A pro-life religious liberties group is hoping that a second-trimester abortion gone awry will serve as a test case that sparks enforcement of the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act (BAIPA), a law passed by Congress in 2002.

Liberty Counsel is representing a 34-year-old divorced mother of two children, who in April went to the EPOC Clinic in Orlando to abort her 23-week-old fetus. On her first visit, attendants injected digoxin to stop the unborn baby's heart. The next day, the mother, Angele, says she returned and the baby emerged alive. She claimed clinic workers refused to help.

"BAIPA requires intervention to help if the baby is breathing, has a heartbeat, the umbilical cord is pulsating, or there is voluntary muscle movement," Liberty Counsel president Mathew D. Staver told CT. "Angele said the baby was moving."

By the time police arrived, Angele said the baby had died.

In separate complaints, Liberty Counsel accused EPOC of failing to have a doctor present during the procedure, improperly stating the baby was stillborn, and failing to provide postoperative care.

However, clinic spokeswoman Marti Mackenzie said the Orange County chief medical examiner said the fetus was stillborn.

Tests on the baby's lungs were inconclusive, Staver said. The medical examiner declined to conduct a toxicology exam, saying it wasn't necessary.

In a statement to CT, Ohio Republican Steve Chabot, BAIPA's sponsor in the U.S. House, said he has asked the Department of Justice about reports of babies born during failed abortion attempts. "I have been assured that they will investigate each case and move forward with those that violate the law," Chabot said. "Each infant deserves the chance to live."

Related Elsewhere:

The National Right to Live Committee has information about the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act. The text of the law is available from the Government Printing Office (text | pdf).

More information is available from the Liberty Counsel.

Conservative and pro-life sites have more news about Angele and her baby.

Baby born alive at florida abortion facility, staff refuse care | Workers at a Florida abortion facility have come under fire for failing to assist a woman whose baby was born alive there. (LifeNews.com, April 28, 2005)
Abortion staff ignores baby boy born alive? | Woman pleads for help with 'Rowan' after delivering son in clinic restroom. (WorldNetDaily, April 25, 2005)
Abortion clinic workers refuse to help mother screaming to save live child | Angele, a single mother in her thirties with two children, thought that abortion was the answer to her circumstances. At almost 23 weeks gestation, she entered the EPOC Clinic in Orlando, Florida. Little did she realize that the next day she would give birth to a live, perfectly healthy boy whom she named Rowan. (LifeSiteNews, April 25, 2005)
Labor and delivery | A gruesome Florida abortion saga reveals sordid—and possibly illegal—practices in late-term procedures. (World, undated)
HHS head acts to protect born-alive infants; abortion clinic lets survivor die | HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt announced April 22 the department had acted to strengthen compliance with the Born-alive Infants Protection Act, a 2002 law that provides legal protection to fully delivered babies, even when they are intended to be aborted. (Christian Examiner, May, 2005)

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