“A newborn’s first and primary diagnosis is, it’s a baby.”
By Dave Andrusko
On Tuesday, NRL News Today posted three separate stories about a very important hearing conducted by the Senate Judiciary Committee—” The Infant Patient: Ensuring Appropriate Medical Care for Children Born Alive.” The intent was to highlight the need for legislation to extend federal legal protection to babies who are born alive during an abortion—the “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act” (S.130).
We patiently waded through hostile testimony submitted by the President and CEO of the pro-abortion National Women’s Law Center. It combined the usual talking points with a hostility toward supporters of S.130 that was intense even by the Abortion Lobby’s standards.
To cleanse the palate, so to speak, I’ve highlighting the prepared testimony of Robin Pierucci, MD, MA., and included a link to her remarks. They are long, but you will enjoy every paragraph, I promise.
Dr. Pierucci reminded the senators of some elementary truths that transcend the anti-life resentment over “botched” abortions—aka babies who were supposed to be dead but aren’t.
*She outlined in careful detail what are today’s standards of medical care for babies born alive. But unlike our friend from the National Women’s Law Center, Dr. Pierucci understood that babies are babies—and it doesn’t matter if the attending physician had been doing his best to save the child or kill her.
“Without hesitation, if born alive, all babies should be assessed and then receive the appropriate degree of intervention as outlined by the Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP),” she testified.
*In that vein, she elaborated, “There is no ethical reason why this medical standard of care should be abandoned for a subgroup of people because they might be less ‘wanted’ than others; wantedness does not determine humanness.”
*Dr. Pierucci, of course, understood that some babies cannot be saved, no matter how hard doctors try, no matter how skillful they may be. But then came one of the many truly moving statements:
Over the years, there have been a handful of times when it became clear that despite doing everything we knew to do for the baby, we were not going to be successful. And not only were we not going to be successful, for a variety of reasons, a baby was going to die without a parent present to hold him or her in those final moments. It is at those times that I have had the privilege of taking those impossibly tiny hands into my own and simply holding the little one for the duration of his or her life. Mother Teresa stunned the entire world by picking up dying, disregarded people from the gutters of Calcutta and tending to them whether or not they could be cured. We too should never allow a baby, especially a baby, to die anywhere but in the warmth of our arms, nestled securely against our hearts. In cases where our technology is insufficient to help, it is appropriate to provide palliative care.
*Her conclusion, which might have moved even the hardest of hard-hearted pro-abortionists:
A newborn’s first and primary diagnosis is, it’s a baby. All other diagnoses (prematurity, respiratory distress, sepsis, etc.) are secondary and never negate the first one. Because of their preeminent diagnosis, (human baby), we are always obligated to care, whether or not we have the ability to heal. This means that all human babies who are born alive are our patients and as such, medical personnel should be ready to either directly provide the medical standard of care or be prepared to stabilize the baby until a team with more advanced training arrives.
I offer this testimony in the hope that by consistently caring for all babies, we will simultaneously also better care for their mothers, which will extend to an entire family tree.