One of the many horrifying aspects of the Reproductive Health Act (RHA) that was passed here in New York in January is its removal of legal protections for viable babies born alive following late-term abortion procedures.
Before the RHA was enacted, Public Health Law § 4164(2) mandated that a viable infant born alive following an abortion performed after 20 weeks’ gestation be “accorded immediate legal protection under the laws of the state of New York…” The RHA repealed this statutory section, making it legal for abortionists to deny medical care and treatment to viable babies who survive gruesome late-term abortions.
Sen. Pam Helming (R-Canandaigua) has introduced legislation to protect abortion survivors in New York. Her bill, S.5332-Helming, is known as the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. The legislation closely resembles the similar bill that has been introduced on the federal level. Bill S.5332-Helming would require health care practitioners to use the same degree of care for born-alive abortion survivors that they would use for other babies born at the same gestational age, to ensure that each born-alive abortion survivor is transported to a hospital, and to report failures to comply with these provisions to law enforcement. Violations of these provisions would be punishable as misdemeanors. The bill would also clarify that a person who takes the life of a born-alive abortion survivor or attempts to do so is guilty of second-degree murder; and would allow lawsuits to be filed for violations of its provisions.
On Monday, May 13, Sen. Helming attempted to attach the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act to another piece of legislation as a hostile amendment on the Senate floor. Sadly, every member of the Senate Democratic Conference voted against the amendment, causing it to fail.
New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms thanks Sen. Helming for standing up for born-alive abortion survivors.