An Illinois nurse shocked members of Congress on Wednesday with testimony about “live birth abortions.”
Jill Stanek spoke about her experiences while she was working as a nurse at Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, Illinois. She says the hospital created a “comfort room” for babies who survived the abortion process. “In the event a baby was aborted alive, he or she recieved no medical assesments or care but was only given what my hospital called ‘comfort care,'” Stanek said.
The testimony came before a panel conviened by Republicans in Washington to discuss the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, legislation that would make it a illegal to not provide medical care to a baby born alive after an attempted abortion.
Stanek said she learned of a procedure called induced labor abortion where her hospital “committed abortions into the second and third trimesters.” The comfort room allowed parents to sit with their dying babies or have professional photos taken. Prior to the creation of this room, Stanek says the hospital would place dying babies in a “soiled utility room.”
In her testimony, Stanek recalled seeing a co-worker moving a live baby with Down Syndrome to the soiled utility room after he was aborted. “I could not bear the thought of this suffering child dying alone, so I rocked him for the 45 minutes that he lived,” she said. “He was 21 to 22 weeks old, weighed about 1/2 pound, and was about the size of my hand. He was too weak to move very much, expending all his energy attempting to breathe. Toward the end he was so quiet I couldn’t tell if he was still alive unless I held him up to the light to see if his heart was still beating through his chest wall.”
In previous testimony posted by the Susan B. Anthony List, Stanek said, “If staff did not have the time or desire to hold the baby, she was taken to Christ Hospital’s Comfort Room, which was complete with a First Photo machine if parents wanted professional pictures of their aborted baby, baptismal supplies, gowns and certificates, foot printing equipment and baby bracelets for mementos, and a rocking chair.”
The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act was introduced by Representative Ann Wagner (R-MO) in the House and in the Senate by Ben Sasse (R-NE). Senate Democrats blocked the bill from being voted on in February. Despite efforts from Reoublicans, Democrat leadership in the House has refused to allow a vote on the bill.