By Dave Andrusko
Melissa Ohden is well known in pro-life circles. Herself the survivor of a “failed” abortion in the seventh month, Melissa is the founder of “The Abortion Survivors Network.” She has a new book coming out, “More Than A Choice: Abortion Survivors Break Their Silence.”
It was natural that I thought of Melissa, who has written often for NRL News and spoke many times at National Right to Life’s annual convention, when I happened upon “GUEST COMMENTARY Kansas Rep: ‘I saw a baby survive an abortion and that’s why I sponsored a law.’”
The representative is Ron Bryce, R-Coffeyville, who is a physician and represents District 11 in the Kansas House of Representatives. His story begins in 1988. “I was the medical resident on duty at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas when I was called to a ‘Code Blue’.”
Typically, Rep. Bryce explains, when this happens
someone is experiencing a life-threatening emergency, such as cardiac arrest. But no one seemed in distress this time. The attending surgeon was not actively providing care. The young woman on the operating table was awake, and seemed in no distress.
Then there was a cry. I turned to see a premature infant in the corner of the room on a metal table.
He had accomplished the seemingly impossible — survived his abortion. Though strong enough to live briefly outside the womb, he was still too young to survive very long separated from his mother. Healthcare had failed to take his life, then subsequently was able to offer very little to help him live.
When it “became obvious he was too tough to die quickly,” Bryce writes he “transferred my patient to the Neonatal Intensive Care unit for further care.” His breathing became more and more labored, and he grimaced.
Then his grunting quieted, movement ceased, and the grimace passed. I pronounced him dead. This was the first I knew of an infant surviving an abortion attempt. I assumed it was rare. But then our county health department investigated infant mortality cases, and found 27 of these babies born alive over a 3-year period.
He had the personal experience of witnessing that little boy’s brief life– no doubt seared into his heart and his brain–when he discovered that the little boy was not unique: twenty-seven babies had been born alive over the space of three years. I’d like us all to ponder that testimony to our collective inhumanity.
In 2023, Rep. Bryce writes, he joined more than 50 of his colleagues in co-sponsoring the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act. Now law, “it ensures that Kansas medical providers provide appropriate care for any baby born alive.”
Very important in enforcing the law, the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act also requires “the reporting of cases like this, what medical care is provided, and other information.”
Of course, needless to say, pro-abortion Gov. Laura Kelly heartlessly vetoed the bill. However in April, the Kansas Senate and House overrode her vetoes of the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act and two other pro-life measures
“For the first time in state history, a bipartisan group of legislators came together to override a Governor’s veto of pro-life policies,” said Jeanne Gawdun, Kansans for Life, Director of Government Relations. “Not only did they have the courage to stand against the Governor’s extremist views on abortion and infanticide, but ensured women are provided with potentially life-saving information and compassionate abortion alternatives.”