MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Republican lawmakers are urging the Assembly Health Committee to approve a bill that would require abortion providers to care for babies that are born as a result of an abortion attempt or face prison.
National data shows such occurrences are rare and it’s not clear if any happen in Wisconsin. State health officials don’t track such incidents.
The health committee held a public hearing on the measure Tuesday. The bill’s authors, Rep. Jim Steineke and Sen. Roger Roth, told committee members that they should do everything they can to clarify that when a child takes a breath the child can’t be killed. Roth told the committee it’s a universal truth that doctors should protect what he called “such delicate life” without hesitation.
Committee Democrats argued that existing state homicide statutes would come into play in born-alive scenarios and called the bill unnecessary. Committee Chairman Joe Sanfelippo countered that the measure would remove any room for interpretation in court.