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Planned Parenthood lobbyist opposes Florida's Infants Born Alive Act

March 31, 2013 - Andrea Johnson
North Dakota's various abortion-related bills are one end of an extreme; here's another. Last week Alisa LaPolt Snow, a Planned Parenthood representative, testified before the Florida legislature against a bill that would require doctors to treat, attempt to save and transport any child born alive during an abortion to a hospital.

"We believe that, you know, any decision that's made should be left up to the woman, her family, and the physician," Snow told the legislators, according to a story in The Daily Mail.

Snow told incredulous legislators that she doesn't know how common it is for a child to be born alive during an abortion or what abortion doctors commonly do when this happens. She testified that Planned Parenthood sees logistical issues in the requirement to transport a child born alive to a hospital or trauma center. What happens, she asked, if the abortion clinic is in a rural setting, an hour's drive away from a hospital?

Earlier, FOX News reported, Snow said Planned Parenthood's main objection to the bill was that it does not include a "neutrality clause" that it doesn't change the legal status of a baby before he or she is born alive.

The bill was H.B. 1129, the Infants Born Alive Act. Despite Snow's testimony, it passed with the support of both Democrats and Republicans.

There have been a handful of stories about babies that were born alive following an abortion and ultimately saved. For instance, Gianna Jessen was born alive in California following a late term saline abortion in 1977. Jessen has cerebral palsy, was adopted at age 4 and now works as a Christian activist.

Late term abortion is rare, so it probably doesn't happen ordinarily, but it's certainly still possible. I would speculate that late term abortion is perhaps used most now when the parents have discovered a severe abnormality in the fetus that means the child could not live long after birth. Even in those cases, if the child is breathing, most people would agree that, at a minimum, doctors should never be permitted to actively end that child's life. It may be more appropriate in such cases to provide comfort care: food, water, warmth, but no machines or resuscitation efforts, if that is the guardian's wish. But, going by her testimony, it sounds like Snow would go beyond that point and would allow a doctor to do anything he or she sees fit with a child born alive after an abortion.

I find Snow's position particularly abhorrent, as did the legislators, and this story certainly will not help Planned Parenthood's image in the media.


Article Comments



Apr-05-13 1:20 PM

Thanks for the update, Andrea. The press release sounds like "damage control" mode to me. It makes me wonder if Ms. Snow will be continuing her appearances for PP. I wouldn't put money on it.


Apr-03-13 4:20 PM

Planned Parenthood has issued the following statement in response to media coverage following Snow's testimony:

"Last week, a panel of Florida state legislators demanded speculation about a vague set of extremely unlikely and highly unusual medical circumstances. Medical guidelines and ethics already compel physicians facing life-threatening circumstances to respond, and Planned Parenthood physicians provide high-quality medical care and adhere to the most rigorous professional standards, including providing emergency care. In the extremely unlikely event that the scenario presented by the panel of legislators should happen, of course Planned Parenthood would provide appropriate care to both the woman and the infant."


Apr-01-13 4:07 PM

Andrea, I applaud your blogging on this, in that it shows "both sides" of the very contentious issue of abortion.

A certain Dr. Kermit Gosnell of Philadelphia should also be noted here. He's on trial for the murder of 7 babies born alive and for a patient's death that occurred during an abortion. His clinic has been called "a house of horrors."

Fair warning: some online articles about this trial have included graphic pictures of aborted late-term fetuses that the doctor "took care of" if you get the drift.

Infants Born Alive Act? Uh, not so much. Read some of the trial testimony, especially by one of his nurses, also indicted in this whole thing. Absolutely chilling.


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