UPDATE: California Assembly Again Amends and Passes Infanticide Bill – Still Doesn't Fix the Problem

By 

Olivia Summers

|
May 25

4 min read

Pro Life

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As we’ve informed you, AB 2223 is a pro-abortion California bill that contains language that would restrict the investigation and reporting of certain kinds of infant deaths, and could effectively legalize infanticide.

It has been clear from the beginning that the purpose of AB 2223 is to shield individuals, especially abortion providers, from civil or criminal liability when a baby is born alive after a botched abortion – and then left to die. In order to achieve this goal, the bill prohibits coroners’ reports related to the deaths of infants in the “perinatal” period from being used to bring civil or criminal charges against anyone.

As we have explained extensively, the term “perinatal” refers to a period of time generally encompassing the 20th to 28th week of gestation up until 28 days after birth.  And, the bill – as originally written – could be interpreted as protecting both a woman (and any person assisting a woman) from civil and criminal liability related to the death of an infant in the perinatal period for “any reason.”

The ACLJ and other pro-life groups quickly sounded the alarm on AB 2223 after it was introduced in the California Assembly. And the ACLJ has been actively fighting against this bill, most recently by sending a legal analysis opposing the bill to the Chair of the Appropriations Committee, and then to the Appropriations Committee as a whole.

After receiving our analysis, the California Assembly Committee on Appropriations, on May 19, amended and voted to pass Assembly Bill 2223 (AB 2223). However, as with the previous amendments to AB 2223, the term “perinatal” has not been removed, and nothing has been changed in the bill to actually fix any of its problems.

In fact, the latest amendment just makes the purpose behind the bill even more clear than it was originally. The latest amendment takes the phrase “perinatal death due to a pregnancy-related cause” and changes it to “perinatal death due to causes that occurred in utero.”

Let’s break this down:

  • Perinatal = up to 28 days after birth
  • Death = a baby born alive who subsequently dies
  • Due to = death caused by
  • Causes that occurred in utero = woman has ingested chemical abortion bills to cause an abortion, the pill isn’t effective, and the baby is born alive and then left to die

The author of the bill has repeatedly claimed that the purpose of the perinatal language is to protect women from prosecution “for any tragic situation that may happen during pregnancy,” and has referred to “two California women, Adora Perez and Chelsea Becker, who served jail time after delivering stillborn babies whose deaths were linked to their mothers’ methamphetamine abuse. The charges in both cases were recently dropped.”

But these examples fall into the “stillbirth” category that is included in the bill, and not the “perinatal death” category.

Try as they may to amend the bill or change the language to make it sound more acceptable, California lawmakers are refusing to acknowledge the fact that they are talking about failing to protect an innocent human being who is born alive simply because they were “unwanted” and meant to be killed before they took their first breath.

This bill will probably receive a final vote in the California House this week. As this bill likely makes its way over to the California Senate, we are preparing our legal analysis of the amended bill, and will continue our fight to protect babies – both born and preborn.

You can fight with us by signing our petition today.

UPDATE 6.2.2022: On May 27th, the California Assembly voted 48 to 21 to pass this bill. Now it has moved over to the state Senate, where it has received a first reading and is awaiting committee assignment. We are following it closely, and are already preparing a new legal analysis of the amended bill passed by the Assembly that we will send to key state Senators and committee chairs detailing just how horrific this bill is and the untold legal consequences that would follow if it were to become law.