California lawmakers amended a bill that would legalize infanticide yesterday. AB 2223 would allow self-induced, do-it-yourself abortions at any stage of pregnancy. The newest version of the bill provides immunity from prosecution for any pregnancy outcome, including perinatal death “due to causes that occurred in utero.” The perinatal period includes late-stage pregnancy through one month after birth.
If the sponsors of the bill want to remove any doubt as to whether the bill allows infanticide, they would have removed the reference to perinatal death altogether. Instead, they remain dead set on providing immunity to women for any outcome of DIY abortions or other reckless acts that endanger babies in the womb, even if that outcome is the death of a child after birth.
California has statutory limits on abortion after viability, but under AB 2223, those limits do not apply to self-induced abortion. The reality is that in more than 54% of all abortions across the country, women are the abortionists. In cases of chemical abortion, women purchase the abortion drugs, take the drugs, and deliver their dead babies at home. Information about other ways to self-induce abortion, even late in pregnancy, is readily available online.
AB 2223 ensures that women who intentionally or negligently kill their babies born alive either during a DIY abortion or through reckless behavior like excessive drug use will be immune from prosecution. The bill allows for civil lawsuits against law enforcement and other state actors. Any prosecutor who attempts to bring homicide charges in such a case faces the risk of a massive civil judgement of $25,000, plus punitive damages. While a public entity may indemnify a state actor for damages awarded under AB 2223, indemnification is rarely available for punitive damages.
The bill also suppresses evidence of infanticide by prohibiting the use of a coroner’s report in cases of newborn deaths following self-induced abortions, making prosecution even more unlikely.
Life Legal remains strongly opposed to AB 2223. This bill cannot be fixed. Even as amended, AB 2223 still provides immunity from prosecution for self-induced abortion at any stage of pregnancy, even if a full-term baby is born alive and then intentionally or negligently killed in the process.
Please stand with us as we work to STOP this horrific bill. We need your help to restore protection to babies – in and out of the womb.
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