Wyoming legislature sends born-alive protection bill to governor’s desk
CHEYENNE, Wyoming, March 17, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Wyoming is poised to become the latest state to ensure life-saving care for babies who survive botched abortions, thanks to a bill that just cleared its final legislative hurdle.
Senate File 97 would require physicians to provide care for children delivered alive after failed abortions, even if a baby is deemed to have a condition “incompatible with life.” Physicians who fail to do so would face as many as 14 years in prison.
The Wyoming House passed the bill 44-16 last week, KGAB reports. It has already passed the state Senate, and now goes to Republican Gov. Mark Gordon for his likely signature.
“Life is either precious or it’s not. And to me, all life is inherently, God-givenly, precious,” declared Republican state Rep. Jared Olsen in a floor debate over the measure, the Casper Star Tribune adds.
Some lawmakers attempted to amend the bill to reduce its penalties from felony status to misdemeanor, arguing that 14 years in jail was too severe for cases that might involve severe medical conditions. But the amendment failed.
Abortion defenders have attempted to discredit born-alive laws by arguing that infanticide is a myth, and that existing laws already suffice to deter it. In fact, several former abortion industry insiders and policy scholars have told Congress that many cases of infanticide are not captured by the official numbers. Further, the existing federal laws on the subject do not contain specific criminal penalties for withholding medical treatment from newborns.
Over the past year, Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives have repeatedly blocked a similar born-alive law that would have applied nationwide. Last month, that bill failed to pass the GOP-controlled U.S. Senate because the chamber’s current rules require 60 votes for most legislation rather than a simple majority.
Currently, 35 states have some form of born-alive protection on the books, though only 16 of those states’ laws qualify as “strong,” according to the Family Research Council.