THE LAST WORD: State, national bills will protect pre-born, newborn babies

Kerry Hubartt

The lives of pre-born and newborn babies are in the legislative spotlight, both in Indiana and throughout the nation.

In Indiana, the issue before the State Legislature is House Bill 1211, which provides that a person may not knowingly or intentionally perform a dismemberment abortion unless a physician reasonably believes such an abortion is necessary.

Before the nation is the “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act” (Senate Bill 311), which is designed to stop infanticide.

There is no excuse for either of these proposed pieces of legislation to fail to become law, no matter what your political viewpoint on abortion overall. In both cases, we are talking about live babies who feel pain and whose fate should not be left to the discretion of lawmakers only concerned about a mother’s “right to choose.”

The purpose of HB 1211 is to end the grizzly practice of dismemberment abortions, which typically occur after the first trimester of pregnancy. Such procedures, according to Fort Wayne OBGYN Christina Francis, “are done on a living, fetal human being, and involve pulling the fetus out of the woman’s uterus piece by piece.”

Dr. Francis, who has testified before state lawmakers, says the bill only prohibits Dilation and Evacuation procedures (D&Es). She also points out that scientific studies indicate babies within the womb are able to feel pain as early as eight weeks gestation, and she maintains that such second-trimester abortions are clearly cruel and inhumane.

The Indiana Family Institute supports the bill as well, saying it “would end this terrible practice and punish abortionists who continue to use this brutal procedure.”

The measure, authored by Rep. Peggy Mayfield, R-Martinsville, would subject physicians who perform a second-trimester “dismemberment abortion” to a level 5 felony. The bill passed the House on Thursday, 71-25, and now advances to the Senate.

Meanwhile, in Washington this week, the Senate will vote on Nebraska Republican Sen. Ben Sasse’s bill to stop infanticide.

On the 46th anniversary of “Roe v. Wade,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.) signed into law the Reproductive Health Act, which not only allows abortion through all stages of pregnancy, it also removes explicit protections for babies born alive following a failed abortion.

Since then, other states have passed laws allowing abortions at all stages of pregnancy, including Arizona, Illinois, New Mexico, Vermont and Virginia.

Democrat Gov. Ralph Northam of Virginia defended his state’s bill, allowing abortion through birth, making a statement that appeared to endorse letting born-alive babies die.

“If a mother is in labor,” he said, “I can tell you exactly what would happen. The infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.”

Sen. Sasse introduced the “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act” in response.

Congress needs to pass this bill to prevent abortionists from killing, harvesting organs, or denying medical care to infants born alive who survive an attempted abortion.

Indiana’s Senate needs to pass HB 1211 to prevent the brutal dismemberment of babies in the second trimester of pregnancy.

And we citizens need to urge our state and national senators to support and vote for these bills that will stop dismemberment abortions and infanticide of babies born alive after failed abortions.

Kerry Hubartt is former editor of The News-Sentinel.