In January 2019, the state of New York suffered a major setback regarding the sanctity of life when the Reproductive Health Act (RHA) was passed. As many Christian New Yorkers will recall, the RHA is a late-term abortion expansion law that effectively allows third-trimester abortions for any reason; it also removed existing legal protections for born-alive abortion survivors.
Given that Gov. Andrew Cuomo is an outspoken champion of abortion, and given that pro-abortion majorities control the Senate and the Assembly, pro-life legislation is not likely to pass in New York in the near term. Nevertheless, it is important to continue to promote pro-life bills and work toward a future in which they can become law.
Bill S.2569-Helming/A.4429-Manktelow, the Born Alive Abortion Survivors’ Protection Act (BAASPA), would reinstate and strengthen legal protections for infants born alive as a result of abortion procedures. BAASPA would require health care practitioners to ensure that any born-alive abortion survivor is immediately admitted to a hospital. The legislation would also mandate that practitioners report violations of its provisions to law enforcement. Under BAASPA, a person who takes the life of a born-alive abortion survivor could be charged with second-degree murder.
Significantly, BAASPA states that “the mother of a [born-alive abortion survivor] may not be prosecuted” for violating its provisions. Rather, the bill would allow the mother of a born-alive abortion survivor to sue a practitioner for failing to provide due care following her infant’s birth, or for failing to ensure that her baby was immediately admitted to a hospital.
Regardless of one’s position on the abortion issue, New Yorkers should agree that every infant—regardless of the circumstances surrounding his or her birth—is entitled to medical care.