Sen. Theis bill strengthens Born Alive Infant Protection Act

LANSING, Mich. — Infants who survive an abortion would be given the same standard of health care, professional skill and diligence to preserve life as other infants who are born alive in Michigan under legislation introduced on Tuesday by Sen. Lana Theis.

“Life is a precious gift and it is worth protecting,” said Theis, R-Brighton. “We have an obligation to ensure the health and well-being of every child, regardless of how they enter this world.”

A national survey released last February by the Susan B. Anthony List organization indicated that 77% of respondents from across the country support legislation that would protect a baby who survives a failed abortion.

Under Senate Bills 814, sponsored by Theis, and 815, sponsored by Sen. Michael D. MacDonald, R-Macomb Township, if an abortion is performed in a hospital and results in a live birth, the attending physician would be required to provide immediate medical care to the child and inform the mother that her child was born alive. Should the failed abortion occur in a setting other than a hospital, the person who performed the procedure would similarly be required to provide immediate medical care, inform the mother and call 911 for an emergency transfer to a hospital.

The bills would require the attending physician to exercise the same degree of professional care, skill and diligence to preserve the child’s life as he or she would to any other newborn of the same gestational age. Should a physician violate the proposed law’s requirements, they would face a felony charge that is punishable by up to two years imprisonment, a fine of not more than $50,000, or both.

Under no circumstances would the mother of the child face any legal consequences.

Additionally, anyone who has knowledge that a physician failed to comply with the proposed law and who also fails to report it would face a misdemeanor charge punishable by imprisonment for not more than 93 days, a fine of not more than $500, or both.

“Right to Life of Michigan wholeheartedly supports Senator Theis’ legislation,” said Right to Life of Michigan Director of Communication and Education Chris Gast. “Babies who survive botched abortions are not part of the woman’s body. They deserve the same level of care as any other baby would be entitled to, and they shouldn’t be left to die because they were marked with a scarlet ‘A’ by the abortionist.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nationwide between 2003 and 2014, at least 143 babies died after being born alive as the result of a failed abortion.

“This bill has nothing to do with abortion and everything to do with preserving and protecting the health and well-being of living human beings,” Theis said.

SBs 814 and SB 815 are expected to be referred to the Senate Health Policy and Human Services Committee for consideration.

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Editor’s note: Audio remarks from Theis on the legislation are available to stream or download at https://www.senatorlanatheis.com/audio/.