A nurse testified before Congress on Tuesday that an Illinois hospital where she was employed had a “comfort room” where babies born alive after an attempted abortion were taken to die.
The panel was held by House Republicans on Capitol Hill to hear expert testimony concerning the “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act,” which thus far House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has refused to allow to come to the floor for a vote.
Pelosi even denied the GOP lawmakers the use of a regular committee room for the hearing, according to The Daily Signal.
Jill Stanek — who is a registered nurse and serves as national chair for the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List — told lawmakers that she knows firsthand that what Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam described would happen to babies born alive during late-term abortion procedures was already happening years ago at the Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, Illinois where she worked.
Northam said in January, “the infant would be kept comfortable,” while a discussion ensued between the mother and her physicians about whether to keep the child alive.
Stanek told lawmakers that Northam is correct.
“I know because I cared for a dying baby on the other side of that decision,” she said. “If they were aborted alive, they were allowed to die without any medical care or intervention whatsoever.”
She wrote in an article there is a specific room born-alive babies were taken at the hospital.
“Before the Comfort Room was established, babies were taken to the Soiled Utility Room to die,” Stanek explained.
“It was not uncommon for a live aborted baby to linger for an hour or two or even longer. At Christ Hospital, one of these babies lived for almost an entire eight-hour shift,” she recounted. “Some of the babies aborted were healthy because Christ Hospital also aborted for life or ‘health’ of the mother and also for rape or incest.”
During her Tuesday testimony, Stanek related an experience with one of these living babies.
“I couldn’t bear the thought of this suffering child dying alone,” Stanek said. “He had been aborted because he had Down Syndrome, and he was between 21 and 22 weeks old — about the size of my hand.”
She held him for about 45 minutes until he died.
“After he was pronounced dead, I folded his little arms across his chest,” she said. “I tied them together with a little string. I wrapped him in a shroud, and I took him to the morgue, where we took all of our dead patients.”
Christ Hospital’s Soiled Utility Room eventually became the “Comfort Room,” according to Stanek.
The nurse provided pictures of the room to the members of Congress.
Nurse Jill Stanek told those at the Born Alive hearing today that she once worked at an Illinois hospital that had a “comfort room” – a room specifically designated for aborted babies to die in. https://t.co/dQp5cYITvq
— Mary Margaret Olohan (@MaryMargOlohan) September 10, 2019
GOP Rep. Ann Wagner of Missouri, who introduced the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act in February, chaired Tuesday’s hearing.
More than two dozen Republican lawmakers participated in the panel, including House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, The Daily Signal reported.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy could not attend, but he did send a statement to be read into the record.
Rep. Debbie Lesko of Arizona contended there should not even be a debate whether survivors of abortion should receive medical care.
“If we can’t protect babies that are born alive, we have a major problem in our nation,” she said.
Wagner broke down during her remarks closing the hearing.
Tears are a fitting response to the violence & injustice Pelosi’s Democrats are supporting against defenseless babies – both in and out of the womb. ?
— Susan B. Anthony List (@SBAList) September 10, 2019
The congresswoman said, “I live for the day when abortion is not just illegal but it is unthinkable, and what is happening to these babies that are born, because they’re not wanted, is unconscionable in this country.”
Republican Sen. Ben Sasse has also introduced the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act in the Senate this year.
Christ Medical Center released a statement in response to Stanek’s remarks: “As a faith-based ministry whose purpose is to help people live well, we address these sensitive issues in dual consideration of our purpose and values, as well as the individual patient’s medical needs. Jill Stanek’s testimony grossly misrepresents how these sensitive issues are handled at our hospital, where she has not worked in nearly 20 years.”
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