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USA News

US Catholic bishops applaud passing of bill to protect babies born after abortion attempt

by Sophie Drew

Catholic bishops in the United States are welcoming the passing of a bill ensuring adequate medical care for babies born after an attempted abortion.

Children born after a termination has been sought will now be seen as a "legal person for all purposes under the laws of the United States,” following the passing of the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. 

This would mean medical professionals must do everything to help the infant that they would reasonably do to help a child born at the same gestational age in an instance where an abortion had not been sought. 

The bill would not vilify mothers that had attempted to have an abortion, but could see doctors face trial for murder if they did not seek to help the child survive should it be born alive. 

Catholic Bishops in the US have voiced support for the bill as it made its way through the legal processes. 

On Wednesday Bishop Michael Burbidge, of the Dioceses of Arlington in Texas, released a statement that read: “We commend the House of Representatives for passing legislation to protect innocent children from infanticide, and urge the Senate to follow suit.” 

The bill was passed 220 votes in favour to 210 votes against. 

All those that voted against were Democrats.

Commenting ahead of the vote, House Whip Katherine Clark said passing the bill would be “deliberately misleading and offensive to the women who face pregnancy complications and the doctors and nurses who provide their care.”

Speaking on her Christian beliefs before the chamber, Democratic Representative Sheila Jackson said: “As a person of faith, I believe it should be between that woman, that family, that God, and that doctor.”

In order for the bill to be made law, it would need to be approved by the Senate and signed by President Joe Biden. 

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