Republican Gov. Doug Ducey signed a law late last month that will provide protection for babies who survive an abortion and that will require abortionists to report on them, the Associated Press reported.
The law requires babies who survive abortion to be given medical treatment and that the proper equipment is on hand to offer that treatment. It also expands reporting requirements for doctors and staff, who must provide statements as to whether the baby’s life was successfully terminated by an abortion or if it survived the procedure and was given care.
In the summary of the law, HB1367, states:
Arizona law requires any physician performing an abortion to use all available means and medical skills to promote, preserve, and maintain the life of a baby who is delivered alive. Tragically, recent incidents reported in Arizona have demonstrated that this law is not adequate to protect babies delivered alive following an attempted abortion. SB 1367 strengthens the law by requiring the Department of Health Services to create rules concerning the minimum equipment standards and standards of care necessary to comply with the law. The bill also expands the abortion reporting requirements to include a statement from the physician and all staff in attendance at an abortion certifying that the infant was not delivered alive or detailing the care provided if the infant was delivered alive. Finally, the bill adds a definition of “delivered alive” to clarify that any baby that is breathing, moving, or has a heartbeat must be saved.
The bill is, in part, in response to two recent cases in Arizona in which babies survived an abortion but then died, both mentioned in the text of the new law.
One was the case of a woman who was being investigated for fraud for using taxpayer funding to pay for a second trimester abortion, which turned up the “chilling detail” that the baby was born alive but later died.
The second born-alive case last year in Arizona prompted a 911 call, which was recorded.
“On the heels of that tragic story followed an even more troubling report after the release of 911 tapes in which an abortion clinic worker at Family Planning Associates in Phoenix stated that a baby delivered alive after an attempted abortion was breathing,” the text of the law states. ‘We can’t provide that care, except for oxygen, and we’re trying to keep the fetus stable until someone arrives,’ the clinic worker said. The baby was pronounced dead by the time it arrived at the hospital.”
“Opponents say the measure would cause unnecessary pain to infants born too early to survive or with defects that will lead to their deaths,” the AP reported. “During committee testimony, neonatologist Dr. Peter Stevenson testified that the current standard of care is not to resuscitate fetuses delivered prior to 22 weeks nationwide.”
Data from the Guttmacher Institute, a pro-abortion research group, shows that 35 states and the U.S. Congress have enacted laws requiring lifesaving care to be provided for born-alive cases during attempted abortions, with some dating as far back as the 1970s, according to the AP report.