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H.R. 3504 (114th): Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act

H.R. 3504 would require that a child born alive during an attempted abortion be given the same medical treatment as any other child born at that gestation time would be. It would impose criminal penalties of fines or imprisonment of up to five years on medical practitioners that fail to do this, as well as punish medical practitioners that intentionally kill or attempt to kill a born-alive child for having intentionally killed or attempted to kill a human being. Related is the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act of 2002, which defined any fetus born alive after an attempted abortion at any age as a human child with all associated rights.

The bill was passed by a vote of 248-177. All opposing votes came from Democrats.

Last updated Sep 23, 2015. View all GovTrack summaries.

The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Sep 18, 2015.


(This measure has not been amended since it was introduced. The summary has been expanded because action occurred on the measure.)

Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act

(Sec. 3) This bill amends the federal criminal code to require any health care practitioner who is present when a child is born alive following an abortion or attempted abortion to: (1) exercise the same degree of care as reasonably provided to any other child born alive at the same gestational age, and (2) ensure that such child is immediately admitted to a hospital. The term "born alive" means the complete expulsion or extraction from his or her mother, at any stage of development, who after such expulsion or extraction breathes or has a beating heart, pulsation of the umbilical cord, or definite movement of voluntary muscles, regardless of whether the umbilical cord has been cut.

Also, a health care practitioner or other employee who has knowledge of a failure to comply with these requirements must immediately report such failure to an appropriate law enforcement agency.

An individual who violates the provisions of this Act is subject to a criminal fine, up to five years in prison, or both.

An individual who commits an overt act that kills a child born alive is subject to criminal prosecution for murder.

The legislation bars the criminal prosecution of a mother of a child born alive for conspiracy to violate the provisions of this Act, for being an accessory after the fact, or for concealment of felony.

A woman who undergoes an abortion or attempted abortion may file a civil action for damages against an individual who violates this Act.