In a shocking move on Feb. 25, nearly every Democratic senator voted against requiring that medical care be provided to babies who survive abortions.
All 53 GOP senators and three Democratic senators voted to proceed, while 41 Democrats voted no, meaning the measure fell short of the 60 votes needed for cloture, ending debate.
The bill requires, in part, that medical personnel “exercise the same degree of professional skill, care, and diligence to preserve the life and health of the child [who survives an abortion] as a reasonably diligent and conscientious health care practitioner would render to any other child born alive at the same gestational age.”
The proposed legislation includes some teeth of potential criminal and civil penalties, including up to five years in jail, for health care providers who fail to offer the requisite care.
Republican Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska, who sponsored the bill, rightly observed from the Senate floor prior to the vote, “This ain’t hard stuff people.”
“Every one of us … should be able to say without any hesitation, ‘leaving babies to die is unacceptable,’” Sasse said. “There’s really no debate to be had here, which is why so many people who were planning to speak on the other side, decided not to speak this afternoon.”
In fact, the “Born-Alive Infants Protection Act of 2002” was passed by unanimous consent and also sailed through the House on a voice vote.
That legislation did not specify the penalties for failing to provide the needed care.
CBN News congressional reporter Abigail Robertson pressed Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on why Democrats opposed the legislation, given Sasse’s argument that current law prevents health care providers from killing babies born alive during abortions, but does not address the withholding of care.
“We voted on this before. It was defeated,” Schumer responded concerning the bill.
“There’s a law in 2002 that is on the books, current law, that covers everything Sasse is talking about. It’s a play to the hard right base. The American people don’t support it.”
Well, if the American people don’t support it, why did a majority of senators vote for it, including Democrats Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania and Doug Jones of Alabama?
A poll of 1,000 likely general election voters last February, conducted by the Republican firm McLaughlin & Associates, found that “77 percent of voters support legislation to ensure that a baby who survives a failed abortion be given the same medical treatment as any other baby born prematurely at the same age.”
The survey was commissioned by the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List after New York state enacted legislation that revokes the requirement for medical care for babies who survive abortions.
The poll also came after comments by Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam of Virginia advocating for a similar measure in his state.
Northam said that if a baby were born alive under the provisions of the proposed law, “the infant would be kept comfortable” while a discussion ensued between the mother and her physicians about whether to keep the child alive.
The Susan B. Anthony List’s national campaign chair, Jill Stanek, a former nurse who witnessed babies born alive during an abortion procedure and then left to die, said in a statement provided to The Western Journal, “It is appalling to see Democrats … vote against compassionate, common sense bills, including one that simply requires medical care for born children.”
Concerned Women for America president Penny Nance linked Planned Parenthood to the vote by Democrats.
“It is a very sad day for the unborn, and I pray God’s forgiveness over our country. Planned Parenthood and abortion extremists’ death grip have once again prevailed through the Democrat party,” Nance said in a statement given to The Western Journal.
“It is unconscionable that Democrats stand on the side of authoritarian regimes like China and North Korea who condone the killing of unborn children until birth and leave unwanted newborns to die. Unfortunately that is where our country’s laws stand today,” she added.
The United States is one of seven countries that allow elective late-term abortions, according to the pro-life Charlotte Lozier Institute.
China, North Korea, Vietnam and Canada have no restrictions on when abortions can be performed during the pregnancy, while the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision bans any state from placing restrictions on abortions until the age of the baby’s viability outside the womb.
The court noted at that time that viability was believed to be around 28 weeks.
Medical technology has advanced since 1973, allowing babies born at 22 weeks to frequently survive.
I distinctly remember sitting in a House Judiciary Committee hearing on banning partial-birth (i.e. late term) abortion in the summer of 1995, while working as an intern on Capitol Hill.
One of the Democrats on the committee pushed then-Chairman Henry Hyde concerning under what provision of the Constitution could such a ban could be enacted.
Former President Ronald Reagan powerfully contended in a 1988 pro-life proclamation that America’s gift to the “world is twofold: the declaration, as a cardinal principle of all just law, of the God-given, unalienable rights possessed by every human being; and the example of our determination to secure those rights and to defend them against every challenge through the generations.”
“One of those unalienable rights, as the Declaration of Independence affirms so eloquently, is the right to life. In the 15 years since the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade, however, America’s unborn have been denied their right to life.”
Among the “tragic and unspeakable results,” Reagan said, has been the death of tens of millions of babies.
While Roe v. Wade remains the law of the land, this tragedy will continue.
But now, in our time, Democrats support the “right” to not only kill the unborn, but also the right to allow the born to die.
It’s time to reclaim America’s heritage as a protector of life and remove any politician from office who is not willing to uphold this most sacred right.