Democrat Senators Oppose Bill to Stop Infanticide, Say Letting Babies Die is a “Woman’s Decision”

National   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Feb 24, 2020   |   5:28PM   |   Washington, DC

Two top New Hampshire Democrats recently criticized legislation to protect newborn babies from infanticide as U.S. Senate prepares to vote on the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act.

U.S. Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan plan to vote no Tuesday on the pro-life measure and a second bill to prohibit abortions after 20 weeks when strong scientific evidence indicates unborn babies can feel pain, New Boston Post reports.

Polls show strong public support for the pro-life legislation, but Democrat lawmakers are expected to block them anyway.

In a statement last week, Shaheen, who is up for re-election, defended late-term abortions and dismissed the need to protect babies who survive them.

“These bills are part of a decades-long effort to chip away at women’s reproductive rights and eventually overturn Roe v. Wade,” she said. “Women’s health care decisions should be made with their families and doctors, not by Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell or New Hampshire Republican leaders.”

Hassan joined Shaheen in criticizing the bills, claiming women should be allowed to decide whether to have a late-term abortion and whether the baby, if he/she survives, should receive basic medical care.

“Women are equal members of society who are more than capable of making their own reproductive, health, and life decisions — and they don’t need President Donald Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, or anyone else to make complex and difficult decisions for them,” Hassan said.

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The senators argued that infanticide is already illegal, so the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act is not necessary.

“… this legislation would do nothing but add medical uncertainty into the laws that are already on the books that outlaw infanticide,” they said in a joint statement, WMUR 9 News reports.

Contrary to their claims, the legislation is necessary to protect newborns from infanticide by neglect and to enforce the protections by punishing doctors who refuse to provide basic medical care.

The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, sponsored by U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Nebraska, requires that a baby born alive during an abortion must be given the same degree of medical care that any other baby born at the same gestational age would, including transportation to a hospital.

The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, sponsored by U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, would prohibit abortions after 20 weeks when strong scientific evidence indicates unborn babies can feel pain.

There are more than 12,000 abortions annually after 20 weeks of pregnancy, according to the Guttmacher Institute, the research arm of the abortion lobby. If passed, the two laws could save tens of thousands of babies’ lives.

Hassan claimed these laws would “pull us backward,” and Shaheen claimed they would “demonize women’s rights and imprison doctors.” But most Americans disagree.

A 2019 Marist poll found that 71% of Americans support banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, except to save the life of the mother. Only 18% think abortion should be allowed until birth.

Similarly, a 2019 Gallup poll found 60% of respondents said abortion should be legal in “only a few circumstances” (39%) or “illegal in all circumstances” (21%).

Though Republicans are in the majority in the U.S. Senate, both pieces of legislation will require a 60-vote threshold because pro-abortion Democrats are likely to filibuster both of them. The votes on ending the filibuster would give Americans another indication of just how radical three of the leading Democrats running for president are on abortion — U.S. Sens. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar. None of them are expected to vote to end the filibuster and allow votes on either common-sense bill.

ACTION: Click here to contact your senators to support these bills.