NC Statement on General Assembly Passing SB359

NC Values Coalition Statement on General Assembly Passing SB359

Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act


"We are thankful that our General Assembly passed the Born Alive Abortion Survivors’ bill today to make it unambiguous in North Carolina that infanticide is murder! Senate Bill 359 assures that infants, born alive as the result of a failed abortion, are recognized as a person entitled to all the rights, protections, and privileges that any other child born in our State possesses.

If an infant survives an abortion, he or she should be treated with the same degree of professional skill, care, and diligence to preserve its life and health that any other infant receives after birth. Unfortunately, these babies are sometimes left to die without medical care or, worse, helped to die by the very physicians who deliver them into the world. This is infanticide, not “healthcare”. A so-called “right to abortion” should not translate to a right to a dead child no matter what."

- Tami Fitzgerald, NC Values Coalition Executive Director




Background Information: 

The CDC estimates that between 2003 and 2014, at least 143 babies were born alive during abortions and then later passed away – this report does not include babies who survived attempted abortions and are still alive.

  • Thirty-one states have laws offering at least some explicit protection to babies who survive abortions. Once signed by Governor Cooper, North Carolina will establish legal protections for born-alive infants.
  • In 2002, the federal Born-Alive Infants Protections Act clarified that if an abortion results in the live birth of an infant, the infant is a legal person for all purposes under the laws of the United States and is entitled to all the protections of such laws. However, it did not create additional, specific protections for children who survive an abortion.
  • SB359 builds on the 2002 federal law by creating specific state requirements for the treatment of abortion survivors.
    • In the case of an attempted abortion that results in a child born alive, the health care practitioner must 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 practitioner would render to any other child born alive at the same gestational age; and
    • ensure that the child born alive is immediately transported and admitted to a hospital.
    • Establishes state penalties for failure to comply with these reasonable requirements. Penalties include fines and/or imprisonment. In addition, a woman on whom an abortion was performed is given the right to sue for civil remedies.

 Documented Examples of Infanticide after an Abortion

According to the Washington Examiner, investigators of Gosnell’s Philadelphia abortion clinic described it as a “house of horrors.”2

  • Gosnell severed the spines of hundreds of born alive babies with scissors. – Report of the Grand Jury XXIII MISC. NO.0009901-2008 in the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania
  • Gosnell severed the spine of one breathing, moving, born-alive baby and put the body in a plastic shoebox for disposal. – Report of the Grand Jury XXIII MISC. NO.0009901-2008 in the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania
  • One of the babies was reportedly moving and breathing for 20 minutes before an employee cut the spinal cord – Report of the Grand Jury XXIII MISC. NO.0009901-2008 in the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania
  • One worker testified that a woman had delivered a large baby into the toilet before Gosnell arrived at work for the night. The baby was moving and looked like it was swimming. – Report of the Grand Jury XXIII MISC. NO.0009901-2008 in the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania

In an undercover video released in April 2013, a D.C. abortionist admitted he would not intervene to save an abortion survivor. When asked about a baby being born alive during an attempted abortion, he said, “usually, at this point in your pregnancy, it’s too early to survive, usually. It will expire shortly after birth…it’s all in how vigorously you do things to help a fetus survive at this point.” Later he said, “we would not help it [the baby].  Let’s say. We wouldn’t— we wouldn’t—uh, intubate, let’s say.”    

In another undercover video released in March 2017, a former Planned Parenthood medical director said that in order to determine whether to provide medical intervention for these babies, “You need to pay attention to who’s in the room.”

Earlier cases abound. In 2005, a mother delivered her 23-week-old baby in the toilet at EPOC Clinic in Orlando, Florida, and was shocked to see him move. Abortion staff not only refused to help but turned away paramedics, whom her friend had notified by calling 911. Angele could do no more than helplessly sit on the floor rocking and singing to her baby for 11 minutes until he died.

In 2006, Sycloria Williams delivered her 23-week-old baby boy on a recliner at A Gyn Diagnostic Center in Hialeah, Florida. When he began breathing and moving, abortion clinic owner Belkis Gonzalez cut the umbilical cord and zipped him into a biohazard bag, still alive and trashed the newborn in a cardboard. At 23 weeks, an otherwise healthy baby would have a legitimate chance of survival. Quadruplets born at 23 weeks in Nebraska survived.

Jill Stanek testified before the House Judiciary Committee about her experience as a registered nurse in the Labor and Delivery Department at Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, Illinois, where she discovered babies being aborted alive and shelved to die in the department’s soiled utility closet. She said, “I was traumatized and changed forever by my experience of holding a little abortion survivor for 45 minutes until he died, a 21/22-week-old baby who had been aborted because he had Down syndrome."  Jill Stanek provided testimony to the North Carolina Senate Health Committee. In addition letters and testimony from US Senate Judiciary testimony from Melissa Ohden and Gianna Jessen, both abortion survivors, were received by the committee.

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