The North Carolina state Senate on Monday approved a bill that would make it a felony not to perform lifesaving procedures on an infant born alive as the result of a botched abortion.
The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act was passed by a vote of 28-19. It still has to be passed by the North Carolina House before it can go to the governor.
The bill protects infants at any stage of development as long as they are breathing, have a beating heart or definite voluntary muscle movements. It provides that, once born alive, the infant has all protections that a legal person has.
The bill bars mothers from being prosecuted for the doctor’s failure to act and exercise care for the infant, which is a felony that can come with a fine of up to $250,000.
Mothers can bring a civil suit under the statute for psychological and physical injuries, damages at 3x cost of the abortion and punitive damages with attorney’s fees when doctors do not comply with the statute.
The bill states that it is murder when child is born alive but dies as a result of injuries from the abortion or dies as a result of an overt act after birth.
Democrats opposing this bill say it is an attempt to demonize abortion providers. Democratic Senator Terry Van Duyn stated, “There is no need for the legislature to criminalize these complex medical decisions that are best left up to patients and their doctors.”
This type of birth would likely only happen as a result of a late-term abortion which makes up only 1 percent of all abortions. Supporters of the bill insist that this is about the well-being of the child and has nothing to do with abortion.