Because of a new pro-abortion law, babies in Minnesota who survive abortions have fewer rights, while abortion providers have fewer reporting requirements and more legal cover to avoid lifesaving care in such cases.
As of Aug. 1, abortion reporting forms in Minnesota are no longer required to include details on born-alive infants.
This means there will be no Minnesota public records on whether the abortion resulted in a born-alive infant, any medical actions taken to preserve the life of the infant, whether the infant survived and the status of the infant, if the infant survives.
The law also removes the stipulation for medical personnel to preserve a baby’s life after a failed abortion. However, “care”—an ambiguous term—is still required for the infant.
This “care” could eventually be better defined if Congress passes the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which has been introduced repeatedly since 2015. The current bill, reintroduced by Rep. Ann Wagner (R-Missouri) in January, has passed in the House but is still awaiting roll call votes in the Senate.
If it finally passes, the bill could force health care practitioners to immediately admit the infant to the hospital, give the baby legal protections, and require care for the baby like any other infant born at the same gestational age.
“On behalf of the Abortion Survivors Network and the tens of thousands of abortion survivors and their families, we applaud Congresswoman Wagner’s leadership in ensuing infants like me and countless others are guaranteed medical care and legal protections when abortions fail and life wins,” said Melissa Ohden, founder and CEO of the Abortion Survivor Network. “This legislation will save lives.”
After Ohden survived an abortion attempt by her 19-year-old birth mother in 1977, doctors suspected baby Ohden had a fatal heart condition. While her grandmother wanted her to be left alone to die—a common practice for abortion survivors in that hospital—Ohden is alive today because a NICU nurse disobeyed orders and rushed her into the NICU.
“Life is the foundation of all other rights,” Ohden said during a Senate hearing in 2021.
“The very fact that this hearing is being held shows that everyone in this room was granted the privilege to retain that right—a privilege I was denied. A privilege my unprotected population of abortion survivors were denied. A right that thousands of unborn children will be denied the privilege of having today alone: the privilege of having a day you were born—not a day you were aborted. The privilege of a birthday—not a day you were accidentally born alive—after the abortion failed.”
According to The Abortion Survivors Network, some 1,700 babies survive abortions annually in the U.S. At least 0.2% of abortions fail and result in a live child’s birth. This figure will likely rise because of the increased usage of chemical abortion pills, which aren’t always successful.
Cathy Blaeser, executive director of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life, agrees with the need to protect born alive infants and wants the new law to be reversed.
“Minnesota lawmakers have revoked basic protection for newborn babies, and now the fate of newborns who survive abortion will be hidden from the public,” Blaeser said.
“Why do lawmakers want to keep us in the dark? This appalling extremism is not what Minnesotans asked for. Our elected officials must restore protection for newborns who are at risk.”