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An important pro-life provision to protect, an important pro-life protection to enact

by | Sep 29, 2016

The Hyde Amendment and the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act

By Dave Andrusko

preemiehand93reEarlier this week, Lindsey Bever wrote a story for the Washington Post whose headline was a quote from congressional testimony: “The only reason I am alive is the fact that the abortionist had not yet arrived at work.”

To give Bever (and by extension the Post) her due, her account of abortion survivor Gianna Jessen’s testimony last week to the House Committee on the Judiciary was free of the usual snarkiness that is endemic to the Post’s coverage of pro-lifers (and Donald Trump). Instead of devoting half (or more) of the story to transcribing the remarks of critics, Bever let Jessen’s testimony speak for itself.

Gianna’s comments are always of interest; she frequently testifies about abortion-related bills. Her September 23 testimony is particularly enlightening in that the subject of the hearing was, “The Ultimate Civil Right: Examining the Hyde Amendment and the Born- Alive Infants Protection Act.”

Bever informs her reader about the Hyde Amendment. For those who might not know, this life-saving provision is a provision attached to the annual appropriations bill that covers many federal health programs (including Medicaid). A recent study by Prof. Michael New concludes that 2 million lives have been saved because of the Hyde Amendment.

Hillary Clinton and her party are dead-set on eliminating this provision, and once again opening the federal spigot. Remember, before the Hyde Amendment, the federal Medicaid program was paying for about 300,000 elective abortions annually, and the number was increasing rapidly.

By contrast, in a letter to pro-lifers (Bever writes)

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump slammed his Democratic opponent for wanting to repeal the Hyde Amendment and promised to make it “permanent law to protect taxpayers from having to pay for abortions.”

Gianna Jessen

Gianna Jessen

But Gianna’s testimony was geared to the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act. Bever notes that in 2002 Jessen attended the signing ceremony where pro-life President George W. Bush said, “It’s important that you’re here, to send a signal that you’re dedicated to the protection of human life.”

At the House hearing, Jessen said

Many Americans have no idea that babies can even live through abortions and are often left to die. But this does happen.

I know this because I was born alive in an abortion clinic after being burned in my mother’s womb for 18 hours. My medical records clearly state the following: Born during saline abortion/April 6, 1977/6am/ 2/1/2 pounds.

Apart from Jesus himself, the only reason I am alive is the fact that the abortionist had not yet arrived at work that morning. Had he been there, he would have ended my life by strangulation, suffocation or simply leaving me there to die. Instead, I lived and have the gift of cerebral palsy as a direct result of lack of oxygen to my brain while surviving an abortion. By the grace of God, in my case, a nurse called an ambulance and had me transferred to a hospital. That nurse saved my life and I am profoundly grateful to her for this.

However the story does not go into the proposed Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act (H.R. 3504/ S. 2066) and why its passage is essential in light of what has happened since the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act was passed.

In the letter to members of the United States Senate, NRLC President Carol Tobias, NRLC Executive Director David N. O’Steen. Ph.D., and Legislative Director Douglas Johnson wrote

evidences have multiplied that some abortion providers do not regard babies born alive during abortions as persons, especially if their “viability” cannot be proven, and do not provide them with the types of care that would be provided to premature infants who are born spontaneously. In some cases, such born-alive infants are even subjected to overt acts of deadly violence [for example, convicted murderer Kermit Gosnell]. …

National Right to Life believes that it is time for Congress to act decisively to put the entire abortion industry on notice that when they treat a born-alive human person as medical waste, as a source for organ harvesting, or as a creature who may be subjected to lethal violence with impunity, they will do so at grave legal peril. S. 2066/H.R. 3504 would enact an explicit requirement that a baby born alive during an abortion must be afforded “the same degree” of care that would apply “to any other child born alive at the same gestational age,” including transportation to a hospital.

The Hyde Amendment–to keep the abortion industry from picking the taxpayers’ pockets to pay for abortions. The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act to require that babies born alive during abortions are treated in the same manner as those who are spontaneously born prematurely.

An important provision to protect, an important protection to enact.

Categories: Unborn Children