Earlier this week a committee in the Florida House of Representatives heard positions on its “Infants Born Alive” bill, which addresses situations where a child is still born after a failed abortion. Planned Parenthood representatives were on hand, arguing the bill would ultimately make abortions harder to get in the state.
Alisa LaPolt Snow with Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates presented this perspective, saying in the hearing that even if a child were born alive, she believes it is still the mother’s right to decide its fate.
The Weekly Standard pointed out to a clip from the full committee hearing, which took place Wednesday, where Snow was questioned by representatives about the position:
“So, um, it is just really hard for me to even ask you this question because I’m almost in disbelief,” said Rep. Jim Boyd. “If a baby is born on a table as a result of a botched abortion, what would Planned Parenthood want to have happen to that child that is struggling for life?”
“We believe that any decision that’s made should be left up to the woman, her family, and the physician,” said Planned Parenthood lobbyist Snow.
Rep. Daniel Davis then asked Snow, “What happens in a situation where a baby is alive, breathing on a table, moving. What do your physicians do at that point?”
“I do not have that information,” Snow replied. “I am not a physician, I am not an abortion provider. So I do not have that information.”
Rep. Jose Oliva followed up, asking the Planned Parenthood official, “You stated that a baby born alive on a table as a result of a botched abortion that that decision should be left to the doctor and the family. Is that what you’re saying?”
Again, Snow replied, “That decision should be between the patient and the health care provider.”
At one point during questioning, Snow says she’d like to pause and explain where Planned Parenthood’s concerns are with HB 759. It is the “surrender” and “transport” to a hospital wording in the bill, she said. One of the representatives follows up saying, “what objection can you possibly have to obligate a doctor to transport a child alive to a hospital?”
“What about those situations …where it’s in a rural healthcare setting where the hospital is 45 minutes to an hour away?” Snow countered. “There are just some logistical issues involved that we’ve got concerns about.”
Watch the clip:
On its website, PPA states that the Infants Born Alive bill is “politically motivated and inflammatory language.”
“It inserts politics where it doesn’t belong by implying doctors and women who end a pregnancy can’t be trusted,” PPA states. “Legislation should not be created with the intent of coercing, shaming, or judging a woman or doctor. It is important that abortion remain a safe and legal medical procedure for a woman to consider with her doctor, if and when she needs it.”
The Palm Beach Post has more on the language issues some have with the bill:
Florida already has a vehicular homicide law that holds defendants accountable for the death of a “viable fetus” and other laws making separate crimes against an “unborn quick child.” The proposal would replace the terms “viable fetus” and “unborn quick child” with “unborn child.”
Abortion rights advocates say the change in the language is akin to more controversial “personhood” proposals attempting to elevate the status of a fetus to that of an adult human being. They say the changes are an attempt to establish laws that can be used later to whittle away abortion rights.
“It is intended to enshrine in law a certain perspective of when life begins,” said Jordan Goldberg, Center for Reproductive Rights state advocacy counsel. “It creates a structure in the law that is elevating crimes against everything from a fertilized egg, a zygote, to the same level as a crime against a woman. A law that says it’s two different crimes against two different people is walking down a very dangerous road.”
The bill ultimately was passed by Civil Justice Subcommittee with Committee Substitute Wednesday with 10 in favor and two against, one missed.
(H/T: Drudge Report)