The California State Assembly on Thursday passed what pro-life advocates have called a radical measure that they've dubbed "The Infanticide Bill."
The bill, known as AB 2223, was passed by a vote of 48-21 in the Democrat-controlled Assembly. It now goes to the state Senate.
The measure is promoted by the state's "Future of Abortion Council," a coalition of 40 pro-abortion groups whose goal is "to Protect, Strengthen and Expand Abortion Services in California." The abortion council is currently advocating for nine different abortion expansion bills.
As CBN News reported, AB 2223 was opposed by pro-life groups who say new language added to the proposed legislation would shield a mother from civil and criminal charges for any "actions or omissions" related to her pregnancy, "including miscarriage, stillbirth, or abortion, or perinatal death." Although definitions of "perinatal death" vary, all of them include the death of newborns seven days or more after birth.
Certain media fact-checkers over the past few months said the pro-life advocates' claims were false or misinterpreted. However, the National Catholic Register noted that the state's Assembly Appropriations Committee acceded to some pro-life demands and amended language in the bill on May 19.
"Today, Assemblymember Buffy Wicks' A.B. 2223, which came to be known as the 'infanticide bill,' was amended in the Assembly Appropriations Committee to confirm that a woman will not be investigated or charged for experiencing miscarriage, stillbirth, abortion, or 'perinatal death due to causes that occurred in utero,'" the California Catholic Conference reported in a statement released last week.
"This change definitely closes the door on potential unintended consequences of permitting infant deaths due to abuse, neglect or abandonment, alleviating the concerns that the CCC brought to the author's attention," the statement said.
Kathleen Domingo, the executive director of the California Catholic Conference told the Register that the Assembly Judiciary Committee's analysis of the bill, dated April 5, "agreed that the terminology 'perinatal death' was unclear and could lead to 'undesirable conclusions.'"
The language was modified, and the California Catholic Conference announced it had withdrawn its opposition to the bill, noting state law already outlaws fetal homicide with protections for infants born alive after an abortion.
Other pro-life groups, however, continue to fight against the bill.
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