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Alabama Rep. Ginny Shaver introduces anti-infanticide bill for third straight session

MONTGOMERY — State Rep. Ginny Shaver (R-Leesburg) on Monday prefiled a “born-alive” bill that would be known as “Gianna’s Law.”

The legislation, HB 237, is named after a survivor of an attempted abortion who now travels the world telling her story. Shaver has met the woman (Gianna Jessen) and called her an inspiration.

Shaver originally introduced a version of this anti-infanticide legislation during the 2019 regular session of the Alabama Legislature. Her bill that year passed the House, with Democrats in the chamber unanimously opposing the legislation. The legislation then stalled in the Senate over concerns from the medical community.

The state representative from Cherokee County introduced the same bill as HB 237 last year, when the COVID-19 pandemic stopped it from advancing in the legislature.

The 2019 legislation was introduced by Shaver after the publicized rise of support for infanticide amongst national Democrats, especially following in the wake of statements by policymakers in New York and Virginia. Her current legislation would also purport to safeguard against infanticide by requiring a doctor to administer the same level of medical care to a child born alive after an abortion attempt as they would any other child.

Shaver has said, “There is no such thing as post-birth abortion. Think about those three words. That’s infanticide.”

“That’s what it is and what my bill does is in this situation where a child survives an abortion attempt and is born alive, it would require a physician to exercise the same reasonable care to preserve the life of the child that is born alive,” she continued. “When this happens, if there is any sign of breathing or any other sign of life … there would then exist a doctor-patient relationship between the doctor and the child so that he would be required to exercise the same degree of physical skill and care to make an effort to reasonably preserve the life and health of that child.”

House Majority Leader Nathaniel Ledbetter (R-Rainsville), the sole original cosponsor of Shaver’s bill in 2019, was listed as the first cosponsor last year and is an original cosponsor this time around, as well.

The 2021 regular session of the legislature gavels in on Tuesday. HB 237 has been designated to be referred to the House Judiciary Committee.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

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