The two new Republican members of U.S. Congress made it a top priority to protect newborns from infanticide after they were sworn in to office Tuesday.
U.S. Rep. Tom Tiffany, of Wisconsin, and U.S. Rep. Mike Garcia, of California, took their oaths of office after winning special elections in their states this spring. Both are Republicans who are committed to protecting the right to life.
Soon after being sworn in, Tiffany and Garcia signed a discharge petition to force Democrat leaders to bring the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act up for a vote. Democrats, led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have blocked the anti-infanticide bill nearly 100 times within the past year.
The pro-life legislation would stop infanticide by requiring abortion workers to provide basic medical care for babies who survive abortions. It would punish abortionists who allow babies to die without care.
With Tiffany and Garcia, the petition now has 205 names. It needs 218 to force a floor vote in the House. Tiffany’s signature replaces that of former pro-life Congressman Sean Duffy, who resigned last year after his unborn daughter was diagnosed with special needs. Garcia’s name adds to the total. He won a seat previously held by a pro-abortion Democrat lawmaker.
Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, congratulated the two new House members and thanked them for their support of the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act.
“Wisconsin Rep. Tom Tiffany (R-7) and California Rep. Mike Garcia (R-25) were sworn in today and made it one of their first priorities to sign the discharge petition to get the Democrats to bring the Born-Alive bill up for a vote. With their signatures, we are just 13 short of reaching the needed 218 signatures,” Pavone said. “I thank them for their commitment to life.”
Pavone pointed out that Garcia’s win is particularly important because it represents the first time Republicans have retaken a Democrat-held seat in California since 1998.
“This is good news as we look to reclaim the House from the pro-death Democrats who are not even courageous enough to vote on a bill that would save the lives of babies who survive abortion,” Pavone said.
U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner is the lead sponsor of the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. The bill ensures that a baby born alive after a failed or attempted abortion receives the same medical care as any other newborn. It also would penalize doctors who allow infants to die or who intentionally kill a newborn following a failed abortion.
Democrat leaders’ continued blocking of a vote on the bill comes as national polling shows Americans — including people who are “pro-choice” on abortion — oppose abortion up to birth and infanticide.
Though babies’ survivals have been called “imaginary” and protections for them unnecessary, state health data indicates that at least 40 babies were born alive after botched abortions between 2016 and 2018.
The 40 known abortion survivors were documented in just three states, meaning their likely are many more. According to the state health data, 11 babies were born alive after botched abortions in Minnesota, 10 in Arizona and 19 in Florida. Most states do not keep track of the number of babies who survive abortions.
Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control, as well as the personal testimonies of nurses and abortion survivors themselves, also provide evidence that babies survive abortions. According to the CDC, at least 143 babies were born alive after botched abortions between 2003 and 2014 in the U.S., though there may be more.
Research by the American Center for Law and Justice estimates the number is much higher, at least 362 between 2001 and 2010.
Despite the strong need for protections for babies who survive abortions, Democrats in the U.S. House and Senate blocked Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act almost 100 times in 2019.
Currently, about 18 states do not have laws to protect abortion survivors from infanticide. Some states never have passed laws to protect abortion survivors, while at least two others, New York and Illinois, repealed their laws requiring medical care for infants who survive abortions.