Transcript for Kansas lawmakers pass bill requiring care for infants 'born alive' after an abortion
- And the Kansas House of Representatives has passed a bill requiring care for infants born alive after an abortion. The bill now heads to the Senate. And if approved, it would create criminal penalties and civil liability for any violations of the act. Senior National Policy Reporter Anne Flaherty joins me live for more on that. Anne, what exactly would this bill do, and how would it be enforced?
- So this "born alive" bill would require doctors to provide lifesaving care to any sort of fetus that is born from a failed abortion. And it would put legal liability on the doctor. It would impose fines. It would make it a felony not to provide lifesaving care to that fetus or hospitalization.
So we've talked to abortion rights supporters who say, look, this doesn't happen. This isn't actually a real thing. But at the same time, these Republicans in Kansas, anti-abortion rights, they say that they want to do everything they can, even after voters had voted last year to say, look, we don't want to change our state constitution. We want to protect the right to abortion. So they are clearly putting this as a signal that they want to keep pressing this issue.
- Meanwhile, a judge in Wyoming has blocked the state's abortion ban just days after it was implemented. So where does that leave the state of abortion law there and around the country?
- So this is Wyoming's second attempt at a sweeping ban on abortion. They say that-- the judge ruled on Wednesday that is now temporarily on hold as lawsuits against this law play out. So that could change at any moment.
What we do know is there's a second bill in Wyoming. They are the first state to specifically go after abortion medication. That will take place and go into effect in July. There are other states that ban abortion medication. But this is the first state to actually say, we're going to target this. We think it's too widespread. It's too widely available. So they are going specifically after that abortion medication.
- And Anne, we're now learning of at least one hospital in Idaho that says it's shutting down its obstetrics unit, citing a shortage of doctors, in part, they say due to the state's legal and political climate. This is a quote from the hospital.
They say, "highly respected, talented physicians are leaving. Recruiting replacements will be extraordinarily difficult. In addition, the Idaho legislature continues to introduce and pass bills that criminalize physicians for medical care nationally recognized as the standard of care." So how is this all playing out? And could we see more unintended consequences like this?
- So we have seen this trend across the country that hospitals with obstetric units are closing down simply because they can't afford to keep them operating. They say that they're having staff shortages.
There's several reasons that they cite for shutting these down. This is a big problem for women living in remote areas, rural areas, and also for Black and Latino women, who they say that they are more at risk for maternal death if they get pregnant.
At the same time, this Idaho hospital, this is the first hospital that we've heard this specific reasoning on this. But certainly, we've talked to doctors in states with abortion restrictions who say, I can't find anyone to come work in a state that has these kinds of legal liabilities imposed on doctors.
- All right. Senior National Policy Reporter Anne Flaherty, thank you.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.