MADISON, Wisconsin, April 24, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Right to Life of Wisconsin deplored Democrat Gov. Tony Evers’ vow to veto legislation that would save babies who survive abortion.
“Thankfully, Wisconsin did pass a bill to protect unborn babies born alive from failed abortion attempts that was signed into law” in 2013, said Heather Weininger, executive director of Wisconsin Right to Life.
Weininger encouraged Evers to study how Wisconsin’s current law differs from the proposed bill that she said would assist health care providers in understanding the degree of care they must offer to babies who survive abortion.
The bill would also call on medical professionals to notify law enforcement officials in cases where survivors of abortion had not received proper care.
“When a child is born prematurely via natural labor, induced labor or via cesarean section, doctors have a clear understanding of the steps that must be taken to ensure they are giving the child every opportunity at life,” Weininger said. “Unfortunately, that isn’t the case when a baby is born alive during a failed abortion.”
The proposed “Born Alive Protection Act” (AB 79) requires abortion doctors to “exercise the same degree of professional skill, care, and diligence to preserve the life and health of the child as a reasonably diligent and conscientious health care provider would render to any other child born alive at the same gestational age.”
According to the legislation, doctors also must ensure that a survivor of abortion is immediately taken and admitted to a hospital. Providers who do not comply could be found guilty of a felony and face as many as six years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. In February, a similar bill failed in the U.S. Senate.
According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Evers said he would veto the bill.
“I think those protections already exist,” he said. “We have all sorts of issues to deal with in the state of Wisconsin and to pass a bill that is redundant seems to be not a productive use of time. And clearly I ran on the belief — and I still believe — that women should be able to make choices about their health care. But this deals with a specific issue that's already been resolved.”
The bill currently resides in the House health committee and must be reported out before being considered by the legislature as a whole.
Wisconsin state Senate President Roger Roth, a Republican co-author of the bill, said when he introduced the legislation, “I am introducing the Born Alive Protection Act because, unfortunately, some people including the Governor of Virginia, are unclear on this, so we need to reaffirm these protections.”
“We are providing explicit outlines to health care practitioners that babies who survive an abortion need to be given the same, equal rights as any other person,” he added.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel quoted retired professor Donald Downs, who said that once a baby is born and outside the womb, the state has an interest in providing protections accorded to all citizens.
“If indeed this is redundant, then there’s no need for it, but I don't know what the previous protection is,” he said. “The law protects you when you're born — you're a person.”
In Evers’ gubernatorial campaign, he pledged to veto legislation that places restrictions on abortions in Wisconsin. In a 2018 tweet, he wrote, “Wisconsin is 1 of 4 states that has a criminal abortion ban on the books. Government shouldn’t be making personal health decisions for women and we shouldn’t be treating physicians like criminals. Women’s lives will be jeopardized. We must remove this ban from our statutes.”
Nearly 80% of voters support protecting babies born alive during an abortion procedure. Yet, Tony Evers will veto 'born alive' abortion bill advanced by GOP lawmakers. https://t.co/b0t6guglin via @journalsentinel
— Rep. Barbara Dittrich (@RepDittrich) April 23, 2019
When the bill was introduced, Republican co-authors Sen. Patrick Testin and Rep. Barbara Dittrich said in a memo seeking co-sponsors, “No unborn child should be deprived of life due to any quality that they have inherited during any point during their development.” The memo went on to say, “This legislation corrects that and adds legal protections for the unborn against a selective abortion stemming from discrimination.”