TRENTON, NJ – If a baby is born alive as a result of a botched abortion and survives it’s scheduled death, the baby’s life may still be terminated in New Jersey. Now, a bill presented by New Jersey Republicans is aimed at preventing the murder of healthy live-born babies.
This bill establishes the “New Jersey Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act.’’
Under the bill, if abortion or attempted abortion results in a child born alive, any health care professional present at the time the child is born alive is to exercise the same degree of professional skill, care, and diligence to preserve the life and health of the child as a reasonably diligent and conscientious health care professional would render to any other child born alive at the same gestational age, and ensure that the child is immediately transported and admitted to a hospital for treatment. A person who violates the above provisions is to be guilty of a crime of the third degree. A crime of the third degree is punishable by three to five years imprisonment, a fine of up to $15,000, or both.
Under the bill, “born alive,” with respect to a member of the species homo sapiens, means the complete expulsion or extraction from his or her mother of that member, at any stage of development, who after such expulsion or extraction breathes or has a beating heart, pulsation of the umbilical cord, or definite movement of voluntary muscles, regardless of whether the umbilical cord has been cut, and regardless of whether the expulsion or extraction occurs as a result of natural or induced labor, cesarean section, or induced abortion.
The bill provides that a person who intentionally performs or attempts to perform an overt act that kills a child born alive following an abortion or attempted abortion is to be guilty of violating N.J.S.2C:11-3. A violation of N.J.S.2C:11-3 is punishable by 30 years to life imprisonment.
Under the bill, a health care professional and any employee who has knowledge of a failure to comply with the requirements of this bill’s provisions is to immediately report the failure to an appropriate State or federal law enforcement agency or both or be guilty of a crime of the fourth degree. A crime of the fourth degree is punishable by imprisonment for up to 18 months, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.
The bill provides that the mother of a child born alive following an abortion or attempted abortion is not to be guilty of conspiracy to commit a crime under the bill’s provisions. Further, the mother of the child born alive may bring a civil action for damages against any violator of the provisions of this bill.
The bill is sponsored by Assemblyman Hal Wirths, Park Space and Assemblywoman Bettylou Decroce.
With Republicans in the minority in the state assembly, Democrats are expected to squash the bill, just like the babies the bill is intended to protect.