Senate Democrats failed to protect babies from infanticide when they are born alive following botched abortions.
"Despite opposition and setbacks, despite some strange rhetoric about this bill over the course of the last week, I am hopeful in the long term."
— Senator Ben Sasse (@SenSasse) February 26, 2019
Democrat Sens. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Doug Jones of Alabama, and Joe Manchin of West Virginia voted with Republicans in favor of the bill.
Sen. Susan Collins of Maine — a pro-choice Republican — also voted in favor of the legislation, while Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska — also pro-choice — did not vote.
Also not voting on the measure were Republicans Kevin Cramer of North Dakota and Tim Scott of South Carolina.
“The extremism of the Democrats can no longer be ignored or debated,” said Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, reacting to the vote. He added:
As Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor today, this bill merely recognizes that a newborn baby is a newborn baby, no matter what the circumstances were of his or her birth. For the Democrats, a newborn slated for extermination before birth is fair game even after birth. This is infanticide. The only thing Americans can do to protect these most vulnerable babies is to vote out of office those who fail to protect them.
Introduced by Republican Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska, the legislation ensures any infant born alive after an abortion would be provided with medical care just as any other newborn.
In an op-ed at Fox News Monday, Sasse asserted:
Let’s speak plainly: This is barbaric. The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act would do nothing more than require that health care providers offer to a baby who survives an abortion the same level of medical care they would give to any other baby at the same gestational age.
“If my colleagues can’t say that it’s wrong to leave a living, breathing baby, cold and alone on a table, to die of neglect, then they are not only tacitly endorsing infanticide,” he added. “They are helping to create a society where some people count more than others, and where the vulnerable are always at the mercy of the powerful.”
In a debate on the Senate floor prior to the vote, Sasse called out Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer for falsely stating the bill contained provisions that would restrict the right to abortion.
Infanticide should not be a partisan issue. Every Senator should agree – regardless of party – that a living child should be cared for, not disposed of like medical waste no matter the circumstances of his or her birth.
— Sen. James Lankford (@SenatorLankford) February 22, 2019
Republicans such as Sen. Deb Fischer of Nebraska and Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst said Democrats who claim the Born-Alive bill interferes in women’s decisions about abortion are failing to accurately portray the legislation.
Ernst called upon all senators to “categorically reject infanticide.”
This assault on human dignity cannot stand. On Monday, the #Senate will vote to outlaw killing a child after it’s been born. I hope to see all of my colleagues support this common sense effort. https://t.co/70kaG1Gfa2
— Joni Ernst (@SenJoniErnst) February 24, 2019
It's astounding to me that as a nation we even have to vote to stop born babies from being killed. I urge my colleagues to respect the dignity of life and to vote for this bill.
— Steve Daines (@SteveDaines) February 25, 2019
Dr. Leana Wen, president of Planned Parenthood, praised the Democrats who blocked the bill, claiming they were fighting against “lies and misinformation.”
“We must call out today’s vote for what it is: a direct attack on women’s health and rights,” Wen said.
At @PPFA, we will always fight lies and misinformation designed to restrict patients’ health and rights, including the right to safe, legal abortion. Thank you to the pro-reproductive health Senators who blocked this bill. #ProtectProviders
Our full statement: pic.twitter.com/qZ4KkFKPbN
— Leana Wen, M.D. (@DrLeanaWen) February 25, 2019
Politicians are trying to criminalize abortion providers to advance their agenda to ban all abortion.
Sasse’s bill aims to do just that.
— Planned Parenthood Action (@PPact) February 25, 2019
Consistent with the abortion lobby, Democrat senators attempted to characterize the bill as one that would block a woman’s right to choose abortion, rather than one that would require medical treatment for an infant born alive after a failed abortion.
Hawaii Democrat Sen. Mazie Hirono called the legislation “a bill in search of a problem.”
Sen. Tina Smith of Minnesota — a former Planned Parenthood executive — and other Democrat senators continued the claim that most third-trimester abortions are performed only in cases of “severe fetal abnormalities” or “serious risks to the woman’s health.” That claim, however, is not supported by abortionists themselves.
Additionally, a study released in 2013 by the pro-abortion rights Guttmacher Institute found that women who were seeking both first-trimester and later-term abortions provided the same reasons for delaying their abortions, including “not knowing about the pregnancy,” “trouble deciding about the abortion,” and “disagreeing about the abortion with the man involved.”
The study found that “most women seeking later terminations are not doing so for reasons of fetal anomaly or life endangerment.”
The measure failed on the same day a Marist poll revealed recent legislation to make abortion a fundamental right and allow the procedure even moments before birth has led to a “sudden and dramatic shift” toward the pro-life position.
The poll found a double-digit shift, with Americans now as likely to identify as pro-life (47 percent) as pro-choice (47 percent), since a similar Marist poll conducted in January. In addition, pro-life Democrats alone have shifted from 20 to 34 percent, an outcome that shows more than one-third of Democrats now identify as pro-life.
The survey also found that 80 percent of Americans would like abortion limited to, at most, the first three months of pregnancy, which is an increase of five points since the January poll. This outcome includes 65 percent of those who identify as pro-choice and strong majorities of Democrats (64 percent), Republicans (92 percent), and independents (83 percent).
“Current proposals that promote late-term abortion have reset the landscape and language on abortion in a pronounced – and very measurable – way,” Marist Poll Director Barbara Carvalho said in a press release, adding:
The recent legal changes to late-term abortion and the debate which followed have not gone unnoticed by the general public … there has been a significant increase in the proportion of Americans who see themselves as pro-life and an equally notable decline in those who describe themselves as pro-choice.
Lila Rose, president of pro-life organization Live Action, observed the new poll results in light of the Senate vote on the Born-Alive bill and said, “Democrats can’t even find consensus to limit abortion after a child is born.”
Live Action Condemns Senate Democrats Failure to Pass the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act
— Live Action (@LiveAction) February 26, 2019
“Shockingly, infanticide in the context of abortion is not illegal in the U.S,” she continued. “There is no existing federal law that prohibits the denial of medical care to infants born alive after abortion attempts.”
Rose said the Born-Alive legislation “would have appropriately required that infants delivered alive during attempted abortion procedures be given appropriate medical care and penalized those who neglected to save them.”