The West Virginia Senate on Feb. 10 passed a bill that would penalize physicians who dont provide “reasonable” medical care to a baby born after an abortion attempt.
Senators unanimously approved the bill following testimony from Sen. Mike Romano (D-W.Va.), who said lawmakers have wasted time angling for political points on a bill that has no impact instead of working on the states more serious problems, according to The Associated Press.
“A child born alive who would somehow be killed, that would be murder. It would clearly be murder, theres nobody doing that and if they do do it theyre in jail,” said Romano, adding that the bill “isnt going to change anything.”
The House Bill 4007, also known as the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, states that if a physician performs or attempts to perform an abortion that results in a child born alive, they must “exercise the same degree of reasonable medical judgment to preserve the life and health of the child” as they would “to any other child born alive at the same gestational age; and ensure that the child born alive is immediately transported and admitted to a hospital.”
As per the bill, “born alive” means the “complete expulsion or extraction from its mother of that member, at any stage of development, who after such expulsion or extraction breathes or has a beating heart, pulsation of the umbilical cord, or definite movement of voluntary muscles, regardless of whether the umbilical cord has been cut, and regardless of whether the expulsion or extraction occurs as a result of natural or induced labor, cesarean section, or induced abortion.”
Any physician or other licensed medical professionals who fails to do so will be subjected to “discipline from the applicable licensure board for that conduct, including, but not limited to, loss of professional license to practice,” according to the bill.
Following its passing by the Senate, the House must now approve the amendments made to it before it goes to the office of Governor Jim Justice (R-W.Va.).
Justice said in a tweet on Feb. 11 that he will support the bill and will continue to “defend the right for life for every unborn child.”
“I will proudly sign this bill into law when it comes to my desk because every human life—born and unborn—is precious and a gift from God.”
AP reported that in a previous debate, some Republicans in the House of Delegates conceded that the bill is more about sending a political message than solving an ongoing problem, especially since existing laws already protect newborns and that the state bans abortions after 20 weeks.
However, after reintroducing the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, its lead sponsor, Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), said in a statement that “everybody loves babies and that love has nothing to do with politics and everything to do with just having a heart.”
“This legislation is an opportunity for Congress to find consensus built on commoRead More – Source