Today, pro-life Republican leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives will hold a hearing on the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, legislation to protect some of the most vulnerable of all Americans — babies who survive abortions.
This year, states like New York and Illinois have pushed a radical expansion of abortion on demand through birth, even going so far as to repeal state laws banning gruesome partial-birth abortions and strip away existing protections for babies born alive. In Virginia, Governor Ralph Northam who is also a physician, coolly described how a child who survives an abortion could be killed or left to die, as though it were completely unremarkable.
In a sensible world, Congress would jump at the chance to achieve a bipartisan victory by passing legislation that saves children’s lives and that 77% of Americans support. Instead, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats have refused more than 80 requests by pro-life Republicans for the House to hold a vote.
To try to overcome this obstruction, Republican Whip Steve Scalise filed a discharge petition, which, if successful, would force a vote by the full House. Just over 200 members have signed, including all the House Republicans. But months later, the petition has stalled, with many “moderate” Democrats nowhere to be found.
Abortion advocates deny that the deadly industry they seek to prop up produces any survivors. Just last week, a Washington Post columnist called the shocking resurgence of infanticide a “phony” issue. However, the Charlotte Lozier Institute’s meticulous review of national and state-level data, which will be presented in testimony to Congress today, proves otherwise.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that, between 2003 and 2014, 143 babies died after being born during failed abortions. The agency itself acknowledges this may only be the tip of the iceberg.
Few states report information on how many babies survive abortions. Even fewer give any indication of what might have happened to those children. However, the limited data available hints at the scope of the problem: In Arizona, 10 babies were reported thus born alive in 2017 alone. In Indiana, 27 such cases were reported over the decade between 2008 and 2018. In Florida, 23 babies were born under such circumstances between 2013 and 2019. In Minnesota, it was 16 babies between 2015 and 2018. In Michigan, it was 84 babies between 1997 and 2018. That makes the grand total from just these five states of least 160 children. If they survived, some of these babies are now old enough to be in grade school or college.
Another favorite (and false) claim of infanticide-denialists is that this heinous practice is already outlawed nationwide. The reality is that about one-third of states leave babies who survive abortions legally unprotected. This year, two states — Texas and Arkansas — enacted stronger laws. Meanwhile, in Montana, North Carolina, and Wisconsin, radical pro-abortion governors vetoed born-alive legislation over the will of their constituents.
Abortion survivors are real and they desperately need Congress to act. We commend Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Whip Scalise, Rep. Liz Cheney, and all those who have fought to end infanticide and kept the pressure on the Democrat-controlled House. Every newborn deserves life-saving medical care, regardless of where in America he or she is born, or how.
LifeNews Note: Marjorie Dannenfelser is president of the national pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List. Tessa Longbons is a research associate with Susan B. Anthony List’s research arm, Charlotte Lozier Institute.