A pro-life bill to protect newborns who survive abortions cleared the Kansas Legislature by an overwhelming majority Tuesday, garnering support from both Republican and Democrat lawmakers.

The Born-Alive Infants Protection Act (House Bill 2313) now heads to Gov. Laura Kelly’s desk. The governor is a pro-abortion Democrat, but the legislation has enough support to override her potential veto. The bill passed with bipartisan support in a 86-36 vote Tuesday in the state House and a 31-9 vote late last month in the state Senate.

On Tuesday, Kansans for Life celebrated the victory in a Twitter post, writing, “This bill would provide legal protections for infants born alive regardless of the intent of delivery.”

The bill requires any healthcare worker present at the baby’s birth to provide the same degree of care to preserve the baby’s life that would be provided to any other baby born at the same gestational age. Additionally, it requires the abortion facility to transport the baby to the hospital. The bill also adds criminal penalties to existing laws that protect born-alive infants to ensure abortion workers are held accountable if a baby is abandoned to die.

In one heartbreaking testimony, state Sen. Mark Steffen, R-Hutchinson, said he worked with a nurse who witnessed viable newborns being abandoned to die after they survived abortions, the Topeka Capital-Journal reports.

“You just see this older nurse’s face sink, her emotions sink, and the sadness set in as she told stories of when they’d do these elective abortions on these late second-term, early third-term pregnancies,” said Steffen, an anesthesiologist by trade. “The ice cold room, they’d pull this baby out and they slap it down on a stainless steel barren table. She’d watch that baby gasp for breath. It left a hole in her soul. It left in mine. No body, no human, no baby deserves to be treated like that.”

ACTION ALERT: To urge support for this important legislation, Contact Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly.

A few Democrat lawmakers objected to the legislation, arguing that requiring medical care for newborns would traumatize their parents.

“Regardless of the intent of the delivery, if the infant is born alive and only has minutes to live… the mother, the father, the family… have the right to ask for palliative care and embrace the infant until it is no longer breathing,” said state Rep. Susan Ruiz, D-Shawnee, according to KSNT. “Instead, the bill continues to require that the health providers secure transportation and immediately transport to a hospital.”

State Rep. Brenda Landwehr, R-Wichita, responded that parents would have time to hold their baby while waiting for the ambulance to arrive.

During an earlier House debate in March, other Democrats claimed the protections would interfere with doctors’ and patients’ “healthcare decisions,” including state Rep. Christina Haswood, D-Lawrence. But Republican lawmakers said saving newborns’ lives is healthcare.

“How can we kill or watch a baby die? How can we justify doing that?” state Rep. Mike Thompson, R-Bonnor Springs, asked.

Babies survive abortions every year in the United States, but no one knows exactly how many. Kansas and most other states do not track data on babies who survive abortions.

LifeNews recently examined abortion data from seven states that do keep track, and, between 2020 and 2022, 34 babies were reported born alive in botched abortions.

Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control, as well as the personal testimonies of nurses and abortion survivors themselves, also provide evidence that babies survive abortions. According to the CDC, at least 143 babies were born alive after botched abortions between 2003 and 2014 in the U.S., though there likely are many more.

Aborting unborn babies is still legal in Kansas due, in part, to a 2019 state Supreme Court ruling, which found a “fundamental right” to abortion in the Kansas Constitution. Additionally, a few weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court Dobbs v. Jackson decision in June, Kansas voters rejected a state constitutional amendment that would have overturned the ruling and allowed lawmakers to pass legal protections for babies before birth.

The future for unborn babies remains uncertain in Kansas. Although voters rejected the pro-life amendment last year, they also voted to elect a state attorney general and Republican super-majorities to the state House and Senate.

In January, newly-elected state Attorney General Kris Kobach made protecting unborn babies from abortion a priority when he asked the Kansas Supreme Court to overturn its 2019 ruling in light of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

ACTION ALERT: To urge support for this important legislation, Contact Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly.

The post Kansas Legislature Passes Bill to Stop Infanticide, Protect Babies Who Survive Abortions appeared first on LifeNews.com.

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