The March for Life aims to foster a culture where abortion becomes “unthinkable.” To that end, Jeanne Mancini, president of the group that sponsors the annual pro-life march in Washington each January, says it will work to draw the public’s attention to the proposed Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act.
The legislation stipulates that if a baby survives an attempted abortion and draws breath, the abortionist or clinic would be required to take the baby to a hospital, rather than leaving it in a closet to die, as happened in one well-documented case.
“Determining the proper treatment is for medical professionals to decide, not politicians in Congress,” Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., said in arguing against the bill in the House. Only three Senate Democrats voted in favor of the bill when it came up for a vote in late February.
March organizers hope the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act will be reintroduced in the next session of Congress.
Pro-lifers’ concern for these unwanted babies “is such a contrast” with the attitudes of pro-abortion legislators, said Tom McClusky, the March for Life’s vice president of government affairs.
“This isn’t even an abortion issue,” he said. “This is a baby, born alive after an abortion. It’s just amazing, in this day and age, that people don’t understand this is actually an issue.”
McClusky said that the March for Life, held each January to demonstrate disapproval of the Jan. 22, 1973, Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion nationwide, is “supportive of any [law] that changes the culture” to protect life.
Mancini and McClusky also announced that the speakers at next month’s March for Life on Jan. 24 in Washington, D.C., will include Louisiana state Sen.-elect Katrina Jackson, a black Democrat. As a state representative, she authored Louisiana’s Unsafe Abortion Protection Act, which would require abortionists to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles.
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The Louisiana Legislature enacted the Unsafe Abortion Protection Act in 2014, and the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the law in 2018. But in February, the Supreme Court temporarily blocked the law from taking effect, and the justices are expected to hear the case next month.
Also speaking will be Republican U.S. Reps. Ann Wagner of Missouri and Chris Smith of New Jersey, sponsors of the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act; and abortion survivors Melissa Ohden and Claire Culwell.
Despite the efforts of the March for Life, Mancini said, she doubts Americans will see an end to abortion anytime soon.
“I’m a little bit less hopeful that that’s in our immediate future,” she said, but “we will work ardently day in and day out to change both the law and hearts and minds until that happens.”
Mancini said she finds hope in the enthusiasm of young people who participate in the March for Life.
“It’s always incredibly inspiring to get to a few days before the March for Life and see all the young people come in. That’s always an incredibly moving and beautiful experience,” she said.
LifeNews Note: Jackson Elliott writes for The Daily Signal, where this column originally appeared.