By Matt Sande, Legislative Director
Pro-Life Wisconsin supports efforts by Senator Andre Jacque (R-De Pere) and Chuck Wichgers (R-Muskego) to amend the Born Alive Protection Act, legislation that aims, through its requirements and penalties, to enhance current law protections for babies born alive following failed abortions.
Last week before the Assembly Health and Senate Judiciary committees, Pro-Life Wisconsin legislative director Matt Sande testified in opposition to Assembly Bill 179 and Senate Bill 175 as written - in the hope of amending out the dangerous immunity clause in Section 2 of the legislation. Please listen to Matt’s testimony on WisconsinEye HERE starting at 4:04:12. Section 2 of the bills creates a new section under Wisconsin’s first-degree intentional homicide statute that specifically makes intentionally causing the death of a child born alive as a result of an abortion a Class A felony with a penalty of life imprisonment. We certainly support this just penalty.
The problem with Section 2 is that it applies to anyone but the mother. It completely exempts from prosecution the mother of a child born alive after an abortion if she kills or conspires to kill her born alive child. This erodes the equal protection that babies born alive following failed abortions enjoy under current law. We want the Born Alive Protection Act to complement current law, not undermine it.
Although we acknowledge that a district attorney could use the current law homicide statute to prosecute a mother who kills her born alive child following a failed abortion, it is equally true that a zealous defense attorney could use the newly created immunity clause in Section 2 to fully exculpate her. We want to remove this dangerous possibility by amending out the immunity clause in Section 2.
Believing that the blanket immunity clause in Section 2 sets a bad precedent, Senator Jacque and Representative Wichgers voted against the Born Alive Protection Act in their respective committees. Click HERE to read Senator Jacque’s press statement explaining his “NO” vote on SB 175. Both legislators have introduced identical amendments to remove the immunity clause in Section 2 of the legislation. Senator Jacque is the author of Senate Amendment 1 to SB 175 and Representative Wichgers is the author of Assembly Amendment 1 to AB 179. Regrettably, Assembly Amendment 1 failed in the Assembly Health Committee.
As the Assembly prepares to debate and pass the Born Alive Protection Act this week, we encourage them to consider the merits of Assembly Amendment 1. Let’s make clear that Wisconsin makes NO exceptions for the murder of born alive human beings.