It is easy for somebody who doesn't know about the legal, judicial, and medical wrangling and double-speak that go on in abortion practice to think that Jill is being either nit-picky or deliberately painting everything in a worst hypothetical light. I've been doing abortion malpractice research for a quarter of a century now, and I can add my experience to Jill's.
To restate, there was no enforceable definition of "born alive" in IL law when Obama opposed IL's Born Alive Infants Protection Act.
To the layman, "born alive" seems obvious. The baby emerges from the mother. He or she is breathing, crying, wriggling, or showing other signs of life. But in practice, things like "alive" and "dead" aren't as clear when you are dealing with abortion.
The degree to which things that ought to be painfully obvious become distorted and turned upside-down in abortion is best illustrated in the Waddill case. Waddill strangled a live-born baby girl in front of multiple witnesses, including a pediatrician and NICU nurses. He made repeated statements such as "I can't find the goddam trachea!" "This baby won't stop breathing," and "This baby can't live or it will be a big mess." The autopsy performed on the baby found that neither the abortion injuries, nor the baby's prematurity, had caused her death. She had died of manual strangulation. But two trials produced hung juries. Waddill was never brought to justice for murdering a child in front of witnesses. Why not? Because there is a definition of "death" on the books in California that allowed Waddill's attorneys to claim that Waddill didn't cause the baby to be dead under that particular definition of death. After that, all Waddill would need is one adamantly pro-abortion juror to stand on that obscure legal definition of "death" to prevent a conviction. How much more would a vague definition of "birth" allow an abortionist to get off the hook?
The IL Abortion Act applies only to viable infants, while Born Alive applies to all live-born infants, regardless of viability. In other words, the former dealt with viability, the latter with live birth. Thus, in the case of the live birth of a child who was determined not to be viable at the time the abortion was committed, the 1975 law did not apply.
"So?" you might say. "If the baby isn't viable, what's the point of providing any care?"
Jill goes on to explain that:
The one determining a baby's viability according to the IL Abortion Act is the abortionist, and s/he is allowed to determine viability pre-birth. Rational people understand the potential for the very person trying to kill the baby pre-birth to subjectively assess the baby's likelihood of survival post-birth.
In other words, all that was necessary to prove that the baby wasn't "viable", and therefore not in need of care, is for the abortionist to point out that he did an abortion. Circular logic gets him off the hook.
Take some time to look at how these legal loopholes play out in practice.
Start with the Cooper case in Philadelphia. A baby boy was born alive when Cooper performed an abortion at 23 weeks. The baby gasped and tried to breathe. No efforts were made to revive the infant due to the parents' wishes and the infant's size. The baby was placed in a utility room used as an infant morgue. Cooper instructed nurse, "Leave the baby there -- it will die." The nurse testified that the baby was still gasping in the closet when she returned to work 12 hours later. Cooper then finally agreed to allow the baby to be transferred to intensive care, where he died 4 days later. But in spite of all this, the baby's death was ruled "accidental" rather than homicide. Leaving the baby, cold and alone, without any medical care or even a warming pad, in a closet for 12 hours was not accidental. It was done deliberately in order to achieve the baby's death. But these facts were ignored.
Dr. Gordon Sean Goei was arrested on suspicion of murdering what he had thought was a 26-week baby born live during an abortion. The baby, whose gestational age was revised to 30-32 weeks after examination, died due to blunt force trauma. At 30-32 weeks, the baby had as much a chance of survival as a term infant; he or she would just have needed NICU care.The death was ruled a homicide. But the charge against Goei was reduced to practicing medicine without a license and illegally performing an abortion.
Of course, the BAIPA is only any good if it's being enforced. And clearly the federal law isn't:
Back in 2006, prolifers had high hopes that staff at a Miami-area abortion facility would be charged with murder for killing a baby. A search warrant reported that there was “probable cause” to pursue a second degree murder investigation. The mother, 18-year old Sycloria W., told police that she had arrived at the facility to complete a late-term abortion. She says she gave birth to a live baby girl in the facility’s recovery room. Sycloria said that she had watched her daughter moving and gasping for air for about five minutes. Staff “began screaming that the baby was alive.” Then “Ms. Belkis Gonzalez [an owner of the facility] cut the umbilical cord, threw it into a red bag with black printing. Ms. Gonzalez then swept the baby, with her hands, into the same red bag along with the gauze used during the procedure.” She then threw the bag onto the roof of the building so police wouldn't find it. Eight days later, police searched again and found the body of the baby, which had been treated with a caustic chemical and left in the sun to accelerate decomposition and muddle the autopsy findings. The police were horrified and outraged and wanted to see the guilty parties prosecuted, but the coroner ruled that the baby had died of "extreme prematurity", leaving prosecutors in the lurch.
The fact that they stuck the baby in a bag and tossed her on the roof instead of sending her to the NICU to be assessed should have been enough to prosecute under BAIPA. But nobody picked up the ball.
What do we, as citizens, need to take away from this? The fact that babies that could possibly survive are being aborted. And that Barack Obama has no beef with this. His only beef is with people who think these babies are entitled to an assessment by somebody who doesn't have a personal, professional, and financial interest in making sure that they die.
And that clearly the people who want these babies dead have enough clout that they're rarely held accountable.
That ought to be scary.
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