Tag archives: infanticide

Women’s History Month: Shiphrah and Puah

by Patrina Mosley

March 11, 2020

March is Women’s History Month (WHM), so it’s a great opportunity to commemorate the contributions of women to American history. The most influential book in the United States—even the world—is the Bible; it not only shapes the way we Christians live, it also helped set the foundations for the way our nation is governed. Thus, women featured in the Bible, despite never having lived in America, have contributed greatly to the spiritual heritage of our nation. Periodically throughout the month, we will be sharing their inspiring stories.

Shiphrah and Puah are two women written about in the Book of Exodus:

The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, whose names were Shiphrah and Puah, “When you are helping the Hebrew women during childbirth on the delivery stool, if you see that the baby is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, let her live.” The midwives, however, feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live. Then the king of Egypt summoned the midwives and asked them, “Why have you done this? Why have you let the boys live?”

The midwives answered Pharaoh, “Hebrew women are not like Egyptian women; they are vigorous and give birth before the midwives arrive.”

So God was kind to the midwives and the people increased and became even more numerous. And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families of their own.

- Exodus 1:15-22 (NIV)

Shiphrah and Puah defied Pharaoh’s order—risking their lives in the process—because they revered God more than man. In the New Testament’s Book of Acts, Peter and the apostles found themselves in a similar predicament. They had to choose between obeying the high priest, who ordered them not to preach the Gospel, or obeying God, who had commanded them to preach the Gospel to all nations. For Peter and the other apostles, the choice was clear: “We must obey God rather than human beings!” (Acts 5:29). They undoubtedly remembered Jesus’ words in Matthew 10:28, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”

Understanding God’s infinite authority and power—and humanity’s finiteness in comparison—will put things in perspective rather quickly. It gives us the courage to do what is right, even if it might cost us everything. Shiphrah and Puah understood and believed that God is the ultimate rewarder of righteousness and the ultimate punisher of evil. The faith of these two women saved many lives as a result. But that wasn’t the end of their story: God noticed Shiphrah and Puah’s faith and blessed them with children of their own. God takes notice of our obedience and love for him.

History could have easily forgotten these two midwives. Instead, Scripture mentions Shiphrah and Puah by name, ensuring that they and their fear of God would be remembered forever. While their story is brief—only eight verses in the book of Exodus—it has nevertheless been sovereignly preserved for all of us to learn from and emulate. Christians are exhorted to obey those in authority (Romans 13), but when their commands are in direct conflict with the commands of God, we should do as Shiphrah and Puah did and fear God rather than man.

Callous and Cruel: The Senate Fails to Uphold Human Dignity

by David Closson

February 26, 2020

Yesterday, the United States Senate voted on two significant pieces of legislation: the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act and the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. Although a majority of senators supported the bills, both fell short of the 60 votes needed to invoke cloture (i.e., end debate and move to a vote on the bill) and overcome a Democrat-led filibuster.

The Senate voted 53-44 on the Pain-Capable cloture vote and 56-41 on the Born-Alive cloture vote. The votes were largely along party lines. Two Democrats (Casey and Manchin) voted in favor of Pain-Capable, and three (Casey, Manchin, and Jones) voted in favor of Born-Alive. All Republicans voted for Born-Alive, while two Republicans (Collins and Murkowski) voted against Pain-Capable. The three Democratic senators currently running for president (Klobuchar, Sanders, and Warren) were not present for the vote, though all have voted against both measures in the past.

From a Christian worldview perspective, the Senate’s inability to pass these pieces of common-sense legislation represents a massive moral failing. Unfortunately, opponents of the legislation—including the abortion lobby—launched a massive misinformation campaign to deny the need for these bills.

First, they denied scientific evidence that babies in utero can feel pain at 20 weeks. Doctors understand this scientific reality, which is why they administer pediatric anesthesia during fetal surgeries. This reflects an understanding that fetal surgeries have two patients: the mother and the child.

Moreover, the legal framework under Roe v. Wade allows abortion up to the moment of birth. Currently, unless individual states take legislative action to restrict abortion later in pregnancy, abortion on demand is legal through all nine months of pregnancy. According to FRC’s new pro-life map, 22 states allow abortion on demand right up until birth. The United States is one of only seven countries in the world (including North Korea and China) that allow abortion after 20 weeks.

Considering these facts, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is a necessary bill, and the Senate’s failure to pass it reflects a callous and cruel disregard for the dignity and value of human life.

Second, opponents of Born-Alive denied that infants can be born alive following an abortion procedure and claimed the bill was a solution in search of a problem. However, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, between 2003 and 2014, at least 143 infants were born alive after an abortion procedure and later died. Moreover, only eight states require reporting data on infants who survive abortion, meaning the available data is almost certainly an underestimate. FRC has identified at least 170 additional born-alive abortion survivors, beyond the 143 abortion survivors reported in the CDC’s death statistics. This means there are, at an absolute minimum, over 300 cases of infants surviving an abortion.

Born-Alive explicitly requires health care practitioners to exercise the same degree of professional skill, care, and diligence to an infant who survives an abortion as they would for any other baby born at the same gestational age. To reiterate, children who have already been born are the focus of this legislation. Thus, this bill is not even about abortion; it’s about born-alive infants!

Moreover, the legislation would create criminal penalties for any health care provider who fails to render medical aid to infants born alive and for any health care facility that does not report a failure to provide care. Although a 2002 federal law defines born-alive infants as full persons, there are currently no provisions in the law to hold abortionists accountable for killing or denying medical care to infants who survive abortion.

The failure to pass the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act amounts to a moral dereliction by every senator who voted against it. The fact that 41 senators could not take a stand on infanticide is horrifying.

A person’s worldview has consequences. In the political arena, this is certainly true; a legislator’s worldview provides the framework for his or her policies and political positions. Yesterday, a minority of United States senators disclosed a worldview with a deficient moral framework when it comes to caring for the most vulnerable members of society. The worldview divide in the Senate on this issue could not be starker, as evidenced by yesterday’s votes.

The Trump administration revealed its own worldview with the issuance of a statement of administrative policy shortly before the Senate’s vote. In part, the statement said: “Our most helpless Americans cannot protect themselves from pain or from those who would callously allow them to die. The government, therefore, has a compelling responsibility to defend the rights and interests of these babies, including to be free from excruciating or unnecessary pain. All babies have the same dignity. They should not have to endure pain, and they should receive critical life-saving care regardless of whether they are born in a hospital, at home, or in an abortion clinic.”

Christians should pray for every senator who voted yesterday. We should thank God that most senators voted to protect babies who feel pain and babies who are born alive following abortion procedures. We should also grieve that so many senators lack the compassion to stand up for children who need their help. We should lament their decision to vote “no,” and commit to praying that their hearts and minds will change.

Is the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act Necessary?

by Ingrid Skop, M.D.

February 24, 2020

In today’s divisive society, legislation that places any limit on abortion is immediately protested by abortion providers and activists, usually followed by lawsuits, and sometimes judicial prohibition. This is true of the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, even though this proposed legislation does not address abortion provision at all. It merely mandates medical care for an infant if he is born alive after a failed attempt at abortion.

Vocal abortion advocates state that this legislation is unnecessary because a liveborn infant after attempted abortion never occurs. There is substantial evidence, however, that this is not true. Some pro-life leaders, such as Gianna Jessen and Melissa Ohden, are themselves survivors of failed abortions. In 2013, Philadelphia abortionist Dr. Kermit Gosnell was convicted on three counts of first-degree murder for euthanizing three infants born alive after he failed to kill them in the abortion attempt. The CDC documented 143 instances of infants surviving abortion between 2003 and 2014. However, only eight states require the reporting of infants who survive abortions. It should be intuitive that when abortion suppliers are unsupervised and allowed to voluntarily report their own complications, they will not willingly confess that they have committed infanticide. The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act is necessary because it would ensure that medical care be given to infants who survive abortion.

In order to understand how a live birth after an attempted abortion could possibly occur, one needs to understand the abortion techniques that can be used to perform abortions after the first trimester. Survival is highly unlikely with a dilation and evacuation (dismemberment) abortion because the fetal parts are removed in a piece-meal fashion and the fetus dies from blood loss and trauma. Even so, Josiah Presley survived his dismemberment abortion but is missing an arm because of it. An intact dilation and extraction (partial-birth) abortion is illegal by federal law, but undercover videos released by the Center for Medical Progress suggest that this procedure may be secretly used in order to obtain more complete fetal bodies for research purposes. A hysterotomy abortion (C-section) is rarely performed. However, labor is often induced for very late abortions, because the larger, more developed fetus cannot be dismembered easily.

The CDC reports that 1.2% of abortions occur after 20 weeks gestation, which is near the gestational age where many babies can survive. Thus, in 2018 at least 11,500 fetuses were aborted who had the ability to live separated from their mothers (estimates range from 9,100 to 15,000). Likely, almost all of these extremely late abortions are performed by labor induction. A European study demonstrated that over half of 241 peri-viable fetuses (between 20-24 weeks gestation) survived labor induction despite having abnormalities for which they were being terminated.

Although it is often assumed that abortions after viability in the U.S. are only performed for severe fetal abnormalities or to save the mother’s life, the reality is that most are performed for elective reasons, just as early abortions are. Reasons frequently given for late abortions are: “not knowing about the pregnancy,” “trouble deciding about the abortion,” and “disagreeing about the abortion with the man involved.” It appears that indecision and partner abandonment and coercion are far more common reasons for the elective killing of pain-capable and viable fetal humans than truly heart-breaking situations.

Thus, it is likely that at least half of the estimated 11,500 viable fetuses who are intended to be aborted by induction may survive the labor process yearly, unless they are killed by the abortionist prior to labor. So, the question must be asked, do abortionists routinely perform feticide prior to induction abortion? They can certainly do that safely. There are at least 12 studies documenting the safety of at least six different feticide procedures.

There are drawbacks to feticide for the woman and the abortionist (though none for the fetus, who presumably would prefer to die quickly without excruciating pain). Feticide usually requires an injection of a cardiotoxic agent such as digoxin or potassium chloride into the amniotic fluid or directly into the fetal heart. The injection necessarily passes through the women’s abdominal wall into the uterus and can be uncomfortable for the woman. It requires extra time and skill on the part of the abortionist and adds an additional expense to the procedure. Again, because there is no mandatory reporting of abortion procedure details, there is a high likelihood that many abortionists performing later abortions will forego this step, which they may consider unnecessary.

As an OB/GYN in Texas, I have seen evidence of this personally, when a Texas law required feticide prior to a later abortion due to concerns about the potential for fetal pain. Abortionists argued against complying with this law by saying that feticide would be dangerous for a woman (despite the numerous studies they have published demonstrating its safety). The truth is, they did not want to take the extra time and effort to euthanize the fetus before the abortion. There are likely thousands of viable infants delivered alive after failed abortions yearly in our country, who are then killed by the abortionists. They can operate with impunity because they know no one is watching them.

Thus, it is clear that the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act is necessary legislation. Thousands of elective abortions are performed yearly in the U.S. on healthy fetuses after the gestational age at which they can survive separated from their mothers. Induction of labor is commonly performed, and studies show that the labor process often fails to kill these babies. Abortionists have proven their resistance to euthanizing the fetus first, so although the abortionists are unwilling to voluntarily report this dreaded complication, it undoubtedly does occur in numbers far larger than most imagine.

We must prevent abortionists from crossing the line from killing a living fetus in utero, which is permissible by law, to killing an infant after birth, which our society has always considered morally reprehensible. The slippery slope so often warned against by pro-life advocates is in front of our eyes. Can we draw a line against infanticide? Or have the decades of dulling our consciences by allowing elective abortions eroded our moral sensibilities to the point where killing an infant capable of being resuscitated is no longer taboo?

Ingrid Skop, M.D., F.A.C.O.G. has been a practicing obstetrician-gynecologist for 22 years. Dr. Skop is a Fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, a Board Member of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG), and a Charlotte Lozier Institute Associate Scholar. She is the author of Top 10 Myths About Abortion.

After 17 Years, Infants Born Alive Still Need Real Protection

by Patrina Mosley

August 5, 2019

Today (August 5th) marks the 17th anniversary of the passage of the Born-Alive Infant Protection Act of 2002, which declared that infants born alive after having survived an abortion attempt deserve all the rights and care that would be given to any other infant. After the bill easily passed Congress, most Americans no doubt assumed there would never again be a debate over whether infants born alive after a failed abortion attempt should be offered life-saving care. Yet here we are again.

Democratic politicians have gone from “safe, legal, and rare” in the 1990’s, to the “my body, my choice” mantra, to now basically, “if you like your baby, you can keep your baby.” Virginia Governor Ralph Northam seemingly endorsed infanticide, and Virginia Rep. Kathy Tran awkwardly tried to advance legislation that would allow for abortion up till the day of birth. If you call something evil (abortion) “good” for long enough, it will eventually be taken to its furthest extreme.

We are witnessing the Left’s reaction to what is arguably the most pro-life administration in modern history.

Protecting the unborn has been one of President Trump’s greatest successes. President Trump has nominated constitutional originalist judges to the U.S. Supreme Court and lower federal courts, overseen the creation of a new pro-life conscience protection division at HHS, put a stop to American tax dollars funding international abortions more than any other president (the expanded Mexico City Policy), eliminated grants for research involving fetal tissue, decoupled Title X Family Planning Funds from abortion facilities, and more.

All this has made the abortion cult angry—even to the point where they are willing to ignore pro-choice voters

For the first time ever, New York legalized on-demand abortions up to the day of birth, even repealing born-alive protections for infants who survive an abortion. But two-thirds (66 percent) of New York voters say they oppose a law allowing late-term abortion. Also, Rhode Island’s legislature expanded abortion protections by declaring it a fundamental right and blocked a bill that would provide full protections for infants born-alive if they survive an abortion attempt. Yet, 77 percent of Rhode Island voters oppose allowing abortions up until birth. Specifically, 63 percent of Democrat voters (an almost two-thirds majority) and 56 percent of voters who self-identify as pro-choice oppose late-term abortions.

According to an Americans United for Life/YouGov Survey, 77 percent of pro-choice Americans oppose removing medical care for a viable child.

Even pro-choice, Democratic voters are not so willing to say it’s okay to leave a child on the table and wait for them to die, while the doctor and mother discuss whether or not they want the child to live.

It has become clear that stronger protections are needed. Currently, there is no federal criminal statute against taking the lives of born-alive infants. This is why we need The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. It would require lifesaving medical care be given to babies born alive after failed abortion attempts and would add enforcement tools to prosecute doctors who deny life-saving medical care to infants who survive abortion. This act has been blocked more than 70 times by Congressional House Democrats. There has not been a single federal prosecution brought against an abortionist since this law was passed, even though the CDC admits that at least 143 infants died after surviving abortion.

Democratic governors have vetoed state versions of the bill in North Carolina, Wisconsin, and Montana.

But on the bright side, in states like North Carolina, Illinois, New Mexico, and Nevada, Democrats of color crossed over to vote with Republicans for born-alive protections. After all, the African-American community is the primary target of the abortion industry, and many of color in positions of power are acknowledging that.

It’s been a bewildering time in the abortion debate between what voters say they want and what Democratic legislators are pushing down their throats, but moreover, it is exceptionally disturbing for those who have actually survived abortion attempts to essentially be told that their lives don’t matter as legislators continue to block born-alive protections.  

Abortion survivors like Melissa Ohden, Josiah Presley, and Claire Culwell are living today simply because someone acted with compassion to save their lives. These are living, breathing people whose lives matter to their adoptive families, the spouses they’ve married, the children they’ve raised, and the friendships they’ve developed.

This is why we need to secure a vote on The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act by having members of Congress sign on to the discharge petition which would force a floor vote on the bill, regardless of Democratic leadership of the House. Perhaps by getting a vote on The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, we can start to rebuild the road back to human rights and human dignity.

In the meantime, please join FRC’s End Birth Day Abortion campaign to show your support for the life of all babies born alive by sending a baby hat to Congress. 

Minnesota Reports 3 Born-Alive Babies in 2018

by Patrina Mosley , Connor Semelsberger, MPP

July 3, 2019

Think babies aren’t being born alive after surviving an abortion attempt? Think again. From January 1, 2018 through December 31, 2018, three babies in Minnesota survived abortions but later died, according to a new Minnesota state Department of Health report.

Since 2015, Minnesota has been keeping track of abortion survivors since the states’ passage of the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act. The law recognizes infants who survive abortions as human persons and requires that they be provided with reasonable medical care. The law also requires information to be collected on the medical actions taken to preserve the life of the infant, whether the infant survived, and the status of a surviving infant.

Since the law went into effect, Minnesota has reported 11 babies surviving abortions:

  • five babies in 2016
  • three babies in 2017
  • three babies in 2018

Laws to require the collection of data on born-alive victims should be encouraged in all states. There are only six states that require reporting on babies born alive during abortion procedures: Arizona, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, Oklahoma, and Texas. As of 2017, only Arizona, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, and Oklahoma have reported this information.

Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control report at least 143 babies were born alive after botched abortions between 2003 and 2014 in the U.S. The CDC took this data from the National Vital Statistics System (NVSS) Mortality Data in regard to infant deaths. These numbers are different from the number collected by the states that report born-alive infants.

As a response to the lack of reporting on abortion and abortion survivors, U.S. Representatives Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) and Gary Palmer (R-Ala.) recently introduced The Ensuring Accurate and Complete Abortion Data Reporting Act of 2019 (H.R. 3580). This bill would require all states to submit abortion data, including the number of children who survive abortions, in order to receive Medicaid funds for family planning services.

The CDC already requests abortion reporting from states. However, the reporting of this information is voluntary, which allows states to leave out certain statistics or opt out altogether. Because there are only six states that require reporting on children who survive abortions, it is vital that the U.S. Congress passes this bill so that the American people know how many innocent lives are lost because of the failure to provide life-saving care to the most vulnerable.

Efforts to protect infants who survive abortion has not been limited to gathering a few data points, as Members of Congress continue to fight for a vote on the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act (H.R. 962) which would require life-saving medical care for children born alive after abortion attempts. So far, Republicans have asked for unanimous consent to vote on this bill 67 times, and every single time Democrat leaders have said no.

Sometimes, a small symbol of humanity is all it takes to change the mind of our government officials. There is no better sign of the humanity of children who survive abortions then the soft, warm feel of the colorful baby hat given to newborns at hospitals, just like the ones in our End Birth Day Abortions Campaign. Every child deserves to wear a new baby hat, especially the three children who survived abortion attempts in Minnesota last year.

Classic Infanticide Case No Big Deal in Canada

by Family Research Council

September 16, 2011

Last week in Edmonton, Alberta, appellate court judge Joanne Veit issued a shocking decision regarding the fate of Katrina Effert who killed her newly born baby in 2005.

By law, the maximum amount of sentencing time in prison for infanticide is five years however the local media reported that Effert will have to abide by conditions for the next three years but she won’t spend time behind bars for strangling her newborn son.

In 2005, Effert, who was nineteen at the time, gave birth to a baby boy, strangled him with her underwear and then threw his body over the fence into a neighbors yard. Mark Steyn from National Review Online appropriately labeled this act a Fourth Trimester Abortion in a post earlier this week.

The Calgary Herald reports that Veit called it a classic infanticide case and sentenced her to a three-year suspended sentence with probation. Judge Joanne Veit also expressed sympathy for Effert. [M]any Canadians … generally understand, accept and sympathize with the onerous demands pregnancy and childbirth exact from mothers, especially mothers without support…Canadians are grieved by an infants death, especially at the hands of the infants mother, but Canadians also grieve for the mother.

Ethicist Wesley Smith pointed out the irony that had Effert strangled a dog, she would have received no sympathy whatsoever. Hes right. Michael Vick received 23 months in jail for participating in dog fighting. So, in our culture as it stands you can participate in dog fighting (which I am not advocating, by the way I love animals) and end up in the slammer for close to two years. But strangle your baby and you might be able to get off with a little community service time.

Archives