Without debate, the Senate on July 18 approved, by unanimous consent, a bill (H.R. 2175) that would change the definition of an individual under the U.S. criminal code. Sponsored by Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH), the bill states that “the words ‘person,’ ‘human being,’ ‘child,’ and ‘individual,’ shall include every infant member of the species homo sapiens who is born alive at any stage of development.” The House approved the measure on March 12 (see The Source, 3/15/02). The bill now goes to the President, who is expected to sign it into law.
Congress considered a similar bill last year. Bill supporters said they were motivated by the stories of a nurse from Illinois who had witnessed babies survive therapeutic abortions but receive no medical care to enable long-term survival. Opponents claimed the bill was an attempt to undermine Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion.