Trump announces ‘Born Alive’ executive order

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President Donald Trump speaks to the press before boarding Air Force One for a trip to a campaign rally in Freeland, Mich., Thursday, Sept. 10, 2020, in Andrews Air Force Base, Md. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — President Trump announced Wednesday he will sign an executive order that would require medical care be given to babies who are born alive after failed abortion attempts.

“I will be signing the Born-Alive Executive Order to ensure that all precious babies born alive, no matter their circumstances, receive the medical care that they deserve. This is our sacrosanct moral duty,” said Trump in a pre-recorded video address during the 16th annual National Catholic Prayer Breakfast.

Trump said his administration is increasing funding for neonatal research to ensure “every child has the very best chance to thrive and grow.”

Organizations representing obstetricians and gynecologists say the law already provides protections to newborns, whether born during a failed abortion or under other circumstances. But when anomalies are so severe that a newborn would die soon after birth, a family may choose what’s known as palliative care or comfort care. This might involve allowing the baby to die naturally without medical intervention.

It is not necessarily a crime to forgo sophisticated medical intervention in cases where severe fetal abnormalities leave a newborn with no chance of survival. This has happened on rare occasions in the course of a late-term abortion. The U.S. government recorded 143 deaths between 2003 and 2014 involving infants born alive during attempted abortions.

The Born-Alive Infant Protection Act has been introduced several times in Congress since 2002, but has yet to become law. The proposed law would provide would require that infants born alive after an attempted abortion be given appropriate medical care as a newborn of the same age born under different circumstances.

The bill stalled in the House of Representatives in 2019-2020 because an insufficient number of members signed a discharge petition which would have triggered a vote on the bill. 

The full text of the executive order has yet to be released.

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