Beyond its proper role
Arkansas Senate Bill 148 requires any aborted fetus that is born alive to receive immediate medical care. If the doctor fails to provide such care, he would be subject to a Class D felony punishable by up to six years in prison. The bill further provides that such a fetus, if unwanted by the parent(s), shall become a ward of the state and that the mother be informed that her child was kept alive against her wishes.
This would apply to fetuses at 19 weeks or less because the state outlaws abortion at any later date. This stands in direct conflict with the American Medical Association’s recommendation that “resuscitation should be withheld when the gestational age is less than 23 weeks, birth weight is less than 400 grams, anencephaly is present, or with a confirmed diagnosis of trisomy 13 or 18.”
Of course it’s no surprise that the Arkansas Legislature thinks it knows better than doctors. Or parents who have decided for a complex set of reasons to terminate the pregnancy.
Arkansas can’t afford to take care of normal children, much less provide for five months of neonatal medical intensive care. The costs don’t stop there. Extreme prematurity comes with a host of lifelong disabilities. Amid the cries for cuts to Medicaid expenses, now we’ve got money to force life on aborted fetuses?
I believe this outrageous legislation steps far beyond the state’s proper role. The decision to produce a child rests with the parent(s). Period. DENELE CAMPBELL