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Legislative Bombshell: Bill to Decriminalize Killing Newborns Introduced

California policymakers who make up the “Future of Abortion Council” just dropped a bombshell. They intend to not only codify the killing of unborn children throughout all nine months of pregnancy but to decriminalize killing newborns days or even weeks after birth. 

New language added to AB 2223 last week revealed the disturbing intent. The proposed legislation would shield a mother from civil and criminal charges for any “actions or omissions” related to her pregnancy, “including miscarriage, stillbirth, or abortion, or perinatal death.” Although definitions of “perinatal death” vary, all of them include the demise of newborns seven days or more after birth.

The bill from Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks additionally protects anyone who “aids or assists a pregnant person in exercising” these rights. It also allows a woman to sue any police department or legal authority which arrests or charges her for hurting or killing her child under provisions of the bill.

“For years, pro-life advocates have argued there is no moral difference between ending a child’s life days before birth or days after birth. California’s pro-abortion legislators now seemingly agree,” said Jonathan Keller, President of California Family Council. “A political culture that justifies killing millions of children in the womb is now declaring open season on unwanted newborns. Every Californian must oppose this heinous bill.”

Governor Newsom formed the “Future of Abortion Council” last year in an effort to turn California into a “sanctuary state” for the procedure. Organizers listed AB 2223 as part of their legislation package implementing a 45-point plan to “expand and protect access” to abortion in California. 

A few weeks ago, Maryland introduced a bill that “decriminalizes neglecting newborns to death” using the same “perinatal death” language, though the bill hearing was canceled. In 2019, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam was widely condemned for a radio interview asserting doctors could decide to allow children to die after birth “if that’s what the mother and the family desired.”

The first stop for AB 2223 is the Assembly Judiciary Committee, though legislators have yet to announce a hearing date.

The following legal experts, all based in California, asserted that AB 2223 would essentially legalize infanticide:

AB 2223 is not only a pro-abortion bill – it removes all civil and criminal penalties for killing babies born alive under any circumstances. The bill expressly authorizes any person to facilitate late-term abortions and infanticide without legal repercussions. Life Legal condemns the use of euphemisms like “personal reproductive decisions” and ‘reproductive justice’ to justify and encourage the killing of babies in and outside the womb.

Attorney and Chief Executive Officer Alexandra Snyder of the Life Legal Defense Foundation

California lawmakers have crossed a red line by seeking to legitimize the killing of hours-old and even week-old infants. This is not about expanding abortion rights; this is a degree of evil that the overwhelming majority of Americans, regardless of how they identify politically, cannot stomach. We will be working to defeat this insane and diabolical bill.

Attorney Matthew McReynolds with the Pacific Justice Institute

AB 2223 seeks to legalize the killing of babies in California after birth. Depending on how the term "perinatal" is interpreted by the courts, this bill legalizes the infanticide of children several weeks after their birth and possibly as late as their first birthday. If this barbaric bill is enacted, there will be no criminal or civil liability for the mother or those who assist her with killing her baby post-birth.

Attorney and President of the National Center for Law and Policy Dean Broyles

Under the guise of “reproductive health,” this bill seeks to decriminalize killing babies not only in the womb, but also even after the baby is born. This is the most extreme, anti-life bill in California’s history. It legalizes infanticide, plain and simple.

Attorney Nada Higuera with Tyler & Bursch, LLP

In California under AB 2223, former Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell, who murdered three infants born alive after botched abortions, could not be prosecuted. And incredibly, someone like Gosnell who helped a California mother kill her newborn after birth will actually have a cause of action to sue police for investigating the matter if AB 2223 becomes law.

Attorney Susan Arnall, Esq., Director of Outreach, Right to Life League

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