Arizona Gov Katie Hobbs Will Veto Bill to Stop Infanticide, Provide Care for Babies Who Survive Abortions

Arizona Democrat Gov. Katie Hobbs said this week that she will veto legislation that would protect newborns who survive abortions from infanticide.

Tucson Sun reports Hobbs’ communications chief made the announcement after the state House passed the bill in a 32-26 vote Thursday with support from Republicans and one Democrat, state Rep. Lydia Hernandez, D-Phoenix. The state Senate passed the bill in February.

“It overrides patient and clinician decision making in complex and highly personal circumstances,” Hobbs spokesperson Murphy Hebert told Capitol Media Services.

Arizona Senate Bill 1600 requires medical professionals to provide life-saving medical care to any infant who is born alive, including one born in an abortion. Those who neglect to do so could face criminal charges.

In the past two years, 18 babies were reported born alive during abortion procedures in Arizona, according to 2020 and 2021 abortion reports from the state Department of Health Services. Those same years, nearly 400 unborn babies were aborted past 21 weeks gestation. Today, premature babies born are surviving at 21 weeks, thanks to modern medical technology.

Despite the evidence, most Democrat lawmakers attacked the legislation, claiming it would interfere with families’ personal medical decisions and force doctors to provide futile care to dying babies, according to the report.

Pro-life leaders and lawmakers refuted the claims, pointing to language in the bill that allows a parent or guardian to refuse medical treatment for their newborn when the potential risk outweighs the potential benefit to the child or will do nothing more “than temporarily prolong the act of dying when death is imminent.”

Responding on Twitter, Cathi Herrod, president of the pro-life Center for Arizona Policy, said the governor’s decision to veto the life-saving bill is “cruel” and “heartless.”

“[The] bill requires medically appropriate and reasonable care and treatment be given to any baby born alive. If death is imminent, parents can refuse the care,” Herrod wrote. “Horrific to leave a baby to die without reasonable care. Heartless. Cruel. Evil.”

During the House debate this week, Republicans and the lone Democrat, Hernandez, said newborns who survive abortions or have serious medical problems deserve the same basic medical care as any other baby.

ACTION ALERT: Send your complaints to Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs

According to The Sun, Hernandez shared how her sister-in-law had to beg doctors to save her niece’s life when she was born prematurely because doctors thought she would not survive.

“I held her in the palm of my hand,” Hernandez told lawmakers. “She survived and is now 18 years old and is a student at Phoenix Union High School.”

But other Democrats opposed the bill based on false claims that it would force doctors to provide unnecessary medical care to dying babies.

One Democrat lawmaker basically even admitted that she supports infanticide for newborns with severe disabilities because their parents may not be able to care for them.

According to the report:

[Rep. Stacey Travers, D-Phoenix,] said proponents also are making the assumption that parents would be able to deal with a severely handicapped child, like the one cited by Rep. Mae Peshlakai who the Cameron Democrat said was born with just half a brain, even if it was able to survive more than a few hours outside the womb.

“Who do we think we are?” Travers said.

However, House Republicans insisted that newborn babies with disabilities deserve medical care, too.

“This bill comes down to a simple question: If a baby is born alive, even if it is sick or troubled, do we make efforts to try to save that person and treat them with the same dignity we would any other human being in our hospitals, or do we leave them on a table to die?’” said state Rep. Justin Heap, R-Mesa, according to the report. “It is repellent. It is evil.”

Babies survive abortions every year in the United States, but no one knows exactly how many.

LifeNews recently examined abortion data from seven states between 2020 and 2022 and found reports of 34 babies who were born alive in botched abortions. The numbers almost certainly are much higher because most states do not keep track of abortion survivors.

Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control, as well as the personal testimonies of nurses and abortion survivors themselves, also provide evidence that babies survive abortions. According to the CDC, at least 143 babies were born alive after botched abortions between 2003 and 2014 in the U.S., though there likely are many more.

Research by Tessa Longbons of Charlotte Lozier Institute found that protections for babies who survive abortions are inconsistent across the United States, with fewer than half of states maintaining sufficient protections.

Reports from other countries prove that babies survive abortions, too, and legal protections for them are needed. In Canada, the Canadian Institute of Health Information recorded 766 late-term, live-birth abortions over a five-year period in 2018. And in Australia, the country’s health minister admitted that 27 babies survived abortions in the state of Western Australia between 1999 and 2016. A report out of Ireland also suggests babies are surviving abortions and being left to die there.