This vote was to condemn infanticide and protect babies born alive after botched abortions.
The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, introduced by Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., is not a difficult bill to read and understand. Unlike the thousand-page omnibus spending bills Congress frequently passes with bipartisan support, this bill is only seven pages long. It states that Congress finds: 1) “If an abortion results in the live birth of an infant, the infant is a legal person for all purposes under the laws of the United States, and entitled to all the protections of such laws”; and 2) “Any infant born alive after an abortion or within a hospital, clinic, or other facility has the same claim to the protection of the law that would arise for any newborn, or for any person who comes to a hospital, clinic, or other facility for screening and treatment or otherwise becomes a patient within its care.”
In other words, the government should treat babies born alive like human beings and require doctors to give them medical care. But that’s not what happens in America.
According to Americans United for Life, 19 states give no protections to babies who survive abortions. Reviewing data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Charlotte Lozier Institute found that “nationwide, between 2003 and 2014 at least 143 babies died after being born alive during botched abortions,” a number the CDC admits could be an underestimate. This is immoral.
Under Sasse’s proposal, a doctor present when a child is born alive after a failed abortion shall “exercise the same degree of professional skill, care, and diligence to preserve the life and health of the child as a reasonably diligent and conscientious health care practitioner would render to any other child born alive at the same gestational age.” The baby would have to be taken to a hospital for further care, instead of being left to die on a table. The penalty for failing to follow the law would be at least five years’ imprisonment. Additionally, the intentional killing of a child born alive would be prosecuted as murder.
The bill has a mandatory reporting requirement, so people working at an abortion facility would be required to report if and when an abortionist does not work to save the life of a baby born alive. The bill also gives a mother the legal right to sue if her baby is born alive and the abortionist let the child die.
This should not have been a hard vote. But Democrats opposed the bill by lying and mischaracterizing this legislation as an attack on abortion. This bill has nothing to do with abortion. This is not a debate over when life begins in the womb, or even a law that curtails late-term abortion. It is simply a bill that protects babies after they have been born.
In a sad day for America. Sasse’s bill failed to break a filibuster in the United States Senate, and most Senate Democrats went on the record defending infanticide in America.
The U.S. Senate voted to block the Born-Alive Survivors Protection Act on February 25, 2019, at 5:42 p.m. in a roll call vote of 53 – 44.
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CR position: YES
Cortez Masto (D-NV)
Van Hollen (D-MD)