Medical Care is a Right—Except When it isn’t
by Mary Smart
How often do we hear that medical care is a right? This is especially espoused by our Democratic colleagues. They decry the policies of insurers and hospitals that require coverage before care will be delivered, demanding that we all have equal access to health care services.
On Thursday, February 7, 2019 in the Hawaii House Committee on Health, our Representatives had the opportunity to put those words into practice. House Bill 1184, the bill which would require that babies born alive, even if they were unwanted by their parent, receive appropriate and sufficient health care. The bill states: “… if an attempted abortion results in the live birth of an infant, the infant is a legal person for all purposes under the Constitution and laws of this State.” Several testimonies stated, this was a “no brainer.” Yet, our Representatives failed to move the bill forward with a vote of 6 to 1 (and 1 excused).
Denying care to babies is infanticide, and due to the large numbers, especially in some minority communities, a genocide.
Some may assume babies born alive are given the full protection of the Constitution once they are physically separated from their mother following the birthing process. It was only recently, after the news coverage of bills in other state legislatures such as New York, Virginia, Vermont, Rhode Island, and New Mexico did the general public learn that care is withheld from some babies and they are left to die. Even if the baby is comforted in some way, the act of denying normal heath services to a living human being is barbaric and inhumane in the eyes of the general public. There has been a public outcry against the radical actions of these other states. People in Hawaii were hoping to demonstrate in law that Hawaii is, was, and always will be a state that accepts, welcomes, and embraces all human-beings as ‘ohana, regardless of flaws, handicaps, weaknesses, abortion survivor, or whether wanted by their parents or not. HB 1184 was designed to protect our keiki by providing equal civil and human rights to all babies at their birth. After only recently celebrating the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, this would have marked the next frontier of protection for the vulnerable and the marginalized.
“Dr. Willard Cates, an expert on Medical statistics who is chief of abortion surveillance for the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, estimates that 400 to 500 abortion live births occur every year in the United States.” Dr. Kermit Gosnell is serving a thirty year prison sentence for killing babies after they were born and several other violations that endangered the health of the mothers. The Daily Signal identifies Hawaii as having no limit up to when an abortion may occur which makes our state highly susceptible to having live births.
If more states change their laws to allow “abortion” even up to the point that the mother has already begun the birthing process, there will be more and more babies who survive and are in need of normal after-birth medical care, nutrition and hydration. Neo-natal technology has advanced to such an extent that babies born as early as twenty-one weeks and four days survive. Even if the birth parent doesn’t want the responsibility of raising the child, there are other parents waiting in the wings to adopt even the most fragile and tiny human beings. The people of Hawaii deserve to have these protections in place.
In the State of Hawaii we protect turtle eggs and other animals, and yet we don’t give the same protections to our young humans. Young children deserve equity with our animal life that is protected even before it is “hatched”.
Feb 8, 2019: HB1184: Legislators Vote Down Infant Born Alive Protection Bill
HB1184: Text, Status