Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Mike Bost today signed a discharge petition, a procedural motion, that would bring the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act (H.R. 962) to the House floor for a vote. H.R. 962 requires appropriate medical care for children who survive abortion procedures. The bill also imposes strong criminal penalties for failure to provide such care—while also protecting women upon whom abortions have been performed from prosecution.

“This should not be a controversial issue, but it’s one of vital importance,” said Bost. “If we can’t as a society stand against infanticide together, then what can we agree on?”

Background on the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act:

  • Requires that health care practitioners who are present at the live birth exercise skill, care, and diligence to preserve the life and health of the child—the same degree of care that would be offered to any other child born prematurely the same gestational age. After those efforts, the health care workers must transport and admit the child to a hospital.
  • Requires health care practitioners and hospital employees to report violations to law enforcement authorities, reducing the number of born-alive abortions that go unreported.
  • Penalizes the intentional killing of a born-alive child through fines or up to 5 years imprisonment.
  • Gives the mother of the abortion survivor a civil cause of action and protection from prosecution, recognizing that women are the second victims of abortion and promoting the dignity of motherhood.

Shortcomings in current law: 

  • The 2002 born-alive law recognized infants born during an abortion as “persons” but did not provide a duty to care for abortionists and health care professionals to treat the born-alive infant with the same degree of care given to any other baby. Many infants born alive during an abortion do not die by direct homicide, but by neglect. 
  • Any newborn child, wanted or not, has a right to proper medical care. The Born Alive Act is desperately needed as 24 states lack protection for born-alive infants. Legislatures in states like New York, Virginia, and Vermont have moved to legalize late-term abortions, virtually guaranteeing more born-alive abortion survivors. 

Background on the Discharge Petition:

  • H.Res. 102 was introduced to provide floor consideration of H.R. 962, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act.
  • Today, Rep. Bost signed his name to a motion to discharge the resolution from the Rules Committee.
  • A simple majority (218) of signatures are needed for a discharge petition to be successful. With all 197 Republicans signing, only 21 Democrats must join Republicans in this effort to move this bill to the floor. Three Democrats have already co-sponsored the Born Alive Act. 
  • Discharge petitions do not expire during the 116th Congress. At any point in this Congress, upon receiving 218 signatures, this discharge petition would force floor consideration of the Born Alive Act, with no amendments or procedural tactics in order, and proceed to a final vote.