Senate Again Rejects Bill Requiring Care for Babies Who Survive Abortion

AP Photo/Ibrahim Usta
AP Photo/Ibrahim Usta

The Senate again rejected the “Born-Alive” legislation, which would require babies who survive an abortion to receive the same level of care as newborns of the exact gestational age.

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) attempted to add the measure to the budget resolution bill on Thursday evening.

Democrats Sens. Joe Manchin (WV) and Bob Casey (PA) joined Republicans in the 52-48 vote to advance the bill, but the measure still failed to reach the necessary 60-vote threshold:

“Protecting newborns ought to be the easiest thing in the world,” Sasse stated after the vote, as Catholic News Agency reported. “Every baby deserves care. This isn’t about abortion; it’s about human rights.”

Chairman of the Senate Pro-Life Caucus, Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT), tweeted the failure of the vote is “chilling.”

“This isn’t healthcare, this is infanticide,” he added:

“As the Democrats well know, this is not an abortion bill,” Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, said in a statement sent to Breitbart News. “It is a life-saving bill that deals only with the newborn and has nothing to do with the baby’s mother. Nevertheless, Democrats continue to show their support for infanticide”:

While the left frequently uses talking points that state the Born-Alive Act is not “necessary” because Congress already passed the 2002 Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, or because infanticide is already illegal under homicide laws, Patrina Mosley, Family Research Council’s director of Life, Culture, and Women’s Advocacy, addressed the issue in February 2020:

Congress did pass the 2002 Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, but that was only a definitional change stating that all infants who survive abortion are full persons under the law. It neither required any medical care for infants born-alive nor included a provision for prosecuting anyone who failed to provide care.

Mosley also referred to the murder conviction of Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell to make another point about homicide law:

Under current homicide law, there is a distinction between active and passive killing. Active killing is what happened with Pennsylvania abortionist Kermit Gosnell, when he snipped the necks and spines of infants who were, according to him, “big enough to walk him to the bus stop.” Eyewitnesses who worked with Texas abortionist Douglas Karpen testified that he regularly killed babies born alive by snipping their spinal cords, fatally injuring them with blows to the soft spot on their heads, and twisting their necks.

Gosnell was convicted on three counts of murder under Pennsylvania homicide statue that included prosecutions for infanticide.

“But what about an abortionist that simply leaves the infant to die?” Mosley asked. “The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act would require an active duty physician to treat a child that needs help when he or she is born alive after an abortion. If you kill that child you will have committed murder. At present, if you leave the child to die, you’re not guilty of anything.”

Melanie Israel, research associate at the Heritage Foundation, also noted in February 2019 that current federal policy is not sufficient to protect babies who survive a botched abortion.

The 2002 Born-Alive Act “clarifies for purposes of federal law that ‘every infant … who is born alive at any stage of development’ is a ‘person,’ regardless of the circumstances—including induced abortion—surrounding birth,” Israel observed. “But it does not specify the obligations surrounding duty of care for such infants.”

In February 2019, the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List sponsored a poll conducted by McLaughlin & Associates that found 77 percent of Americans support legislation that would ensure babies who survive abortions would be administered the same medical treatment as would any infant born prematurely at the same age.

That outcome included 75 percent of independent voters and 70 percent of Democrats.

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