Texas Governor Signs Bill Into Law Requiring Abortionists to Provide Care for Babies Born Alive After Abortion

By Nancy Flory Published on June 18, 2019

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law Friday a bill that requires abortionists to provide medical care to babies born alive after an abortion.

Texas House Bill 16 mandates abortion providers give basic medical care to babies born alive after an abortion. If abortion providers fail to provide medical care to those babies, the provider could be charged with a third-degree felony and fined up to $100,000. Representative Jeff Leach, R-Plano, sponsored the bill.

“We’re drawing a line in the sand,” Leach told The Texas Tribune. “We’re proclaiming clearly and loudly together that a baby who survives an abortion deserves the full protection of the law and the highest standard of medical care.”

The bill passed the Senate by 21-10 last month. It had bipartisan support. It passed the House in April by 93-1 with 50 abstentions. “Texas will continue to be on the front lines in the fight for life,” Leach said just before the House voted. “[T]oday we’ll prove that to the nation once again.”

A Waste of Time?

Pro-abortion Rep. Donna Howard said the bill was a waste of time. “The aim of HB 16 is clear: further stigmatize abortion, misinform the public, intimidate physicians, and interfere with a woman’s ability to seek medical care. To debate this bill … would legitimize its false information. We refuse to waste limited time we have here by entertaining malicious and purely political attacks against women and doctors.”

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As expected, Planned Parenthood Texas Votes interim Executive Director Dyana Limon-Mercado wasn’t happy. “HB 16 is a blatantly false, inflammatory and dangerous bill being pushed by anti-choice organizations to further stigmatize abortion, intimidate physicians and, once again, interfere with a woman’s right to seek medical care.”

Clearly Limon-Mercado and Howard read from the same sheet of talking points. 

Hundreds of Babies Born Alive After Abortion

Senator Nathan Johnson, D-Dallas, says the bill was unnecessary. However, up to 588 babies were born alive after termination of pregnancy between the years of 2003 and 2014, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recorded.

According to Congressional testimony, the “CDC concluded that of the 588 babies, 143 were ‘definitively’ born alive after an attempted abortion and they lived from minutes to one or more days, with 48% of the babies living between one to four hours. It also admitted that it’s possible the number is an underestimate.”

“Children who survive an abortion should be, and now will be, protected and given lifesaving care in Texas,” Texas Values Action tweeted.

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