Last week, a Planned Parenthood official testified before the Florida legislature in opposition to a bill that would require an abortion doctor to provide medical care to any infant who survives an attempted abortion.
"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?” asked Florida representative Jim Boyd.
"We believe that any decision that's made should be left up to the woman, her family, and the physician," replied Planned Parenthood lobbyist Alisa LaPolt Snow.
Megyn Kelly covered the story on her show yesterday:
Planned Parenthood has released a statement this week that supposedly clarifies its opposition to letting born-alive infants die, but that's not really what the statement says:
Last week, a panel of Florida state legislators demanded speculation about a vague set of extremely unlikely and highly unusual medical circumstances. Medical guidelines and ethics already compel physicians facing life-threatening circumstances to respond, and Planned Parenthood physicians provide high-quality medical care and adhere to the most rigorous professional standards, including providing emergency care. In the extremely unlikely event that the scenario presented by the panel of legislators should happen, of course Planned Parenthood would provide appropriate care to both the woman and the infant.
As you can see, Planned Parenthood claims that "ethics" compel physicians to respond appropriately, but it never claims the law already requires--or should require--an abortionist in Florida to provide life-saving care to an infant born alive. Then the statement claims that if a child were in fact born alive as a result of a botched abortion that "of course" Planned Parenthood would provide "appropriate" care to "the infant" who had been born alive.
Of course, Planned Parenthood does not define what constitutes "appropriate" care. Would allowing a born-alive infant struggling for air to suffocate constitute "appropriate" care? Planned Parenthood doesn't say. What about a child born alive but bleeding heavily? Would a doctor let the infant bleed out? Again, Planned Parenthood doesn't say. They continue to claim the decision about what's "appropriate" care should be left to the doctor who attempted--moments before the birth of a living human being--to kill that human being in utero.
A blogger at Jezebel writes that there are "extremely few" cases of babies who survive abortions being killed, so why do we need a law to protect them? I guess that's a relevant question for people who think the tolerable number of infanticides is higher than zero.
But we do know that many infants are born alive following attempted abortions. Florida Rep. Cary Pigman, an emergency medicine physician and the sponsor of the Florida "born-alive" bill, testified that in 2010 there were 1,270 infants in the United States whose deaths were reported as "mortality subsequent to an abortion." Pigman emphasized those were the number of reported post-abortion deaths, and the true number could be even higher.
Watch the testimony in this video clip (via Badger Pundit):
In 2008, pro-life activist Kristan Hawkins went undercover posing as a 22-week pregnant woman seeking an abortion at Planned Parenthood. Hawkins asked the employee if the baby might be "born alive."
"Usually for the most part, no, but it does happen, where it’s still alive," the Planned Parenthood employee replied. "But it wouldn’t be able to survive on its own, so eventually the baby does die."
Update 3:35 p.m.: Planned Parenthood has issued a new statement saying, "We can withdraw our opposition" to the bill. Although Planned Parenthood lobbyist Alisa LaPolt Snow testified last week that Planned Parenthood objected to a number of provisions in the bill--including the requirement to transfer the child to a hospital and provide care--the organization now says that it is satisfied with an amendment dropping the provision to "surrender" the born-alive child to the state.