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Wyo. gov. explains why he vetoed bill requiring doctors help save babies born alive after abortion

Wyo. gov. explains why he vetoed bill requiring doctors help save babies born alive after abortion

Woman holds ultrasound images | Getty Images/Westend61

Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon vetoed a bill that would require an abortionist to help save the life of a baby who survives an abortion instead of leaving it to die. 

Gordon said In a statement Friday that while he identifies as pro-life, he believes the legislation would cause more harm than good.

“Laws already in place protect children from being denied life-saving care simply because they were born as a result of an abortion. This bill will not do anything to improve on those laws which already exist,” Gordon said.

“Instead, this bill will harm people it never intended to harm — parents who want a child, but have received the devastating news that their pregnancy is not viable. The State should not seek to make that moment for parents any more tragic than it already is.”

Known as Senate File 97, also rendered SF0097, the bill mandated that abortion providers take steps to medically assist any baby that survives an abortion procedure.

“The commonly accepted means of care that would be rendered to any other infant born alive shall be employed in the treatment of any viable infant aborted alive,” read SF0097.

“Any physician performing an abortion shall take medically appropriate and reasonable steps to preserve the life and health of an infant born alive.”

State Sen. Cheri Steinmetz, sponsor of the bill, told the Cheyenne-based KGAB last month that she considered the legislation a clarification of existing law.

“That’s our job in the legislative session: we clarify law all the time,” said Steinmetz. “That’s what this bill seeks to do.”

Earlier in March, the bill passed the Wyoming House of Representatives in a vote of 44-16, having previously passed the state Senate.

At the time, a spokesperson for the office of the governor told The Christian Post that Gordon had not yet reached a decision as to whether he was going to sign the bill.

Legislation aimed at mandating care for babies who survive an abortion have been debated in other states and at the federal level, with mixed results.

In early March, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice signed a similar bill into law, saying in a statement that the legislation was “an absolute no-brainer as far as I’m concerned.”

“I’ve said for a long time, even back before I took office as governor, that I would support measures like this because every human life — born or unborn — is precious and truly a gift from God,” Justice said at the time.

“It’s unbelievable that we even have to go through this process for something that seems like it’s just common sense. But at the same time, we should be really proud that we’re defending the lives of our most vulnerable. To God above, that baby is worth it.”

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