By Dave Andrusko
It was universally expected but disappointing nonetheless. Two days after Senate Bill 359 reached his desk, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper today vetoed a bill that would do no more than require the same treatment to an abortion survivor as would be given to any other newborn of a similar age.
SB 359, of course, does not impede, limit, or restrict any abortion, no matter how well developed the baby is. The only thing it “stigmatizes” in medical neglect of babies who have survived an abortion.
Republicans quickly criticized the veto. In a joint statement two of the bill’s top supporters, Sen. Joyce Krawiec of Forsyth County and Rep. Pat McElraft of Carteret County, said that “caring for a living, breathing newborn infant is too restrictive for Governor Cooper’s radical abortion agenda.”
“We thought Democrats would agree that children born alive should be separate from the abortion debate, but it’s clear they want the ‘right to choose’ to even extend past birth,” they wrote.
AP reporter Gary D. Robertson accurately explained the bill
The Republican-drafted legislation specifies that health care practitioners should grant those children born alive the same protections as any other newborn patient. Those who don’t do so could face a felony and active prison time, along with potential $250,000 fines and other monetary damages. A mother can’t be prosecuted, but health care providers who fail to report any improper care to authorities could be charged.
Senate Bill 359— the “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act”— simply forbids discrimination in the treatment of a baby who survives the abortionist’s assault.
SB 359 easily passed both the House (65-46) and the Senate (28-19) but not by the numbers necessary to override Cooper’s veto. Some Democrats would need to do the right thing to protect babies against infanticide.
During floor debate, Joyce Krawiec, the bill’s sponsor, said, “This has nothing to do with limiting abortion in any way.” SB 359 “changes nothing except how that born-alive infant is treated.”
Democrats opposed providing equal treatment to born-alive abortion survivors essentially offer three excuses.
Medical neglect (infanticide) never happens; if non-treatment decisions are to be made, “Do you trust the politicians in this room or do you trust the doctors and nurses who are trained?”; and “the measure seeks to force medical actions between a physician and a pregnant woman, interfering with her right to an abortion,” in Robertson’s paraphrase.
While states are introducing laws to protect born-alive abortion survivors, pro-abortion Democrats insist the debate is not non-treatment of babies who are no longer in their mother’s womb but abortion.
The same pitched battle is taking place in Congress. Democrats in the House and the Senate are preventing a vote on the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act.
Pro-life House Republicans have responded with a campaign to persuade a majority of House Members (218) to sign a “discharge petition” which would force a vote. As is the case in North Carolina, Republicans need some Democrats to take the side of life in order to win the day for abortion survivors