Rep. Nadler: Bill That Requires Bringing Abortion-Surviving Babies to Hospital ‘May Kill Children’

By Melanie Arter | September 18, 2015 | 12:22pm EDT
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) (AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) – Speaking on the House floor Friday in opposition to the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act (H.R. 3504), Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) said the requirement that a baby who survives an abortion be taken to the hospital “may kill children.”

“It may be that the baby is too frail to transport, but along comes this bill and says, we don’t care about the real situation that doctor faces with that infant. We know how to practice medicine in every situation – we in Congress. So we’re going to say it must be brought to the hospital, even if that may kill the child.

“It’s just stupid, and that’s why this bill must be opposed - not because it changes the standard of law or has anything to do with born-alive infants, but because it mandates that a child be brought to the hospital where medical care might indicate that that child in that situation should not be brought to the hospital. It may kill children. That’s why we must oppose this bill,” Nadler said.

The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act (H.R. 3504), introduced by Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), says in part: “Any infant born alive after an abortion or within a hospital, clinic, or other facility has the same claim to the protection of the law that would arise for any newborn, or for any person who comes to a hospital, clinic, or other facility for screening and treatment or otherwise becomes a patient within its care.”

It amends title 18 of the U.S. Code to “prohibit a health care practitioner from failing to exercise the proper degree of care in the case of a child who survives an abortion or attempted abortion.”

The bill also says: “If an abortion results in the live birth of an infant, the infant is a legal person for all purposes under the laws of the United States, and entitled to all the protections of such laws.”

Nadler, who said he supported the Born-Alive Infant Protection Act 15 years ago, believes H.R. 3504 is “ridiculous” and “unnecessary.”

“I recognize of course that there are those who hold the religious conviction that one-celled organization – one cell, two cells – is a fully formed human being,” he said. “They’re entitled to that religious conviction. They are not entitled to impose that religious conviction on all of the women of this country who may not share it, and that’s essentially the abortion debate, but we’re not debating abortion today, although some people would like to.

“We’re debating this ridiculous Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act,” Nadler said. “Fifteen years ago, I stood on this floor and supported the Born-Alive Infant Protection Act. I said it was unnecessary. It simply repeated existing law. It has always been the law that if an infant is born - whether that birth is intentional or not is irrelevant - that is a person. If you kill that infant, you’re guilty of murder or manslaughter as the case may be. You certainly may not do so intentionally.

“The Born-Alive Infant Protection Act did not change that,” he said. “It just added superfluous language to the law. Its only purpose was to try to paint people who support the right to choose as supporters of infanticide, so we said, no, it’s silly, because it doesn’t add anything to the law. It simply duplicates the existing law, but we’ll support it so we cannot be slandered that way.

“Now we have this bill, which does essentially two things: One, it repeats in different language exactly the same provisions from 15 years ago, doesn’t change the law that we enacted 15 years ago, doesn’t change the law that pre-existed in every state of the union. If you kill a child, it’s murder, period,” he added.

Nadler noted that Dr. Kermit Gosnell, an abortionist who was convicted in 2013 of murdering three babies who survived abortions, “is in jail for life.”

“Nobody supports what he does, and nobody – except in some of their fantasies that Mr. Franks says – thinks that Planned Parenthood or anybody else supports such actions,” he added.

In Nadler’s opinion, the bill “does one harmful thing” and cannot be supported.

“This bill says that the born-alive child must be given the same standard of care whether it’s born alive in an attempted abortion or from a regular birth. That’s already the law. Of course that’s the law. It ought to be the law. It must be the law. It always has been the law,” he said.

“But what it also does is it says that as soon as the doctor has given that child the proper standard of care, he must rush her to the hospital – regardless of whether that may be good or bad for the child, regardless of the standard of care, regardless of whether … the nearby hospitals have neo-natal intensive care units,” Nadler said.

“Of course, the doctor under existing law, everybody associated with the doctor under existing law has the duty of giving the best possible medical care under any circumstances, and that be may to transport the baby to the hospital,” he said.

“It may be that the baby is too frail to transport, but along comes this bill and says, we don’t care about the real situation that doctor faces with that infant. We know how to practice medicine in every situation – we in Congress. So we’re going to say it must be brought to the hospital, even if that may kill the child,” Nadler added.

“It’s just stupid, and that’s why this bill must be opposed - not because it changes the standard of law or has anything to do with born-alive infants, but because it mandates that a child be brought to the hospital where medical care might indicate that that child in that situation should not be brought to the hospital. It may kill children,” he concluded.

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