West Virginia has become the latest state to pass pro-life legislation protecting babies who are born alive after failed abortions. The measure closely mirrors the Born-Alive Survivors Protection Act, which failed to advance in the U.S. Senate last week after 41 Democrats blocked the vote.
Under House Bill 4007, medical practitioners are required to use the “same degree of reasonable medical judgment to preserve the life of a fetus which is born alive as would be used in a live non-abortion birth of the same gestational age,” the bill reads. Medical professionals who fail to do so are subject to discipline from their licensing board.
The state’s Republican governor, Jim Justice (shown), signed the bill into law on Monday.
“I truly believe that every human life, born or unborn, is a gift from God. It was a no-brainer for me to sign the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act today. This new law will protect babies who survive an attempted abortion procedure,” Governor Justice tweeted after signing the law.
The bill had overwhelming bipartisan support in West Virginia’s House of Delegates, where it passed 93-5, as well as the Senate, where it passed 32-0.
Still, some West Virginia Democrats echoed the sentiments of their counterparts in the U.S. Senate and House, claiming born-alive legislation is unnecessary and a waste of time.
“A child born alive who would somehow be killed, that would be murder. It would clearly be murder, there’s nobody doing that and if they do do it, they’re in jail,” said State Senator Mike Romano when the West Virginia Senate passed the bill in February, ABC News reports.
But such assertions naively overlook what is known take place at some abortion clinics.
Family Research Council’s Arina Grossu observes, “[Kermit] Gosnell is only one abortionist who was responsible for ‘hundreds of snippings’ of born-alive babies.”
Live Action President Lila Rose elaborated on the horrifying truth of what actually takes place in abortion clinics across the country:
Live Action has documented on camera how abortionists in our country’s notorious late-term abortion facilities talk about survivors of abortion. Washington, D.C. abortionist Cesare Santangelo told our undercover investigators that he would make sure babies “do not survive” if they were born alive at his facility. A New York abortion worker told our Live Action investigator to “flush” the baby down the toilet or “put it in a bag” if she’s born alive. In Arizona, an abortion worker told us there “may be movement” after the baby is outside of the mother and that they would refuse to provide help and instead let her die. Dr. DeShawn Taylor, former medical director for Planned Parenthood, told a Center for Medical Progress investigator that identifying “signs of life” after a baby survives an abortion is contingent upon “who’s in the room.”
West Virginia is just one in a string of states to pass born-alive legislation, a trend that was triggered by comments from Virginia’s Democratic Governor Ralph Northam during a January 2019 radio interview that he supports infanticide of babies who survive abortions.
“This is why decisions such as this should be made by providers, physicians and the mothers and fathers that are involved,” he said. “When we talk about third-trimester abortions, these are done with the consent of obviously the mother, with the consent of the physician — more than one physician, by the way — and it’s done in cases where there may be severe deformities. There may be a fetus that’s non-viable.”
But as noted by the National Review, there are still more than a dozen states that do not mandate medical care be administered to infants who survive abortions. What’s more, in New York and Illinois, all protections for infants who survive abortions were repealed last year, Life News reports. And Democrats in the U.S. Senate have blocked the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act nearly 100 times in 2019 and are currently filibustering the bill.
Still, West Virginia’s new law marks a victory for the unborn. West Virginians for Life president Wanda Franz applauded the state’s legislature in a statement to LifeNews.com.
“West Virginians for Life thanks the legislators and leadership in our state Capitol for passing the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. This new law puts teeth in our state legal system to make it possible to report and prosecute these cases. The people of West Virginia want these infants to be protected by West Virginia law,” Franz said.
Photo: AP Images
Raven Clabough acquired her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English at the University of Albany in upstate New York. She currently lives in Pennsylvania and has been a writer for The New American since 2010.