A pro-life religious liberties group is hoping that a second-trimester abortion gone awry will serve as a test case that sparks enforcement of the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act (BAIPA), a law passed by Congress in 2002.
Liberty Counsel is representing a 34-year-old divorced mother of two children, who in April went to the EPOC Clinic in Orlando to abort her 23-week-old fetus. On her first visit, attendants injected digoxin to stop the unborn baby's heart. The next day, the mother, Angele, says she returned and the baby emerged alive. She claimed clinic workers refused to help.
"BAIPA requires intervention to help if the baby is breathing, has a heartbeat, the umbilical cord is pulsating, or there is voluntary muscle movement," Liberty Counsel president Mathew D. Staver told CT. "Angele said the baby was moving."
By the time police arrived, Angele said the baby had died.
In separate complaints, Liberty Counsel accused EPOC of failing to have a doctor present during the procedure, improperly stating the baby was stillborn, and failing to provide postoperative care.
However, clinic spokeswoman Marti Mackenzie said the Orange County chief medical examiner said the fetus was stillborn.
Tests on the baby's lungs were inconclusive, Staver said. The medical examiner declined to conduct a toxicology exam, saying it wasn't necessary.
In a statement to CT, Ohio Republican Steve Chabot, BAIPA's sponsor in the U.S. House, said he has asked the Department of Justice about reports of babies born during failed abortion attempts. "I have been assured that they will investigate each case and move forward with those that violate the law," Chabot said. "Each infant deserves the chance to live."
The National Right to Live Committee ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 65+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more