This article was originally posted as a letter to the editor at the Columbus Dispatch here.
In response to the Oct. 12 Dispatch editorial “New senator’s first bill aims to address nonexistent problem,” I would submit that the paper had to overlook an awful lot of inconvenient facts to come to such a flawed conclusion. Ohio does not collect data on the number of babies born alive following a failed abortion, something this legislation aims to fix by requiring a report of every such incident. Consequently, no one can make such a statement about what does not happen with such confidence.
Here is what we can know from states that have such a reporting requirement: In Minnesota in 2016, five babies were born alive following failed abortions. In Florida, 17 babies were born following failed abortions in 2017. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a study last year showing that 588 babies were born alive after induced abortions nationally between 2003-2014, documenting how long these children lived in minutes, hours and even days.
A particular case from Florida made national headlines when an infant born alive after a botched abortion at 23 weeks was put into a plastic bag and thrown in the trash. Its body was found a week later.
This tragic case and many others reveal the pressing need for this legislation. The issue isn’t whether or not that child, born prematurely or with a fatal diagnosis, will survive. The issue is us being able to decide who gets left alone to die and who does not.
For defenseless children like the one in Florida and shockingly similar cases throughout the country, the struggle to stay alive after a failed abortion is terribly real. Every safeguard possible should be implemented to ensure that no child is ever again thrown in the trash to die. Is that really so hard to agree upon?
Allie Frazier, Ohio Right to Life, Columbus