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« on: April 28, 2005, 08:12:06 AM »

Pro-Lifers Hail HHS Pledge to Crackdown on Infanticide

by Bill Fancher and Jenni Parker
April 27, 2005

(AgapePress) - The Department of Health and Human Services has issued a warning to birthing facilities across the United States that the government agency fully intends to enforce the Born-Alive Infant Protection Act.

Representatives of several pro-life organizations were on hand to applaud as President Bush signed the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act into law in August of 2002. The legislation guarantees that every infant born alive enjoys full legal rights under federal law, regardless of his or her stage of development or whether the live birth occurred during an abortion.

At the ceremony in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, before Bush signed the bill into law, he remarked, "This important legislation ensures that every infant born alive -- including an infant who survives an abortion procedure -- is considered a person under federal law." The president went on to call the Born-Alive Infant Protection Act "a step toward the day when every child is welcomed in life and protected in law ... the day when the promises of the Declaration of Independence will apply to everyone, not just those with the voice and power to defend their rights."

The practice of killing babies that survived abortion attempts was a common practice in many birthing facilities across America right up until Congress passed the Born-Alive Infant Protection Act. Since then, the practice has stopped for the most part.

However, in some U.S. hospitals and clinics the killing of infants born alive during an attempted abortion -- or the withholding of treatment thereby causing the babies to die -- still takes place (see related story in today's news briefs).

For that reason, Secretary Mike Leavitt of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) says the department will be embarking on a campaign to aggressively enforce the act. His recent announcement addresses concerns that medical entities have ignored the law because the violators are not being penalized.

Pro-lifers Grateful to Leavitt and HHS

Wendy Wright, senior policy director at Concerned Women for America, is glad to hear that the government agency is prepared to get tough on this issue. "We are grateful for Secretary Leavitt's strong commitment to ensure this law is enforced," she says. "We hope now with this campaign to make hospitals, other health-care professionals, and child-protection service agencies aware that this is a federal law, and that it will be enforced -- that we won't hear any more reports of babies being killed after they've been born."

[Photo compliments of Concerned Women for America]
Wendy Wright   
CWA is very grateful, Wright says, that HHS has found numerous ways to require that hospitals observe the law and "do not allow newborn babies to be killed through neglect." To date, she points out, "There are still reports of hospitals committing live-birth abortions."

The CWA spokeswoman says pro-lifers will keep pressure on the government to put its full weight behind enforcement of the Born-Alive Infant Protection Act. "Helpless babies deserve the same medical treatment as you and I," she says. "Perhaps the fear of violating a federal law will help build respect for these babies as fellow human beings among those who, in the past, forced them to die."

Wright worked with Jill Stanek, pro-life coordinator for CWA of Illinois, to help get the Born-Alive Infant Protection Act passed. Stanek, a registered nurse who exposed the fact that medical personnel were killing babies who had been born alive, was invited by President Bush to attend his 2002 signing of the bill.

The pro-life R.N. says those who withhold medical care from newborn babies "are now on notice" that this is a violation of federal law and that the violators will face penalties.


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