H.R. 3504, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act

H.R. 3504

The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act


September 18, 2015 (114th Congress, 1st Session)

Staff Contact

Floor Situation

On Friday, September 18, 2015, the House will consider H.R. 3504, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, under a closed rule.  H.R. 3504 was introduced on September 15, 2015 by Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) and was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.

Bill Summary

H.R. 3504 establishes requirements for health care practitioners to exercise the proper degree of care in the case of a child who survives an abortion or attempted abortion.  Specifically, the bill:

  • Requires health care practitioners present at the time a child is born alive during an abortion or attempted abortion to exercise the same degree of care to preserve the life and health of the child as any health care practitioner would provide to a child born alive at the same gestational age;
  • Requires that children born alive during an abortion or attempted abortion be transported and admitted to a hospital immediately following the administration of emergency care;
  • Requires any health care practitioner, or employee of a hospital, physician’s office, or abortion clinic to immediately report violations of bill requirements to appropriate state or federal law enforcement agencies, or both;
  • Provides fines and/or imprisonment of not more than five years for violations of the requirements established by the bill, but in the case of an intentional killing of a child born alive, a violator can be charged with first degree murder;
  • Prevents the prosecution of women of children born alive for violations of bill requirements;
  • Provides a civil right of action by a woman on whom an abortion is performed or attempted against any person committing a violation of bill requirements. Such relief includes objectively verifiable monetary damages, statutory damages equal to three times the cost of the abortion or attempted abortion, and punitive damages; and,
  • Allows for the award of attorney fees for plaintiffs prevailing in civil actions for violations or for defendants if the court finds that the plaintiff’s suit was frivolous.


The Born-Alive Infants Protection Act of 2002 (Public Law 107-207) included born-alive infants as persons for purposes of federal law and regulation.  The law defined the term ‘born-alive’ as “the complete expulsion or extraction from his or her mother of that member, at any stage of development, who after such expulsion or extraction breathes or has a beating heart, pulsation of the umbilical cord, or definite movement of voluntary muscles, regardless of whether the umbilical cord has been cut, and regardless of whether the expulsion or extraction occurs as a result of natural or induced labor, cesarean section, or induced abortion.”

In contrast to born-alive infants, the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 (Public Law 108-105) provides fines and/or imprisonment for any physician who knowingly performs a ‘partial-birth abortion.’  The law defines partial-birth abortion as an abortion in which the person performing the abortion “deliberately and intentionally vaginally delivers a living fetus until, in the case of a head-first presentation, the entire fetal head is outside the body of the mother, or, in the case of breech presentation, any part of the fetal trunk past the navel is outside the body of the mother, for the purpose of performing an overt act that the person knows will kill the partially delivered living fetus; and performs the overt act, other than completion of delivery, that kills the partially delivered living fetus.”

H.R. 3504 provides additional protections for children who are born alive during abortions or attempted abortions.

H.R. 36, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which passed the House by a vote of 242 to 184 on May 13, 2015, included language nearly identical to this legislation.


A Congressional Budget Office (CBO) cost estimate is currently unavailable.

Additional Information

For questions or further information please contact Jerry White with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 5-0190.