You might think what my friend wrote is unbelievable. Unfortunately, it is sad but true. To understand this in not “far-right” hysteria or “pro-life” propaganda, one might notice the horrid article “After-birth abortion: why should the baby live?” in the Journal of Medical Ethics (Volume 39, Issue 5).[i]
One reason this is on our minds, in the news, and the subject of opinion pieces this week is because a sufficient number of U.S. Senate Democrats (44) blocked S.311 - Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act on Monday.[ii] In addition, there are the recent comments by Virginia Delegate Kathy Tran and Virginia Governor Ralph “Blackface Klansman” Northam that promoted abortion during labor and letting born infants die.[iii]
From the text of the bill itself: “To amend title 18, United States Code, to prohibit a health care practitioner from failing to exercise the proper degree of care in the case of a child who survives an abortion or attempted abortion…(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.”
What couldn’t vote for that? 44 Democrats, apparently! – 44 Democrats voted against the “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act” (including all six would-be Democratic presidential candidates).[iv] Regardless of how one wants to spin right and left, these facts check out and are not disputable.
Here’s what some others have to say:
- The Age of Infanticide: The Senate Will Not Even Protect Babies Born Alive – “Yesterday’s vote shows the bare teeth of the pro-abortion movement and the death grip it holds upon the modern Democratic Party.”
- Senate Democrats Block Bill to Stop Infanticide and Care for Babies Born Alive After Abortions – “During the debate, several Democrats misled the Senate about the bill and falsely claimed the measure would ban abortions or ban late-term abortions. They made the usual pro-abortion claims that pro-life lawmakers hate women or somehow abortion is women’s health.”
- WALSH: You Can No Longer Be A Decent Person And A Democrat – “The legislation would not restrict abortion at all. It had nothing to do with ‘reproductive rights’ or ‘choice’ or ‘fetuses’ or any handy euphemism. The point was simply to protect those children who are born after a failed abortion.”
- Why Did Senate Democrats Refuse to Protect Infants? – “They believe that unwanted human beings have no moral status, even after birth.”
- 362 Infants Born Alive as Result of Botched Abortions Died in Last Decade – “…how many babies are born alive as a result of botched abortions? How many are left to die or killed? While much of the devastating truth may never be known, what we are able to know is startling. According to the ACLJ’s research and statistics recorded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 362 babies born alive following a botched abortion have died in the last decade.”
And from the left:
- A Republican-backed bill to protect “abortion survivors” just failed. It still matters. “The issue came to the fore earlier this year when Virginia Delegate Kathy Tran said in a committee hearing that a bill she was sponsoring would technically allow abortion when a woman was showing signs of labor.”[v]
Al Mohler points out that opponents of S.311 - Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act argued “that the practice does not exist” and afterward that it was already illegal! He asks, “If it is already illegal, then how would this law do anything to deny a woman’s right to choose?” concluding:
“The opinions against yesterday’s bill look less like rational arguments grounded in reality and more like Alice in Wonderland—lunacy, fantasy, and deep rabbit hole of deadly logic. Words no longer matter as pro-abortion advocates make every desperate, unfounded argument against a pro-life bill imaginable—even a bill that would have protected the life of a baby outside the womb.”
[i] The authors explain that they “call this practice ‘after-birth abortion’, rather than ‘infanticide’” in order to emphasise that the moral status of the individual killed is comparable with that of a fetus (on which ‘abortions’ in the traditional sense are performed) rather than to that of a child. Therefore, we claim that killing a newborn could be ethically permissible in all the circumstances where abortion would be.” They argue that an infant cannot “be considered a ‘person’ in a morally relevant sense.”
[ii] Though the majority of Senators – 50 Republicans and 3 Democrats – favored the bill (I believe two senators did not vote, and one seat remains unfilled). The Senate Bill was first introduced January 24, 2017, and the House Bill was introduced December 21, 2017 and passed in January 2018. This bill passed in the House last year.
[iii] Democratic State Representative of Virginia, Kathy Tran sponsored Virginia House Bill 2491, which would eliminate certain requirements in their current state law. When asked if a woman could request an abortion when she is about to give birth, when she is dilating, Senator Tran responded, “My bill would allow that, yes.” The Governor of Virginia, Ralph Northam (a pediatrician you might not want to use, by the way) spoke in favor of a mother’s right to let her child die after birth. In fairness, both have tried to walk back their comments after they received hard criticisms. Regardless, their walking back of comments will not “walk back” the results of Virginia House Bill 2491 should it be passed by the State Congress and signed by the governor.
[iv] Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren
[v] And yet the bill’s origins precedes Tran’s comments by about two years.