Senator Helming Stands Up for Babies Born Alive During Abortions

Offers Bill Requiring Doctors to Perform Life-Saving Actions and Maintain Public Record of Such Cases

ALBANY – Senator Pam Helming and her colleagues in the Senate Republican Conference stood up for babies born alive during an abortion by offering the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. Senate Democrats all voted against it, causing the measure to fail.

“It is shameful that not a single Democrat stood up to protect babies born alive during an abortion. That live birth could result from an abortion is not a talking point. It is something that the Centers for Disease Control tracks in its statistics and discusses in its reporting guidelines. It is our responsibility to protect lives and to make sure that we track data for public health purposes,” Senator Helming said.

When the Senate Majority passed the Reproductive Health Act in January, it removed a key provision from New York’s public health law that mandated that doctors take immediate life-saving actions if an abortion resulted in a live birth. The law, prior to the RHA, required reporting actions that were taken and the results of those actions.

Between 2003 and 2014, the CDC indicated that 588 total infants died from spontaneous termination of pregnancy and induced termination (abortion). They estimated that 143 of those deaths, or 24.3 percent, were babies born alive during an abortion who died. In a memo, the CDC stated, “[i]t is possible that this number (143) underestimates the total number of deaths involving induced termination.” 

In New York between 1997 and 2017, the CDC reported that approximately 72 infants born alive died as the result of an abortion or a spontaneous termination of pregnancy. 

Senator Helming’s amendment is very similar to the Born Alive-Abortion Survivors Protection Act that received a 53-44 vote on the floor of the United States Senate. Three Democratic Senators voted with Republicans. State legislatures in Wisconsin and North Carolina have also passed their own versions of this legislation.