House Passes Bill to Hold Planned Parenthood Criminally Liable for Harvesting Aborted Babies Still Alive

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The House of Representatives today approved a pro-life bill that would hold the Planned Parenthood abortion business criminally liable for harvesting body parts from aborted babies who are technically still alive.

The center for Medical Progress has released 10 videos catching and exposing Planned Parenthood officials selling aborted babies and their body parts. One of the most shocking videos caught the nation’s biggest abortion business harvesting the brain of an aborted baby who was still alive.

The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, sponsored by pro-life Congressman Trent Franks would make failure to provide standard medical care to children born alive during an abortion a federal crime. It would also apply stronger penalties in cases where an overt act is taken to kill the abortion survivor.

Under the pro-life bill there is also a civil right of action for mothers of children who survive an abortion to hold the abortion provider accountable.

Congressman Chris Smith implored the House to pass the bill.

“Undercover videos by the Center for Medical Progress have again brought into sharp focus that some babies actually survive abortion,” the New jersey congressman said. ”

Dr. Savita Ginde, Medical Director of Planned Parenthood Rocky Mountains says “sometimes we get—if someone delivers before we get to see them for a procedure—they are intact…” that is, Madame Speaker, born alive. Breathing, crying, gasping for air. One fetal tissue broker describes on the video watching a “fetus …just fall out.” And left to die.”

“We have a duty to protect these vulnerable children from violence, exploitation and death. Humanitarian due diligence requires that born alive babies be taken to a hospital to obtain care and enhance prospects of survival,” Smith added. “Abortion clinics have no incentive whatsoever to save the child. Abortion clinics do not have neonatal intensive care units—they are in the business of killing babies, not saving them.”

“The Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act (H.R. 3504), authored by pro-life champion Trent Franks simply says any child who survives an abortion must be given the same care as any other premature baby born at the same gestational age. This legislation builds on the landmark Born Alive Infant Protection Act of 2002 authored by Steve Chabot by adding important enforcement provisions,” he concluded.

The House voted 248 to 177 for the bill with 239 Republicans voting for the bill and 5 Democrats joining them. No Republicans voted against the pro-life bill while 177 Democrats voted against it. One member voted present.

Despite passage of the bill, the Obama administration says President Barack Obama would veto the measure. The position statement explaining the opposition to the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act says the pro-life bill “would impose new legal requirements related to the provision of abortion services in certain circumstances, which would likely have a chilling effect, reducing access to care.”

As pro-life Congressman Chris Smith explains, this has Obama on record once again opposing care for babies born alive who survive abortions. Obama clearly either believes that killing babies after they are born is a reasonable part of an abortion or he fears that abortion companies like Planned Parenthood would stop doing abortions before they would be willing to comply with a requirement to save the babies that survive them.

“Late yesterday the President demonstrated that his subservience to Planned Parenthood is absolute and without question,” said Smith. “Blindly following the orders of Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the country, the President issued an extreme unequivocal statement that he would veto the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, a bill that simply says a child that survives an abortion must be given the same care as any other premature baby born at the same gestational age and forbidding acts of lethal violence against such babies.”

Smith told LifeNews.com: “We are talking about babies that have been BORN ALIVE and are separate from their mothers,” Smith said. “Yet President Obama’s extreme obsession with promoting abortion doesn’t stop with killing unborn children. Even abortion survivors are not safe from this President and Planned Parenthood. Can we not treat these tiny infants as a person—as patients? According to the Abortion President and the largest abortion provider in the nation, the answer is a resounding NO.

Smith continued: “These extreme statements demonstrate just who we are dealing with in the White House, but the question remains. Will Members of the House and Senate follow the lead of the abortion giant, Planned Parenthood? Or will they at least draw a line at infanticide and vote for a law protect abortion survivors and ensure people like Kermit Gosnell who kill babies who survive abortions are prosecuted and brought to justice?”

In the video CMP released exposing how Planned Parenthood harvests organs from babies who are still alive, the video features Holly O’Donnell, a licensed phlebotomist who unsuspectingly took a job as a “procurement technician” at the fetal tissue company and biotech start-up StemExpress in late 2012. That’s the company that acts as a middleman and purchases the body parts of aborted babies from Planned Parenthood to sell to research universities and other places. StemExpress was partnered with Planned Parenthood up until last week, when it quietly announced it ended its relationship with the abortion corporation.

The video includes O’Donnell’s eyewitness narrative of the daily practice of fetal body parts harvesting in Planned Parenthood abortion clinics. She tells the harrowing story of harvesting an intact brain from a late-term male unborn baby whose heart was still beating after the abortion.

O’Donnell describes the harvesting, or “procurement,” of organs from a nearly intact late-term baby aborted at Planned Parenthood Mar Monte’s Alameda clinic in San Jose, California.

The procurement of body parts from aborted babies who are still alive is a violation of the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, a pro-life bill President George W. Bush signed into law to protect unborn babies who survive abortions. Now, Congress wants to add teeth to that law to make it so Planned Parenthood or other abortion companies would be held criminally liable for breaking the law.

The National Right to Life Committee provided LifeNews a detailed analysis of the groundbreaking new pro-life legislation, H.R. 3504. The information comes in the form of a letter from top NRLC officials to members of Congress urging a vote for the bill.

In 2002, Congress approved, without a dissenting vote, the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act (BAIPA), subsequently signed into law by President George W. Bush and codified as 1 U.S.C. §8. This important law states that “every infant member of the species homo sapiens who is born alive at any stage of development” is a “person” for all federal law purposes. The bill defines “born alive” in terms of explicit criteria – “complete expulsion from his or her mother . . . 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.”

The BAIPA was a response to troubling indications, well summarized in the House Judiciary Committee’s excellent 2001 report on the legislation, that some abortion providers and pro-abortion activists did not regard infants born alive during abortion procedures as legal persons – especially if the infants were deemed to be “pre-viable” (i.e., have limited life expectancy due to prematurity). Such a mindset puts a substantial number of live-born infant persons in jeopardy of gross neglect or overt violence. Live birth, as defined in 1 U.S.C. §8, may occur a month before “viability.” BAIPA made it crystal clear that life expectancy is entirely irrelevant for purposes of legal personhood.

However, in the years since 1 U.S.C. §8 was enacted, evidences have multiplied that some abortion providers do not regard babies born alive during abortions as persons, and do not provide them with the types of care that would be provided to premature infants who are born spontaneously. In some cases, such born-alive infants are even subjected to overt acts of deadly violence. In 2013, Dr. Kermit Gosnell of Philadelphia was convicted under state law of multiple homicides of such born-alive infants, but such a prosecution and conviction is uncommon. In some jurisdictions, local authorities seem reluctant to investigate reports of infants born alive during abortions, or to bring appropriate indictments even in cases in which the publicly reported evidence of gross neglect or overt lethal acts seems strong.

Public concern has been increased by a recent series of hidden-camera videos released by the Center for Medical Progress, in which various persons described events and practices within certain Planned Parenthood abortion clinics that, at the very least, raise questions about whether it is generally recognized among abortion-clinic personnel that a born-alive baby is a legal “person,” whether before or after “viability.” Other passages raise similar questions regarding some persons who operate firms that obtain and sell baby body parts, obtained from abortion clinics.

National Right to Life believes that it is time for Congress to act decisively to put the entire abortion industry on notice that when they treat a born-alive human person as medical waste, as a source for organ harvesting, or as a creature who may be subjected to lethal violence with impunity, they will do so at grave legal peril. H.R. 3504 would enact an explicit requirement that a baby born alive during an abortion must be afforded “the same degree” of care that would apply “to any other child born alive at the same gestational age,” including transportation to a hospital. This language does not dictate bona fide medical judgments nor require futile measures, but rather, requires that babies born alive during abortions are treated in the same manner as those who are spontaneously born prematurely. This language is based on very similar provisions contained within H.R. 36, passed by the House of Representatives on May 13, 2015.

In addition, the bill applies the existing penalties of 18 U.S.C. Sec. 1111 (the federal murder statute) to anyone who performs “an overt act that kills a child born alive.” This would apply, for example, to an abortion clinic staff person who dissects a breathing born-alive infant in order to harvest an intact liver, or to an abortionist who ends a born-alive baby’s whimpers with a sharp blow to the skull, or by snipping the spine.

In addition, the bill provides a civil cause of action to women who are harmed by violations of the act. The civil action provisions are similar to language in H.R. 36.

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