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Bush Signs Born-Alive Infants Protection Act

Pittsburgh, PA ( -- At a ceremony in Pittsburgh to celebrate the rescue of nine trapped mine workers, President Bush signed a pro-life bill that provides legal protection to babies born alive following an unsuccessful abortion attempt.
The Born Alive Infants Protection Act would guarantee that such children would have full legal rights, regardless of their stage of development, and must receive appropriate medical care. It came as a response to reports from a whistleblowing nurse that babies who had survived botched late-term abortion attempts were denied medical treatment and left to die.
Bush said he was with the miners and their families to "celebrate life, the value of life,'' a theme that carried over to the bill signing. "This important legislation assures that every infant born alive, including an infant who survives an abortion procedure, is considered a person under federal law," Bush said. "The Born-Alive Infants Protection Act is a step toward the day when every child is welcomed in life and protected in law."
"A child who is born has intrinsic worth and must have the full protection of our laws. Today, through sonograms and other technology, we can clearly see clearly that unborn children are members of the human family as well," he added. "They reflect our image, and they are created in God's own image. It is a step toward the day when the promises of the Declaration of Independence will apply to everyone, not just those with the voice and power to defend their rights," Bush concluded.
Pro-life groups welcomed the signing of the bill. "Some newborn infants, especially those who are born alive during abortions, have been treated as non-persons," said NRLC Legislative Director Douglas Johnson. "This bill says that every infant born alive, even during an abortion and even if premature or handicapped, is a full legal person under federal law."
Fr. Frank Pavone, Founding Director of Priests for Life, stated, "This law makes it clear that the legal status of a child does not depend on whether anyone happens to want him or her. Rather, that child possesses the right to be protected simply because he or she is human, period."
Originally sponsored by now-retired pro-life Congressman Charles Canady, the bill passed the House of Representatives 380-15 in September 2000, but that bill was killed in the Senate by objection from one or more anonymous senators at the end of the 96th Congress. The new bill passed the House and Senate by voice votes this year after pro-abortion lawmakers and abortion advocacy groups scaled back their opposition to the bill.
Bush invited several pro-life leaders and advocates to the ceremony including Jill Stanek, an Illinois nurse who testified before a congressional committee about infants born alive during labor-induction abortions at the Chicago-area hospital where she worked; Gianna Jessen, a young woman who survived an attempted saline abortion in 1977; Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) and Congressman Steve Chabot (R-OH), the prime congressional sponsors of the bill; National Right to Life President Wanda Franz and NRLC legislative director Doug Johnson.

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