By Wesley J. Smith
Remember when former Virginia governor Ralph Northam blessed the right of a mother and her doctor to “have a conversation” and decide to neglect a newborn survivor of abortion to death? Well, now, a Maryland bill would effectively decriminalize Northam’s immoral proposal without regard to abortion.
First, it reiterates current law that deprives fetuses of all rights, meaning they could be the subjects of live experimentation when that is technologically feasible. From SB 669:
Nothing in this section shall be construed to confer personhood or any rights on the fetus.
Next, the bill would prevent investigations and legal penalties for abortion at any point in the pregnancy and “perinatal” deaths caused by “failure to act” — which extend from the 22nd week of gestation through to the first 28 days after birth (my emphasis):
This section may not be construed to authorize any form of investigation or penalty for a person:
(1) Terminating or attempting to terminate the person’s own pregnancy; or
(2) Experiencing a miscarriage, perinatal death related to a failure to act, or stillbirth
This means that a baby who survived an abortion can be allowed to die without care, and no investigation could be pursued nor legal penalty applied.
But it also effectively decriminalizes death by neglect for the first 28 days of life without regard to abortion. If no investigation can be conducted, what else can it be called? For example, a baby born with a disability could be allowed to die by refusing ordinary methods of care or medical treatment. Heck, for that matter, so could any baby the mother does not want in the first 28 days after birth.
To further ensure that such deaths can take place without consequence, the bill would authorize those illegally investigated for causing babies to die by neglect to bring civil lawsuits!
A person may bring a cause of action for damages if the person was subject to unlawful arrest or criminal investigation for a violation of section as a result of . . .
2) Experiencing a miscarriage, stillbirth, or perinatal death
The pro-abortion left clearly is slouching toward not only authorizing late term abortions for any reason, but also, post-birth deaths of unwanted born babies.
Based on the current advocacy trajectory, such proposals will eventually extend to permitting active infanticide, which is already promoted as legitimate morally by many in mainstream bioethics, and which currently is permitted in the Netherlands upon terminally ill babies and those born with serious disabilities. After all, once the law permits death by neglect, allowing lethal injections would be seen as more “humane” than the extended suffering that would otherwise be caused.
Tell me again: Who are the radicals? Who are the ones who don’t care about babies after they are born?
Editor’s note. Wesley’s great columns appear at National Review Online and reposted with his permission.