Today, the House of Representatives voted for H.R. 3504 to add criminal penalties to the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, legislation to ensure babies born alive after failed abortions are given equal protection under the law. The idea behind the bill is to protect babies born alive from Planned Parenthood harvesting them and their body parts for sale.
While Republicans who voted unanimously supported the legislation only 5 Democrats mustered enough political courage and moral fortitude to stand behind the pro-life legislation. Reps. Matt Cartwright, Henry Cuellar, James Langevin, Dan Lipinski, and Collin Peterson were the only Democrats voting for the measure today.
NRLC Legislative Director Douglas Johnson commented, “The 177 House Democrats who voted against the bill will have many opportunities to try to explain why they voted against making it a crime for an abortionist to snip the spine of a born-alive baby, or to harvest that baby’s liver while her heart still beats.”
Marjorie Dannenfelser of the Susan B. Anthony List also noticed how so few Democrats were willing to stand with babies who survive abortions.
“The votes this afternoon are evidence of just how wedded to the idea of abortion on-demand, at any time, for any reason, that the Democratic Party has become. Only five Democrats – five out of 188 – could bring themselves to vote to protect a baby who survived a failed abortion. Where is the compassion and concern for ‘the little guy,’ the abortion survivor, whose heart is beating and alive?” she asked.
“Last week in the House Judiciary Committee hearing, we heard from two beautiful women – Melissa Ohden and Gianna Jessen – who survived the abortion procedure as infants. Their contributions to their families, communities, and our country are meaningful. Those who fail to stand up for these women and those like them are not leaders,” Dannenfelser added.
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The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act severely penalizes abortion practitioners who violate federal law by killing innocent children who are born during failed abortion procedures. The provisions of the bill directly address concerns raised throughout the House Judiciary Committee’s ongoing investigation into Planned Parenthood. Under this bill, if a born-alive child is cut open for its body parts, or some other overt act is taken to kill the child, the punishment is that for first-degree murder, which can include life in prison or the death penalty.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and the Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice Chairman Trent Franks said they were proud to support the legislation:
“Today the House of Representatives made a strong statement for children who have no voice in the face of atrocities committed by abortionists. This legislation sends a strong message to those who are in the horrific business of abortions that there are real consequences for those who would kill or abandon children after they are outside a mother’s womb. Today’s debate is a somber reminder of the horrors of abortion, and the atrocities that abortionists like Kermit Gosnell can inflict on babies.
“We are proud that this bill also addresses a primary issue within the House Judiciary Committee’s investigation into Planned Parenthood. At the heart of Planned Parenthood’s alleged activities is the harvesting of fetal body parts for profit. This bill severely punishes those abortion practitioners who would kill an innocent baby in order to harvest baby parts.
“We wish to thank our colleagues for supporting this important piece of legislation for the unborn.”