Policy Briefs

ERLC Supports Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act

February 6, 2019

Southern Baptists believe that every person is created in the image of God. The Convention’s Baptist Faith & Message doctrinal document states that “children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord” and encourages members to “speak on behalf of the unborn and contend for the sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death.”

Current federal law lacks sufficient legal protection and medical provision for children who survive failed abortions. The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act would amend the federal criminal code to require any health care practitioner who is present when a child is born alive following an abortion or attempted abortion to, first, exercise the same degree of care as reasonably provided to any other child born alive at the same gestational age, and second, ensure that such a child is immediately admitted to a hospital.

Infanticide is a grotesque injustice. When a child is born alive, whether in a hospital, at home, or in an abortion clinic, any action taken to end that child’s life is and always ought to be considered murder. Babies born alive following an attempted abortion procedure are living human beings who should have the same access to every measure of medical care available to premature born babies through postnatal care units.

The ERLC is committed to defending the vulnerable at every stage of life. Withholding medical care from an infant who was born alive denies the human dignity affirmed to them by God. Such a callous dereliction of responsibility by both the legal system and medical profession also denies that child’s basic human right of life as guaranteed by the United States Constitution.

The ERLC calls on Congress to pass the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. This bill exists in the U.S. Senate as both S.130 and S. 311. The bills are sponsored by Senator Ben Sasse (R–Neb.) with 45 co-sponsors, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R–Ky.). If enacted, this law would help prevent infanticide by securing this most basic human right of life and appropriate medical care for infants born alive after a failed abortion. Protecting the lives of living babies should not be a partisan issue.