Updating Michigan’s Born Alive and Stillborn Certificate Laws

While the U.S. Supreme Court debated Louisiana’s regulations for abortion facilities, our prolife legislators were busy this week in Lansing.

On Tuesday, March 3, legislation was introduced by Sen. Lana Theis to update and strengthen Michigan’s Born Alive Infant Protection Act of 2002. Michigan’s BAIPA, signed into law by Governor Engler, required that survivors of botched abortions are provided medical care.

Sen. Thesis’ bill updates BAIPA by requiring further that the infants who survive must receive the same manner of care that another child in a similar health condition would be provided. This will ensure that abortionists do not simply provide “comfort care” and continue to wait for the child to die, rather than providing them medical care that would be given to other premies.

If the abortionist were to violate the law, they would be charged with a felony punishable by up to two years imprisonment, a fine of not more than $50,000, or both. The mother would not face any legal consequences under this legislation.

The legislation would also require that anyone who has knowledge of a physician violating this law must report it, and failure to do so would result in a misdemeanor charge.

Because of the utter lack of respect for the life of the child present during abortion, these specific measures are needed to ensure the child’s life is fought for even once they are alive outside the womb. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 143 babies died after being born alive during failed abortions between 2003 and 2014. We don’t know if the abortionists tried to provide care for them or not. Abortion facility staff have been caught on tape suggesting they let children who survive botched abortions die.

The bill doesn’t really address abortion since the child is already born. However, you can expect many abortion supporters to oppose it because they don’t believe a child who survives an abortion has a right to life and deserves equal treatment.

On Wednesday, March 4, the Michigan House voted 100 to 6 in favor of our Stillborn Certificate Fee Waiver legislation, sponsored by State Rep. Julie Alexander. (Two of our prolife legislators were not present.)

In 2018, Michigan passed a law to allow parents to claim their stillborn child as a one-time dependent on their taxes. This assistance is meant to offset medical and funeral expenses to grieving parents; a child who dies a day before birth should be treated the same as a child who dies a day after birth. The House and Senate votes on those bills were unanimous.

The legislation passed on Tuesday will waive the fee for a certificate of stillbirth. The certificate is needed to claim the stillborn child as a dependent. Sadly, support for this simple bill was not unanimous.

The bill will now be considered in the Michigan Senate.

Thank you to Rep. Beau LaFave for the picture.

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