On Friday, House Democrats blocked the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, a bill designed to protect babies who survive botched abortion procedures, according to the Daily Caller.
Sponsored by Republican Reps. Greg Walden (OR) and Ann Wagner (MO), the legislation had unanimous support from members of the GOP caucus, while only three Democrats — Collin Peterson (MN), Ben McAdams (UT), and Dan Lipinski (IL) — supported the measure.
The vote came several days after a similar bill put forward in the Senate by Nebraska Republican Ben Sasse failed to garner the necessary votes.
“This week the American people have watched cynical politicians in the Senate and House vote against protecting newborns,” Sasse said, according to the Daily Caller. “Politicians can turn their backs on these babies, but they can’t say they don’t know what’s at stake.”
While it is not a terribly common occurrence, babies do sometimes survive abortion procedures that are meant to end their lives. Musician and motivational speaker Gianna Jessen is among those who have survived a botched late-term abortion, something about which she has testified before Congress.
Jessen told lawmakers that the only reason she is alive today is that a nurse opted not to finish her off after she was born, though the failed procedure did leave her with cerebral palsy and lasting cognitive and physical disabilities.
“Thankfully, the abortionist was not at work yet. Had he been there, he would have ended my life with strangulation, suffocation, or leaving me there to die. Instead, a nurse called an ambulance and I was rushed to a hospital,” she said.
Democrats’ chilling stance
The debate over the appropriate treatment for babies born alive during failed abortion procedures gained national prominence last year when Gov. Ralph Northam (D) of Virginia made statements during a radio interview that many viewed as an effective endorsement of infanticide.
Northam was discussing a bill by Virginia Democratic State. Rep Kathy Tran that was to eliminate restrictions on late-term abortions, including those performed up until the time of birth. When Northam, a pediatric neurosurgeon by training, was asked what would happen if a woman who was already in labor wanted to abort, the governor gave a chilling reply.
“If a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen. 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 desired. And then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother,” Northam stated, according to USA Today.
While Northam attempted to claim that late-term abortions only occur in cases where a child has “severe deformities” or is “non-viable,” a 2013 report from the Guttmacher Institute found that most abortions performed after 20 weeks are chosen for personal or financial reasons.
Following the defeat of the House and Senate measures, Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of pro-life advocacy group Susan B. Anthony List, opined, “Americans of all political stripes are disgusted by [the Democrats’] extreme, inhumane position and we are confident that will be reflected at the ballot box this November.” Time will tell whether she is right.