Arizona lawmakers have approved a new birth bill requiring doctors and hospitals performing abortions to do everything possible to save the life of a baby born alive during an abortion.
The senate approved the measure on an 18-12 vote Wednesday, and now moves to the house for a final vote. Senate Bill 1367 requires doctors to, among other things , use medical skills to try to save the life of every new born, if it is breathing, has a heartbeat and is moving. The measure would also require hospitals and clinics providing abortions at 20 weeks or beyond to have medical equipment on hand to care for a fetus delivered alive.
Supporters say the measure goes beyond solving the current abortion issue in the state and ensures that babies born alive are given life-saving care. Opponents, on the other hand, argue fetuses cannot be saved when abortions are legal. In addition, they say the bill would require doctors to take unnecessary medical steps.
The current birth law is a bit more flexible, only requiring doctors to do everything possible to save the life of the fetus, if they believe it has a chance of surviving outside the uterus.