to provide care to those who are weak, powerless,” said Republican state Rep. Ron Bryce.

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.

The Kansas Legislature is also currently working to reverse Kelly on other pro-life measures. The House has voted to override her vetoes of legislation to require abortionists to make their customers aware of the option of abortion pill reversal, and to bar abortion providers from obtaining liability insurance via the state’s Health Care Stabilization Fund.