“Born-Alive” bills and the 2021 legislative session

By Dave Andrusko

As reported in NRL News Today, this has been a very productive state legislative session. We’ve discussed everything from Abortion Pill Reversal (APR) to amendments to state constitutions to 72 hour waiting periods to requirements that abortion pills be dispensed in-person to women undergoing chemical (“medication”) abortion to bans on abortions performed on such discriminatory bases as the child’s sex, race, or possible disability.

But there is also important “after” abortion legislation, measures to assure that abortion survivors receive equitable care, a proposal pro-abortionists particularly hate. (They always pretend such legislation is “redundant” or “not needed.”)

One currently under consideration is in Alabama. According to Eddie Burkhalter, House Bill 237 was introduced by state Rep. Ginny Shaver. It would require doctors to “exercise reasonable care to preserve the life of a child born alive after an abortion or an attempted abortion in an abortion or reproductive health center.”  

The House passed the bill on a 76-12 vote. HB 237 then moved on to the Senate.

Quoting from the House debate, Burkhalter wrote

Rep. Jamie Kiel, R-Russellville, said he supports the bill, which he said protects vulnerable babies and that he finds it reprehensible that “anybody who calls themselves a doctor would deny lifesaving treatment to a baby.” 

“We’re not talking about a baby in the womb. We’re talking about a baby that’s been delivered, that is still alive,” Kiel said. 

Most recently, on March 24, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem signed House Bill 1051 which requires medical professionals to provide the same means, medical skills, and treatment to every child born alive immediately following an attempted abortion as they would any other child.

The law also allows a mother to sue any doctor or abortion facility that violates the law, imposes financial penalties on those who violate the law, and requires certain reporting to the Department of Health for any births that arise following a failed abortion. 

“The pro-life cause continues even after a child is born, and this bill will guarantee the right to life for every baby that is born alive,” said Gov. Noem. “We expect doctors to treat all children equally, even those born in horrific circumstances. That’s basic human decency.”

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