Gianna Jessen’s 17-year-old mother decided to get an abortion when she was almost eight months pregnant. An abortionist injected her with a toxic saline solution, but Jessen was born alive 18 hours later. She was transferred to a hospital where doctors didn’t expect her to live, as the lack of oxygen in the womb led to cerebral palsy. But she did, and today, more than 30 years later, she dances, sings, and speaks out against abortion.
“My mother made a decision that she thought affected only her, and yet every day I bear the result of that decision through my cerebral palsy,” Jessen told The Telegraph.
But if Jessen’s mother had her abortion today in Florida, Jessen might not have survived. A Florida Planned Parenthood official made a case for post-birth abortions last Wednesday at a hearing for a state bill requiring abortionists to provide medical assistance to a baby born alive.
Republican state Rep. Jim Boyd asked Alisa Laport Snow, a lobbyist representing Florida’s Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates, what would happen if a baby is born as a result of a botched abortion.
“We believe that any decision that’s made should be left up to the woman, her family, and the physician,” Snow responded.
When asked what Planned Parenthood physicians would do when the baby is “alive, breathing on a table, moving,” Snow said she did not know because she was not a physician.
She later reiterated her position that the decision should be “between the patient and the healthcare provider,” but Rep. Jose Oliva asked “I think that at that point the patient would be the child struggling on the table, wouldn’t it?”
“That’s a very good question. I don’t really know how to answer that,” Snow said, clearly flustered.
But prosecutors in Philadelphia do. Abortionist Kermit Gosnell is currently on trial for doing exactly what Snow recommended—killing babies after they were born alive. Gosnell faces murder charges in the death of a 41-year-old women who suffered a botched abortion, as well as the deaths of seven babies who were born alive through induced labor, then killed by Gosnell or his untrained staff. The abortionist is accused of snipping the babies’ spinal cords with scissors.
“When you perform late-term ‘abortion’ by inducing labor, you get babies. Live, breathing, squirming babies,” wrote Philadelphia District Attorney R. Set William in his report to the grand jury. “Gosnell had a simple solution for the unwanted babies he delivered: he killed them.”
Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty on those counts.
Snow’s answer and Gosnell’s actions also violate the federal Born Alive Infants Protection Act, which extends legal protection to an infant born alive after a botched abortion. When former President George W. Bush signed the act in 2002, he extended his appreciation to Jessen, who attended the signing.
“It’s more comfortable for people to think of abortion as a political decision, or a right,” Jessen told the Telegraph. “But I am not a right. I am a human being. … If abortion is about women’s rights, then where are mine?”