The California Assembly Judiciary Committee passed a proposed California bill Tuesday that pro-life advocates across the state warn will not only codify the killing of unborn children throughout all nine months of pregnancy but will also decriminalize actions that lead to the deaths of newborns in the days after birth. .
The measure known as AB 2223 which opponents have labeled, the Infanticide Bill, has now been re-referred to the Committee on Health.
As CBN News reported last month, pro-life groups say new language added to the proposed legislation AB 2223 would shield a mother from civil and criminal charges for any "actions or omissions" related to her pregnancy, "including miscarriage, stillbirth, or abortion, or perinatal death." Although definitions of "perinatal death" vary, all of them include the death of newborns seven days or more after birth.
The 'Perinatal' Problem: Deaths of Babies After They're Born
As CBN News has reported over the years, babies have been left to die in the wake of botched abortions when life-saving medical care could have been given to those born-alive infants. That's one reason why the "perinatal death" issue is a legitimate concern.
Former nurse Jill Stanek even testified to the U.S. Congress that it's not some made-up scare tactic. She reported her first-hand experience where hospital abortion workers were taking babies from botched abortions off to die.
"One night a nursing co-worker was taking a little abortion survivor to the soiled utility room," she recalled. "And when she told me what she was doing, I couldn't bear the thought of this suffering child dying alone. So I cradled and rocked him for the 45 minutes that he lived."
Stanek said that heartbreaking experience "transformed me" into "a pro-life activist for sure."
Pro-Abortion Groups Champion AB 2223
California's AB 2223 is promoted by the state's "Future of Abortion Council," a coalition of 40 pro-abortion groups whose goal is "to Protect, Strengthen, and Expand Abortion Services in California." The abortion council is currently advocating for nine different abortion expansion bills.
AB 2223, authored by Assemblymember Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland) and co-authored by Assembly Speaker Pro Tempore Kevin Mullin (D-South San Francisco), additionally protects anyone who "aids or assists a pregnant person in exercising" these rights. It also allows a woman to sue any police department or legal authority which arrests or charges her for hurting or killing her child under provisions of the bill.
CBN News has reached out to Assemblymember Wicks' office for comment. We'll post a response here if we receive one.
'It Legalizes Infanticide, Plain and Simple'
California Family Council President Jonathan Keller said if this bill passes the state legislature, it will be "open season on unwanted newborns" in the state.
"For years, pro-life advocates have argued there is no moral difference between ending a child's life days before birth or days after birth. California's pro-abortion legislators now seemingly agree," Keller noted. "A political culture that justifies killing millions of children in the womb is now declaring open season on unwanted newborns. Every Californian must oppose this heinous bill."
Other legal experts who also live in California also say that AB 2223 would essentially legalize infanticide in the state.
"Under the guise of "reproductive health," this bill seeks to decriminalize killing babies not only in the womb but also even after the baby is born," Attorney Nada Higuera with Tyler & Bursch, LLP explained. "This is the most extreme, anti-life bill in California's history. It legalizes infanticide, plain and simple."
National Center for Law and Policy President Dean Broyles warns the bill could possibly legalize the infanticide of children several weeks and even up to one year after birth since the term "perinatal" is somewhat open-ended.
"AB 2223 seeks to legalize the killing of babies in California after birth. Depending on how the term 'perinatal' is interpreted by the courts, this bill legalizes the infanticide of children several weeks after their birth and possibly as late as their first birthday," Broyles argued. "If this barbaric bill is enacted, there will be no criminal or civil liability for the mother or those who assist her with killing her baby post-birth."
And Attorney Susan Arnall, Esq., Director of Outreach for the Right to Life League, also pointed to the absurdity of giving the ability to someone who helped a mother kill her baby after birth to sue law enforcement officials.
"In California under AB 2223, former Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell, who murdered three infants born alive after botched abortions, could not be prosecuted," Arnall explained. "And incredibly, someone like Gosnell who helped a California mother kill her newborn after birth will actually have a cause of action to sue police for investigating the matter if AB 2223 becomes law."
Have you have had an abortion, are contemplating ending your pregnancy, or would like pregnancy-related resources, please click here.