Amending The Born Alive Protection Act

Matt Sande, Legislative Director
Anna DeMeuse, Communications Director

Recently, legislation entitled the Born Alive Protection Act (Assembly Bill 179 & Senate Bill 175) was introduced in our Wisconsin Legislature. The bills gained national attention last week when Governor Tony Evers commented that he would veto any such bills. Pro-Life Wisconsin commends the efforts of those in our state legislature who seek to prosecute individuals who do not provide the utmost care for children born alive after a failed abortion attempt, or worse, intentionally kill them; however, there is a serious flaw with the Born Alive Protection Act as currently written.

Under current Wisconsin law, babies born alive after an abortion attempt have the same legal status and rights as babies born naturally, or by induction or cesarean section. So a child born alive after a failed abortion attempt is already fully protected as a person under current law.

What the Born Alive Protection Act seeks to do is prosecute any health care professional who fails to provide life-saving care to a born child, or anyone who intentionally kills that born child, following a failed abortion...with one major flaw. The Born Alive Protection Act, as it stands, provides total immunity for the mother who intentionally kills her born alive child.

Meaning that, if a mother would choose to murder her born alive child, she would not be held legally accountable for that barbaric action. This undermines current law which protects born alive children against any attack on their life. In other words, it erodes the equal protection under the law that born alive babies currently enjoy.

To be clear, AB 179 and SB 175 completely exempt from prosecution the mother of a child born alive after an abortion if she kills or conspires to kill her born alive child. This has grave implications for holding accountable mothers who, following failed self-induced abortion attempts, kill their own born alive children. These cases of infanticide by a mother are known as maternal filicide and are, sadly, not rare.

In a noble effort to uphold the dignity of human life and effectuate equal protection for born alive children by requiring equal care for them, this bill unfortunately provides less protection for born alive children by granting total immunity to the mothers who intentionally kill them. An anti-infanticide bill inadvertently allows infanticide. This must be corrected!

Here’s what we can do to fix it:

Please call or email your State Senator and State Representative TODAY! Urge them to amend out (remove) the immunity clause for the mother in Section 2 of AB 179 and SB 175.

Don’t know your State Senator and State Representative? Go to and type in your home address under “Who Are My Legislators” or call the Legislative Hotline: 1-800-362-9472.

With this one simple change, the Born Alive Protection Act could provide even more protection for born alive children, but we need to amend out the dangerous immunity clause in Section 2 to make that happen.

Senator Andre Jacque and Representative Chuck Wichgers will be introducing this amendment, and they need your support!

View our legislative memo here.

View our full legal analysis here.