Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) blocked the unanimous passage of the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act today. This bill would have required doctors to provide medical care to infants born alive during failed abortion attempts.
This bill was under a unanimous consent vote which passes the U.S. Senate if no senator objects, and individual senators’ positions are not recorded.
Murray objected to the motion claiming that there were already existing laws against infanticide. She said that it was a “gross misinterpretation of the actual language of the bill that is being asked to considered”.
After Murray objected, Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) sadly exclaimed on the Senate floor that this body cannot unanimously condemn murder.
Ernst said, “There is nothing great, there is nothing moral, or even humane about the discussion that we have before us today. Over the past week, we have witnessed the absolutely ugly truth about the far-reaching grasp of the abortion industry and its increasingly radicalized political agenda. Politicians have not only defended aborting a child while a woman is in labor, but have gone so far as to support the termination of a child after his or her birth. A child. A baby. Rationality, decency, and basic human compassion have fallen by the wayside.”
Majority Leader, Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY), referred to the Act to be legislation that should have received an unanimous consent in the Senate. He felt that it is bizarre that voting on this legislation is even necessary (as the sentiment should go without saying). He found it disconcerting that a Democrat Governor just last week was unable to say that newborns have human rights that should be respected.
McConnell is now forced with the decision as to whether to force a roll call vote on the anti-infanticide bill.
Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) brought the vote to the floor after Virginia Government, Ralph Northam (D) made “repugnant” comments about infanticide. Sasse suggested after the objection that he will fight to force a roll call vote.
A subcommittee hearing video went viral in the previous week wherein Democrat Delegate Kathy Tran takes questions about the bill to repeal late-term abortions. When Republican Delegate Todd Gilbert asked how late in the third trimester a physician should perform an abortion and if it includes whether the mother displays the physical signs of labor, Tran’s response was, “I don’t think we have a limit in the bill” and that her bill would allow that.”
Northam preceded to defend Tran’s bill in a radio interview saying that if a mother is in labor, the baby would be delivered and kept comfortable. He/she would be resuscitated, if that is what the family desired, and then the physician and mother would discuss the situation.
At a later date, Northam claimed that he was only referring to a nonviable pregnancy, or in a case where there are severe fetal abnormalities.
Senator Steve Daines (R-MT), who is the chair of the new Senate Pro-Life Caucus, read Northam’s comments on the Senate floor:
“The word ‘evil’ comes to mind,” Daines remarked regarding Northam’s comments. “These comments the governor made pull back the curtain on an extreme and dangerous abortion agenda that shows callous disregard for human life. What the Virginia governor is defending and what these ghoulish abortion-up-to birth laws enable is the free reign of brutal killers like Kermit Gosnell. Babies who survive the violence of an attempted abortion must not be subject to further violence and neglect.”
Daines recollected, “Just a few years ago, the abortion lobby was really clear in its talk about hoping abortion would be…safe, legal, and rare. Now we’re talking about keeping the baby comfortable while the doctors have a debate about infanticide.”
While many democrats feel that babies are unable to survive after abortion, Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) spoke of the story of Gianna Jessen who was a survivor of a late-term abortion- proving that many do survive.
“Providing life saving care to an infant who survives an abortion is an issue that everyone should be able to agree on but that’s not the case in the United States Senate,” said Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council. “Senator Murray went to the floor this evening and blocked a vote on legislation that ensures babies born alive after a failed abortion are treated with the equal care given to babies born at the same gestational age.”
Perkins was very vocal on his stance stating that infanticide was unacceptable in society regardless of your stance on abortion. He further stated that whether the abortion of the baby was due to negligence or intentional, the killing of a live infant even if they survives an abortion is an atrocity.
Sasse Calls It Infanticide
On Thursday, in Sasse’s directions on the Senate floor, he requested that all 100 senators be against infanticide saying that it shouldn’t be “complicated”.
He further clarified that the vote was on fourth-trimester abortion, or “what anyone in the normal world calls ‘infanticide’.”
“We’re talking about killing a baby that’s been born,” Sasse said. “We’re not talking about some euphemism, we’re not talking about a clump of cells. We’re talking about a little baby girl who’s been born and is on a table in a hospital or a medical facility and then a decision or a debate would be had about whether or not you could kill that little baby. We’re talking about the most vulnerable among us and we have a public official in America out there again and again defending a practice. This is infanticide that we’re talking about. This should be so far beyond any political consideration. We’re talking about a little baby. A baby with dignity. An image bearer.”
“Everyone in the Senate ought to be able to say unequivocally that killing that little baby is wrong. This doesn’t take any political courage. And, if you can’t say that, if there’s a member of this body that can’t say that, there may be lots of work you can do in the world but you shouldn’t be here,” Sasse argued. “There should be no politics here that are right vs. left, or Republican vs. Democrat. This is the most basic thing you could be talking about.”
Some speculate that it is unlikely the House version of the bill will be passed with a Democrat controlled House in the event it is voted on.
In 2002, the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act defined babies who survived abortion as human beings entitled to all rights in the U.S. Constitution. It was passed by Democrats and Republicans. The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act was supposed to build on that law.
However, in 2015, only five House Democrats supported the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act.