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AMA rejects proposal to require medical care for babies who survive botched abortions


“This position…does not imply the woman’s responsibility for the fetal life, but this resolution places the burden of care on the physician, who now has to care for two patients once the fetus is viable.”


The American Medical Association (AMA) has rejected a proposal to support providing life-saving medical care to babies who survive abortions.

Quick Facts

A self-described pro-choice doctor, Thomas Eppes Jr., M.D., of Forest, Virginia, proposed a resolution to the AMA, asking them to oppose infanticide. According to the proposal, the AMA was asked to “advocate for availability of the highest standard of neonatal care to [an] aborted fetus born alive at a gestational age of viability,” which occurs at approximately 21-22 weeks’ gestation. In explaining his reasoning for the proposal, Eppes explained:

“This position is not to argue the woman’s right to choose … The decision to abort is still between the patient and the physician. It does not imply the woman’s responsibility for the fetal life, but this resolution places the burden of care on the physician, who now has to care for two patients once the fetus is viable.”

In other words, the resolution would not force the AMA to take a position for or against abortion, but rather it was to urge doctors to perform proper medical care and treatment for a viable baby who had been born alive.

In a 476-106 vote by doctors with the medical group, the AMA said no.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) were also against the Eppes resolution and pressed the AMA to vote not. ACOG delegate Kavita Arora, M.D., of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, explained,

“Our policy should be based on science, it should be based on fact, and it should be based on the best available evidence that honors and upholds the value of the patient-physician relationship and the nuance and complexity of medical care. It is not a one-size-fits-all approach and should not be based on misinformation or disinformation. I strongly urge you to oppose.”

Prior to 1970, the AMA code of ethics was opposed to abortion on Hippocratic principle. However, at its annual meeting that year, a delegation from New York, where abortion was legal, asked the members to consider a resolution to tie the code of ethics to local law. Thus, if politicians deemed abortion to be ethical, the AMA would also consider it ethical, so an abortionist would remain in good ethical standing. By contrast, a doctor performing an abortion in a state where the procedure was illegal would be in violation of the Code of Ethics and could be censured or even lose their license.

As Dr. Eugene Diamond, a Chicago pediatrician and medical school professor, explained in a 1981 guest editorial in the Linacre Quarterly, this vote by the AMA would shift the organization’s ethics from Hippocratic tradition to utilitarianism. He wrote,

“The American medical profession was thus placed in the same untenable position as the German medical profession in the Third Reich. Defendants in the Nuremburg doctors’ trails were to plead, predictably, that what they were doing was not illegal in Germany at the time. The thesis that cooperation in final solutions, in euthanasia programs for the handicapped, and in immoral human experimentation could be justified as the actions of a loyal citizen and ‘good soldier’ was, of course, not sustained by the Allied Tribunal. It was held that a learned profession had duties to patients which transcended any merely political purposes.”

According to LifeNews, babies born alive after an abortion attempt could number in the thousands, but most governments do not keep track. A few U.S. states, do, however, and those seven states reported 34 babies born alive in botched abortions between 2020 and 2022.

The CDC cites at least 143 babies who were born alive after failed abortions between 2003 and 2014.

The Canadian Institute of Health Information documented 766 late-term, live-birth abortions over a five-year period in 2018.

“If a mother is in labor…the infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians & mother.”

These are the words of former Virginia governor and medical doctor Ralph Northam.

His statement was an eye-opening moment for Americans who suddenly realized just how radical proponents of abortion have become. What was even more shocking, though, was that Northam wasn’t just a politician but a pediatric neurologist, so he embodies the “utilitarianism” that the medical profession embraced in that 1970 AMA resolution that split the ethical baby, so to speak.

Today, Northam and the AMA’s views represent most, if not all, of the pro-abortion doctors and activists involved in medical organizations and left-wing political groups.

Once highly-esteemed, ACOG and AMA have become nothing more than the politically compromised “experts” that the abortion industry can cite as they use their malicious pseudoscience to sway the public. These medical organizations are now in lockstep with the abortion lobby, the leftist politicians who have consistently voted against the Born Alive Protection Act, and every activist who defaults to, “It’s really just a decision between a woman and her doctor.”

Pro-abortion advocates claim that pro-lifers only care about babies up until birth. That’s not true, but even if it were, it’s nothing compared to leaving helpless, suffering, writing infants to die on a cold surgical tray after they survive an abortion.

Of course, they also claim that pro-choice advocates do not support infanticide. Yet now the AMA, the nation’s most prominent medical organization, is on record stating that they do.

Despite what the ACOG activist says, science and the facts are clear — babies are sometimes born alive after failed abortions, and given proper medical care, they can — and do — survive and thrive. And it’s hardly a fringe idea to believe that those babies should not be left to die in a bucket of medical waste. In fact, in any other instance, a doctor who refuses to act and use medical measures to attempt to save someone’s life would be considered egregiously unethical and even criminal.

Thankfully, Scripture has something to say about the slaughter of the innocent.

“Rescue those who are being taken away to death;

hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter.”

–Proverbs 24:11

“There are six things that the Lord hates,

    seven that are an abomination to him:

haughty eyes, a lying tongue,

    and hands that shed innocent blood.”

–Proverbs 6:16-17

Woe be to those doctors who shed innocent blood and betray their moral and ethical pledge by providing care only to those patients deemed “worthy” of life. In other words, woe to those doctors who try to play God, rather than act as His humble servant in advocating and fully caring for their patients. Like the doctors who stood trial at Nuremberg discovered, today’s pro-abortion doctors will one day find that the ultimate judgment for such “legal” acts will be harsh.

Ready to dive deeper into the intersection of faith and policy? Head over to our Theology of Politics series page where we’ve published several long-form pieces that will help Christians navigate where their faith should direct them on political issues.