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house Bill H.R. 4712

Punishing Healthcare Providers For Not Trying to Save Infants Who Survive Attempted Abortions

Argument in favor

Infants born following an attempted abortion have rights under the Constitution just like any other person. Healthcare providers who fail to provide the necessary medical care should be held criminally accountable, and charged with murder if the infant dies.

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01/15/2018
Choose life every time. If they don’t try to save the baby they should be prosecuted as murderers. Abortion is already murder in the sight of God. I’d hate to be one who has to stand before God and answer for all the murders of aborted babies!
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Kenneth's Opinion
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01/19/2018
The child is born alive, anyone who stands by and watches an innocent child die should be prosecuted.
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Joyce's Opinion
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01/19/2018
Abortion of any kind is murder but a baby in its second or third trimester that is made to endure internal and external burns with deadly saline or poison to the heart can certainly feel that. This country should be ashamed for allowing this to lawfully take place. May God have mercy.
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Argument opposed

Partisan politics and fear mongering, rather than legitimate legal or medical needs, are the motivation behind this bill. It would deter abortion providers from using procedures to keep a fetus intact so its tissue can be used for research.

Sarah's Opinion
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01/15/2018
First of all, this legislation already exists. The Born-Alive Infants Protection Act was signed into law in 2002 by Bush. It does the same thing. Second, this is obviously a scare tactic. States have already investigated this and have found it just doesn’t happen. Third, for anyone who proudly claims that they support the sanctity of life, where do you stand on Black Lives Matter? Where do you stand on gun rights? Are you sure you support life for everyone?
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Kathy's Opinion
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01/19/2018
For an “infant” to try to survive an abortion, the child would have to be in the last trimester. And third trimester abortions simply don’t happen. I work in healthcare. Stop trying to promote fear and ignorance. Quite frankly, this attempt at fear mongering and promoting things that don’t happen make me physically sick. YOU republicans make me sick. I’ll be watching this very carefully. And when the time come, I WILL vote appropriately. Ignorance does not belong in government.
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01/15/2018
This has no valid medical research to back it up. Stop the partisan fearmongering.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house Passed January 19th, 2018
    Roll Call Vote 241 Yea / 183 Nay
      house Committees
      Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties
      Committee on the Judiciary
      Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security
    IntroducedDecember 21st, 2017

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What is House Bill H.R. 4712?

This bill — known as the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act — would require healthcare providers to give “reasonably diligent and conscientious care” to an infant born-alive following an attempted abortion. Providers would have to take appropriate steps to save the infant’s life given its age and health, and immediately transport and admit the infant to the hospital. Failing to comply with those requirements would be punishable by fines or up to five years in prison, and if a person’s actions actively lead to the death of a born-alive infant they could be tried for murder. The mother of the child couldn’t be prosecuted under this bill, as it only applies to healthcare providers.

If a healthcare provider, or an employee of a physician’s office, hospital, or abortion clinic knows about a failure to comply with these requirements, they are legally responsible for reporting the incident to a state or federal law enforcement agency.

Women who give birth to born-alive infants could file civil lawsuits against healthcare providers. The loser of the civil suit would pay the winner’s attorney’s fees, and legal awards could include:

  • Compensation for physical and psychological injury.

  • Statutory damages up to three times the cost of the abortion or attempted abortion.

  • And punitive damages.

Impact

Born-alive infants; women seeking abortions; healthcare providers; and federal and state law enforcement.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 4712

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) offered the following statement in announcing that the House will vote on Rep. Marsha Blackburn’s (R-TN) bill to punish healthcare providers that don’t offer care to infants born-alive following an attempted abortion:

“This bill states simply that if a baby is born after a failed abortion attempt, he or she should be given the same medical care as a baby born any other way, in line with our longstanding commitment to empower women, mothers will never be held criminally accountable. However, doctors who fail to provide medical care to newborns will be held criminally accountable. There is absolutely no ambiguity here. This is about protecting babies who are born and alive, and nobody should be against that.”

Blackburn chaired the House’s Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives, which probed abortion providers and those acquiring tissue from aborted fetuses. It found that “researchers want fetal tissue from late-gestation infants that has not been tainted by feticidal agents” and that abortion providers “may modify abortion procedures, in apparent violation of the law, to increase the odds of getting an intact cadaver.” The report cited quoted Planned Parenthood doctors who discussed delivering intact fetuses for this reason, and concluded:

“Clearly, these factors increase the likelihood that unborn infants are born alive during late second-trimester abortions, and raise the question of whether these infants’ civil rights are recognized by abortion providers.”

This legislation has the support of 81 cosponsors in the House, all of whom are Republicans.


Of Note: The Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2002 after unanimously passing Congress, clarifies that for the purpose of federal law the terms “person”, “human being”, “child”, and “individual” include every infant born alive — whether the birth is the result of labor, c-section, or induced abortion. It doesn’t contain its own criminal penalties or enforcement mechanisms to hold abortion providers accountable for failing to provide medical attention and care to infants born alive.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: PabloK / iStock)

AKA

Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act

Official Title

To amend title 18, United States Code, to prohibit a health care practitioner from failing to exercise the proper degree of care in the case of a child who survives an abortion or attempted abortion.

    Choose life every time. If they don’t try to save the baby they should be prosecuted as murderers. Abortion is already murder in the sight of God. I’d hate to be one who has to stand before God and answer for all the murders of aborted babies!
    Like (87)
    Follow
    Share
    First of all, this legislation already exists. The Born-Alive Infants Protection Act was signed into law in 2002 by Bush. It does the same thing. Second, this is obviously a scare tactic. States have already investigated this and have found it just doesn’t happen. Third, for anyone who proudly claims that they support the sanctity of life, where do you stand on Black Lives Matter? Where do you stand on gun rights? Are you sure you support life for everyone?
    Like (603)
    Follow
    Share
    For an “infant” to try to survive an abortion, the child would have to be in the last trimester. And third trimester abortions simply don’t happen. I work in healthcare. Stop trying to promote fear and ignorance. Quite frankly, this attempt at fear mongering and promoting things that don’t happen make me physically sick. YOU republicans make me sick. I’ll be watching this very carefully. And when the time come, I WILL vote appropriately. Ignorance does not belong in government.
    Like (258)
    Follow
    Share
    This has no valid medical research to back it up. Stop the partisan fearmongering.
    Like (109)
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    Who invents these problems to legislate suspicious solutions for? Wrule Righters. A good name for fake Christian law makers like John Katko. Reshaping the country to suit their capitalist extremist religion of “Christian conservatism”.
    Like (105)
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    This bill's sole purpose is to cause fear among abortion providers. It makes no logical or moral sense.
    Like (80)
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    This is outrageous. A health care provider should absolutely not be punished for doing their job based on someone's religious beliefs.
    Like (80)
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    This is a ridiculous bill about an almost fictitious occurrence. Congress needs to spend their time funding the federal government instead of debating the "Boogieman under the bed" laws
    Like (64)
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    Since only 1.3 % of legal abortions occur at over 21 weeks and the number if weeks is not the only factor for determining if life is possible this bill appears to be targeting the legal rights of women to make medical decisions with their physicians. Nothing more.
    Like (51)
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    The Gop always talk about protecting the fetus and unborn child, but when it arrives, they starve or kill the child by denying the infant health care and food, so in the end, the GOP murder all things!
    Like (47)
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    This is another utterly ridiculous TRAP law, trying to cut away women's right of agency of their bodies.
    Like (45)
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    I would prefer the government focus on pro-child legislation; rather than using scare tactics to meet their wealthy contributors for profit prison quotas and to insert their religious beliefs. Late term abortions are rarely performed unless continuing the pregnancy poses a life threatening risk to the mother. As such, it is a medical decision THAT SHOULD NOT BE SUBJECTED TO political profiteering.
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    Government should stay out of medical decision making. That’s between a doctor and their patient. If you criminalize physicians for this type of decision making you negatively impact patient care.
    Like (28)
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    Given the fact that late-term abortions are outlawed, then this legislation is a mute point. It is legislation designed to decrease the number of abortion providers even further.
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    It is redundant and unnecessary.
    Like (23)
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    This is just more of the right wing playing to their undereducated base that can’t tell mythology from history. Of course the GOP supports this type of signaling trash. It’s as if they believe, “good” people don’t find themselves accidentally pregnant, so taking away the rights of people that do, costs no political capital. The GOP is the political arm of homeland terrorists.
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    How many more children do we need to put in foster care, orphanages, and abusive homes? This legislation is incredibly stupid, just like the author(s). Yes I do mean stupid. Stop this insanity. NO!
    Like (23)
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    The child is born alive, anyone who stands by and watches an innocent child die should be prosecuted.
    Like (22)
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    Absurd. Just stop it.
    Like (21)
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    Fearmongering and partisan politics. A blatant slap at Roe v Wade. This is an attempt to deter providers from offering abortion services at all. A ridiculous bill.
    Like (20)
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