TESTIMONIES AT BORN-ALIVE ABORTION SURVIVORS HEARINGS ARE BOTH MOVING AND SHOCKING
Babies survive abortion every year in the United States. It’s a verifiable fact, but it’s not often reported and doesn’t receive much attention in the mainstream media. Dr. Willard Cates, the former head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Abortion Surveillance Report, once said, “[Live births] are little known because organized medicine, from fear of public clamor and legal action, treats them more as an embarrassment to be hushed up than a problem to be solved.” But members of Congress are trying to change that.
“We need legislation ending infanticide because it’s happening,” Representative Jim Banks (R-IN), a supporter of the legislation, said in a statement to The Daily Citizen. “The CDC estimates 142 infants died after being born alive during an abortion between 2003-2014. But because there’s no federal reporting requirement, those are the only ones we know about.”
In a hearing held on September 10th, pro-life House members met and heard witness testimony from medical professionals and a research associate with the Charlotte Lozier Institute about failed abortions happening in hospitals and abortion clinics across the country. Despite opposition from Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who denied the group an official committee room, the hearing was filled to capacity.
The first witness was a clinical neonatologist and neonatal intensive care unit director Dr. Robin Pierucci. A former supporter of abortion, she eventually changed her mind because of the “medical, scientific reality of caring for premature babies for over 20 years.” The medical expertise she could bring to her testimony as someone who has worked closely with premature babies was powerful and undeniable.
Dr. Pierucci testified, “The medical standard of care is sufficiently wise to include intrinsic understanding that not every baby can be rescued, yet that never negates our obligation to care for these most vulnerable little ones. It is a fallacy to equate the degree of ‘wantedness’ with the baby’s humanness. The baby, at every stage of development, is never anything other than a human being complete with his or her own unique DNA blueprint—the guide to an entire lifetime of maturation.”
Later in her written testimony, she shares, “Our lives are on a continuous spectrum: baby, toddler, child, adolescent, adult, elderly. No one argues that this continuum ever pauses while we briefly transform into something else (a tree, a rock). This continuous spectrum of life begins months before birth; I’ve never seen a woman give birth to a brick, every single time it is a human being. What stage of development the baby arrives in, in this sense, does not matter, it is a human being and as a physician I promised to tend to these newborns—sometimes I get to help heal, always, there is an opportunity to care.”
One of the arguments that pro-abortionists like to make is that abortion is necessary sometimes to save the life of the mother. That isn’t true. While sometimes it is necessary to end a pregnancy early because of a health complication, that should be done by giving birth to the child. He or she may or may not survive, as Dr. Pierucci alludes to, but every effort should be made to allow the child to live. A doctor should never be required to intentionally end the life of a patient.
Another retired physician and former abortionist Dr. Kathi Aultman also gave her testimony, and shared the immense pressure that doctors feel to give families the perfect child.
“Doctors are under tremendous pressure to deliver normal babies. If a doctor doesn’t disclose a congenital defect, and give the patient the option of abortion, he or she can be sued. That puts conscientious physicians in a terrible bind today when sophisticated sonography and genetic testing can pick up many subtle abnormalities which may or not be significant.”
She also shared the story about how this impacted her practice personally. One of her patients had been perscribed doxycycline to treat an infection and later found out she was pregnant. Dr. Aultman, in a moment of panic over the possible complications and facing a potential lawsuit, recommended that the patient have an abortion. The patient refused and left her practice. Later, Dr. Aultman wanted to apologize and met the woman again and found that her son was now a high school football star.
When it comes to a prenatal diagnosis, most of the time it occurs in the later stages of pregnancy, usually around the 20-week scan. If the patient decides to choose abortion, it increases the risk that the child will survive and will likely be left to die. That’s infanticide. There really isn’t any other way to put it.
Congress needs to stop the practice of infanticide, but it will be difficult. Hopefully, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act will one day pass the House, where conservatives continue to introduce the bill despite opposition from the majority party. Even one baby born alive after a botched abortion is one too many.
Add your name to the Declaration and be a Voice for Life!
At Focus on the Family, we are compelled as Christ-followers and concerned citizens to speak up on behalf of pre-born human life and end the tragedy of legalized abortion. Whether you’re a church leader, medical professional, student, or a passionate individual of goodwill, we ask you to be a voice for the pre-born by reading and signing the Declaration of Life.