The Senate is planning to vote on the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, introduced by Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) and cosponsored by 49 Republicans. This legislation would require that appropriate medical care be given to any child who survives an attempted abortion and would establish criminal penalties for health care practitioners that violate this requirement and a civil right of action to enforce the law (the mother of a child born alive may not be prosecuted).
This bill comes at a time when several states have recently passed or proposed laws to legalize abortion up until birth. In an interview with KTOP News, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam even said that it would be acceptable to kill an innocent baby after birth if it is what the mother wanted. According to Gov. Northam:
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.
It is unconscionable that under current law a health care practitioner is unaccountable for refusing to give proper care to a baby born alive. Whether they believe in abortion or not, health care practitioners must do everything in their power to save a life after it is born.
In her report on defending life, research associate in the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation Melanie Israel provides a helpful background and summary on the bill:
In 2002, President Bush signed legislation that extended legal protection to infants born alive at any stage of development, including after an abortion. However, as the disturbing case of Kermit Gosnell has shown, babies continue to be born alive and then killed after attempted abortions or are purposely delivered alive and left to die. The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act augments the 2002 law by providing for criminal consequences for health care providers who violate the law and requires that proper medical care be given by the health care practitioner present if an infant is born alive.
While Congress must do everything in its power to limit abortion, especially late-term abortions when the child is capable of pain, this bill is about protecting the life of a child that has been born. Even members of Congress who believe in abortion should see the wisdom in supporting a bill that saves a child’s life after a failed abortion attempt.
Israel concludes in her report: “In a civilized society, treating a baby born alive after an abortion with the same care that any other newborn baby would receive should not be controversial.” It is stunning this piece of legislation isn’t law already.
The Heritage Foundation: The Necessity of the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act
The Heritage Foundation: Defending Life: Opportunities for the 115th Congress
The Daily Signal: Democrats’ Radical Push on Abortion Will Backfire
Youtube: Virginia Governor on Abortion: Infant Would be Resuscitated if that is What the Mother and the Family Desired
National Review: Why a Ban on Infanticide Is Necessary
Public Discourse: It Is Never Necessary to Intentionally Kill a Fetal Human Being to Save a Woman’s Life