A Republican senator today introduced the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act — legislation protecting babies who survive abortions.
The bill would amend existing U.S. law 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.”
Senator Ben Sasse, a Nebraska Republican, is behind the legislation and told LifeNews why the bill is needed. he is joined by 37 of his colleagues.
“Everybody loves babies and that love has nothing to do with politics and everything to do with just having a heart,” said Sasse. “This legislation is an opportunity for Congress to find consensus built on common sense, compassion, science, and a simple fact: every baby deserves a fighting chance at life. Providing care for newborns is more important than partisan political divides. Every baby has dignity – every baby deserves protection and love.”
Sasse’s bill, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, would protect newborns that survive abortions by requiring appropriate care and admission to a hospital.
The legislation requires that, when an abortion results in the live birth of an infant, health care practitioners must exercise the same degree of professional skill and care to protect the newborn as would be offered to any other child born alive at the same gestational age. It also requires that the living child, after appropriate care has been given, be immediately transported and admitted to a hospital. Currently federal law does not adequately protect a born child who survives an abortion.
Last year, the House of Representatives voted to approved he Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act on a strong margin. However, with Democrats now controlling the House, the legislation is unlikely to get a hearing or vote. All Republicans voted for final passage, but only six Democrats voted in favor of it.
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The legislation would strengthen enforcement of existing law, such as the 2002 Born Alive Infants Protection Act. The House passed a version of the bill in 2015 but it did not make progress in the Senate.
Cosponsors of the legislation include Senators Barrasso, Blackburn, Blunt, Boozman, Braun, Burr, Cassidy, Cornyn, Cotton, Cramer, Crapo, Cruz, Daines, Ernst, Fischer, Graham, Grassley, Hawley, Hoeven, Hyde-Smith, Inhofe, Isakson, Johnson, Kennedy, Lankford, McConnell, Moran, Perdue, Portman, Risch, Roberts, Rounds, Rubio, Scott, Thune, Tillis, Wicker, and Young.
Previosuly, the House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives, which Senator Marsha Blackburn chaired, found in their final report in January 2017 that abortion providers could be using techniques that resulted in infants born alive during abortion.
They wrote that, according to documents obtained in their investigation, many researchers want tissue from late-gestation infants “untainted by feticidal agents.”
They concluded in their report that “abortion providers may modify abortion procedures, in apparent violation of the law, to increase the odds of getting an intact infant cadaver (e.g., increase the number of laminaria placed in a patient’s cervix to achieve greater dilation). Clearly, these factors increase the likelihood that unborn infants are born alive during late second-trimester abortions, and raise the question whether these infants’ civil rights are recognized by abortion providers.”
Blackburn told LifeNews: “Because of our steadfast work, the Department of Justice has taken up the four federal criminal referrals, and the FBI has taken up the eleven state criminal referrals. The DOJ will look into the sale of fetal tissue and baby body parts from organizations like Planned Parenthood, and ensure proper judicial action is taken.”
Though abortion advocates sometimes deny it, babies are born alive after failed abortion attempts. Nurse Jill Stanek became a nationally-known figure after she testified to Congress about finding a baby who was born alive after a botched abortion and left to die at a Chicago-area hospital.
Stanek’s experience shocked and horrified millions of people, and her testimony helped to pass the Born Alive Infants Protection Act under President George W. Bush.
In February 2016, LifeNews reported a baby was born alive after a botched abortion at a late-term abortion facility in Phoenix, Arizona. The baby later died at the hospital.
A 911 audio file, obtained by NBC 11 in Arizona, confirmed that the abortion clinic staff saw the 21-week baby was alive and breathing before it died. Reports did not indicate whether the baby was a boy or girl.
One of the nurses said she saw the baby move more than 10 minutes after it was taken from the womb, according to KPNX 12 News. When the nurse took the baby to weigh it on a scale, she said she saw it move and struggle to breath. “Oh my God, this fetus is moving,” she said, according to police.
LifeNews has documented dozens of cases of babies who were miraculously born alive after failed abortions. Melissa Ohden, Gianna Jessen and Claire Culwell are just a few examples. The three women are strong pro-life advocates who speak across the country about how their lives are valuable, even though they almost were killed in the womb by abortionists.
In March 2016, Ohden shared her story during a U.S. Senate Judiciary hearing, and urged lawmakers to support the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act.
The national pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List) released the following statement in response:
“Justice and compassion took a great leap forward today,” said SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser. “We thank Leader McCarthy and our allies in the House for holding a timely vote on this crucial bill, as hundreds of thousands of pro-life Americans rally at Congress’ doorstep. We urge the Senate follow their colleagues’ lead and pass the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act as well as the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would end cruel late-term abortions after five months of pregnancy.”
Ohden, who survived a saline abortion in 1977, and Stanek were present for the vote.
Stanek said, “Horrific crimes are taking place in abortion facilities around the country. Children born alive are denied medical care and left to die – cold, alone, abandoned and discarded like medical waste. This is infanticide, plain and simple. Everyone should be able to agree on equal protection under the law for these children.”