FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA) — New legislation proposed by a U.S. senator from Arkansas would require all states to report all information about abortions to the Center for Disease Control and Protection. This includes cases where infants survive an abortion attempt for a period of time.
From 2003-2014, the CDC reported 143 cases where a death certificate for pregnancy terminations listed a time of death after the procedure itself, suggesting the fetus survived the abortion. Because those numbers are voluntarily sent in by medical providers, there could be more.
Arkansas has an electronic submission system to track abortion complications, and healthcare facilities are required to submit these reports already. The state’s Department of Health started tracking these in July of this year and doesn’t have any numbers to report at this time.
“The American people deserve to know how many babies are born alive during abortion attempts in our country,” Cotton said in a press release. “This is life or death information, yet most states don’t collect it. Our bill would require states to report accurate and complete data about abortion, including instances where babies are born alive during abortion.”
Dr. Alexis McCollum is an OBGYN in Johnson, and she said the phrasing of the press release about the policy makes it hard to know, on the medical side, what will be included in the states’ requirement.
“It’s hard for me to give specific information and explanations on a lot of this because it just doesn’t have that same specificity for what we use in the medical community,” McCollum said.