House Votes to Give Rights to Babies that Survive Abortions
By Sarah-Marie Hoduski
Testimony: Nurse Jill L. Stanek during Born Alive Infant Protection Act Congressional Hearings (1)
Did you know that sometimes babies survive abortions?
There are abortion procedures that sometimes do not succeed in killing the child-subject. For instance, Jill Stanek, a nurse that testified in Congressional Hearings, describes one abortion process where children are medically induced and delivered— either to die in the process of delivery or to be left to die unattended.
Florida Rep. Cary Pigman, an emergency medicine physician says that hundreds of babies die after failed abortions every year, “as of 2010, 1,270 infants were reported in that category — and I emphasize reported.” The actual number of infant deaths could be much higher. (2)
However, one plucky little ten year old girl who survived her abortion grew up to successfully sue her abortion doctor for 36 million dollars. (2) She suffers severe medical issues including cerebral palsy as a result of the abortion attempt.
Nevertheless, the majority of babies are not fortunate enough to be allowed to live after a botched abortion. Specifically describing the born alive survivors, Stanek recounts that:
In the event that a baby is aborted alive, he or she receives no medical assessments or care but is only given what my hospital calls “comfort care.” “Comfort care” is defined as keeping the baby warm in a blanket until he or she dies, although even this minimal compassion is not always provided. It is not required that these babies be held during their short lives.
It’s an embarrassment for doctors and nurses— so, often, children are left to die: it can take days in the back of clinics. Stanek remembers that:
One night, a nursing co-worker was taking an aborted Down’s Syndrome baby who was born alive to our Soiled Utility Room because his parents did not want to hold him, and she did not have time to hold him. I could not bear the thought of this suffering child dying alone in a Soiled Utility Room, so I cradled and rocked him for the 45 minutes that he lived… After he was pronounced dead, we folded his little arms across his chest, wrapped him in a tiny shroud, and carried him to the hospital morgue where all of our dead patients are taken.
It’s totally legal.
Something is very wrong with a legal system that says doctors are mandated to pronounce babies dead but are not mandated to assess babies for life and chances of survival. In other words, our laws currently say that babies have no rights to medical oversight until they are dead. We look the other way and pretend that these babies aren’t human while they’re alive but human only after they are dead.
Except, that the House voted January 19th to give legal protection to anyone that makes it through the procedure. The new legislation states that if the abortion fails then that baby must be given medical attention or the doctors face legal consequences.
The vote now goes to the senate for passage.