A recent CNN article claims that the Texas Heartbeat Act has contributed to an increase in infant mortality. This claim, and the way it is framed, lacks consideration for other potential factors contributing to the uptick in infant mortality rates. While this increased rate is certainly something that needs to be considered and addressed, fostering this sort of confusion only helps abortion advocates bolster the erroneous narrative that exceptions to Texas Pro-Life laws need to be expanded to include children diagnosed with life-limiting disabilities.
The article claims that implementation of the Texas Heartbeat Act, which took effect in September 2021, was associated with an uptick in infant mortality in the state. While it is true that infant mortality did increase in 2022, the article mischaracterizes what is occurring.
Michael New, assistant professor of practice at the Busch School of Business at the Catholic University of America, countered CNN’s exaggerations of infant mortality. New pointed out that the increase in the infant mortality rate was actually 6.6% in 2022, which while concerning is not as dramatic as CNN suggests. Moreover, the infant mortality rate in 2022 remained within recent historical norms and was lower than any year from 2007 to 2017, a crucial omission from CNN’s report.
Much of the increase can be explained by congenital conditions in children now being born. Of course, the Texas Heartbeat Act has not led to an increase in these conditions; rather, it prevents preborn children with medical conditions from being aborted for discriminatory reasons. Tragically, many of these children were dying by abortion before the Texas Heartbeat Act, and were therefore not counted as infant deaths.
“We all knew the infant mortality rate would go up, because many of these terminations were for pregnancies that don’t turn into healthy normal kids,” pro-abortion Dr. Erika Werner told CNN. These advocates tragically believe a child that may not be born “healthy” and “normal” would be better off being killed before they are born than given compassionate care and a chance at life, no matter how long or short that little life might be. Unfortunately, the cultural normalization of abortion has led some to believe that taking their child’s life is compassionate.
Using this reasoning, an abortion group brought a lawsuit against the state of Texas earlier this year. Their goal is to broaden abortion exceptions, including for babies with life-limiting disabilities, challenging the current laws which protect children diagnosed with these conditions. Sadly, media outlets like CNN lump in life-limiting fetal diagnoses with cases where the mother’s life is put at risk, leading many Texans to be confused about how clear the law actually is.
Don’t miss important Pro-Life stories like this.
>> Get the Pro-Life Weekly Highlight just once a week:
Pro-abortion advocates are doing everything they can to bring back abortion on demand. CNN’s article is a clear attempt to elicit sympathy, by leading uninformed readers to believe that Texas’ Pro-Life laws are doing more harm than good. In reality, thousands of lives that would have been taken by abortion are being saved.
CNN’s misleading claim has likely spread misconceptions about our state’s strong Pro-Life laws like the Texas Heartbeat Act, leading to potential denial of crucial care for women and confusion surrounding the distinction between infant life-limiting diagnoses and the health of the mother.
Biased media reporting on the Texas Heartbeat Act has caused confusion among doctors and their patients, endangering women and children. We must continue to declare the truth when this sort of false information is being spread, so that our Pro-Life laws can continue to protect both women and children in the great state of Texas.