By Hunter Hines
Christian Action League
May 6, 2021
A bill requiring medical providers to employ the same duty of care for children born alive after a botched abortion as they would for any other child of the same gestational age was considered before the Senate Health Committee on Thursday. Senate Bill 405 – Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Act, championed by Senator Joyce Krawiec, would create penalties for medical providers who fail to exercise that duty of care or who fail to report another medical provider’s failure to employ that duty of care to the appropriate authorities. The measure would also make civil remedies available and clarify that an intentional, overt act that kills a child born alive after an attempted abortion is punishable as murder.
Governor Roy Cooper vetoed a similar measure in 2019, SB 359 – Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. In his veto statement, the Governor claimed that the action wasn’t needed.
“Laws already protect newborn babies, and this bill is an unnecessary interference between doctors and their patients. This needless legislation would criminalize doctors and other health care providers for a practice that simply does not exist,” said Cooper.
The Senate overrode the Governor’s veto, but the House couldn’t muster the necessary votes.
During the bill’s hearing, Krawiec said that some were erroneously claiming the latest version of the Born-Alive bill was the same as the 2019 measure. Krawiec noted that this time, however, some concerns with the last bill were now addressed in the new one. She said the current proposal lowered the penalty for failing to care for the infant from a felony to a misdemeanor and added the possibility of civil penalties.
But she correctly insisted that there was absolutely nothing about the legislation which would limit a woman’s access to an abortion.
She contended the heart of the bill was simply to show humanity for a fellow human being in dire straits, much like stopping to help someone at a crash scene. She said she didn’t believe anyone in the room would be so insensitive as to leave someone in serious trouble without offering to help them. Not to help a baby that had survived an abortion attempt, but to leave it unattended and neglect it to die was not humane, she said.
Today there is considerable and credible testimony from hospital nurses about children born alive after botched abortions, who actually were fighting for their lives and left to die. These included babies with Down Syndrome, between 21 and 22 weeks old; a baby thought to have Spina Bifida but still had an intact spine, healthy infants as old as 23 weeks and older whose only misfortune was that their mother didn’t want them.
Abortionist Kermit Gosnell was actively killing living infants. Gosnell is now serving three life terms for the first-degree murder of three babies born alive after failed abortions.
Still, people from the political left who testified against SB 405 echoed Governor Cooper’s sentiments on born-alive legislation, arguing that the bill addresses a non-existent problem.
“Doctors already have an obligation to provide appropriate medical care in all cases,” said Liz Barber, with the ACLU. Barber added the bill was just an attempt by anti-abortionists to stigmatize the practice of abortion “and outright demonize the doctors who provide them.”
Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League, testified in favor of the bill. Speakers were allotted two minutes to speak. Creech said the following:
“The faith to which the Christian Action League’s supporters adhere holds that all human life is sacred because it is made in the image of God. It derives its worth from God and not cultural standards. In our nation, we call this an inalienable right.
“But even if one is not religious, the issue of children born alive is a human life issue, a civil rights issue. One does not need to be a Christian or member of any faith to believe that children extracted from the mother’s body, living, breathing, and moving, are human beings and are entitled to all the protections of the law, which includes the right to live.
“A former member of this body, now serving in Congress, Congressman Dan Bishop (R) has said this about born alive legislation and why we need it in North Carolina:
‘Current law doesn’t address this because no one has ever contemplated the need to address it before. Because it seemed, under our shared ideals, obvious to all, that if someone were alive, there would be no thought of denying medical care to save their life. It is a revelation to some of us that some would contemplate that a live human being can be so vulnerable and so little thought of that it might be even remotely conceivable to allow that human being to die by neglect or by an overt act against it while it is alive and outside of its mother’s body.’
“For these reasons, the Christian Action League and its churches across the Tar Heel state urge your support of this bill.”
SB 405 passed the Senate Health Committee and now resides in the Senate Rules Committee to be heard next there.