The senate voted on the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act today. It was a bill that would have required medical care for babies who survive failed abortion attempts.
This bill should not be controversial. It should have 100 votes.
It didn’t need 100 though. It needed 60. And the bill couldn’t even get that. In a heavily partisan issue, the bill failed, receiving only 53 votes.
We see how polarizing this issue has gotten. When a bill that protects a baby born after a failed abortion can’t even pass the senate. A similar bill unanimously passed in 2002 and was signed into law by George W. Bush.
But the new law, sponsored by Ben Sasse (R-NE) was more clear in how it spelled out the steps doctors would be required to take in the event of a live birth.
Some have tried to distract from the issue, talking of how rarely that event happens.
But it does happen.
Kermit Gosnell was an abortion doctor in Philadelphia who was convicted of first degree murder and involuntary manslaughter for killing seven babies who were born alive in his abortion clinic.
And with more and more states push the time period further back when an abortion is legal, while simultaneously expanding the scope of who can perform abortions, it’s bound to happen more often.
The new legislation also seems to be a response to Virginia governor Ralph Northam who made comments in a radio interview last month talking about live birth in an attempted abortion. Northam said:
The infant would be delivered; the infant would be kept comfortable; the infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desire, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.
Many in our congress are so afraid to stand up, to have been the appearance of any type of restrictions on abortion that they’re basically taking an anything goes approach.
One of the senators from my home state, Sherrod Brown (D-OH) said, “politicians don’t really have a place in there.”
They don’t have a place in there when it comes to protecting the life of a born alive human being?
Planned Parenthood released a statement saying the bill “is not based in science or reality.”
The bill is very short. It says things like:
(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.
(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.
It’s a pretty straightforward bill. It also mandated that medical care professionals would have to “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.”
Planned Parenthood argues that this is meant to limit rights. But the bill was talking about a child that has already been born. Planned Parenthood’s statement talked about this legislation being “a direct attack on women’s health and rights.”
At what point is trying to protect a baby about the life and rights of the baby? This bill has nothing to do with women’s rights. Several states allow late term abortions for any reason. Numbers get thrown around about how small that percentage is of overall abortions. That may be, but when it’s a small percentage of a big number, it still adds up. There’s roughly 1-million abortions annually in America.
All this bill is trying to do is mandate medical care for a baby that’s born alive.
All of the democratic senators who are running for president voted against this bill: Kamala Harris (CA), Cory Booker (NJ), Kirsten Gillibrand (NY), Amy Klobuchar (MN), Elizabeth Warren (MA), and Sherrod Brown (OH).
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Josh Benner has a Master of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He has served churches in Minnesota and Illinois. He enjoys writing about faith and culture. He lives with his wife Kari in St. Louis.