Rep. Kat Cammack, the youngest Republican woman in Congress, is urging lawmakers to join her in supporting a bill that would protect newborns from infanticide.
On Monday, the Florida congresswoman announced plans to file a discharge petition April 14 to force a vote on the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. House Republican Whip Steve Scalise, of Louisiana, and U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Missouri, joined her.
“The right to life is the most sacred, inalienable human right afforded to us in the United States,” Cammack said in a statement. “I urge my colleagues to stand up for what is right in putting an end to the dangerous, immoral abortion practices that take place daily in our country.”
Cammack has a very personal reason for opposing abortion. Her mother chose life for her even though doctors and her own family pressured her to have an abortion. Now, Cammack wants to ensure that other babies have the same chance at life that she did.
The Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act would require that a baby who is born alive after a failed or attempted abortion receives the same medical care as any other newborn. It would penalize doctors who allow infants to die or who intentionally kill a newborn following a failed abortion.
Republicans in Congress have been trying to pass the legislation for years, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democrats who control the U.S. House have blocked it almost 80 times.
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A discharge petition allows any member of Congress to move legislation from committee to the House floor when the party controlling Congress refuses to allow a vote on it. For the bill to be voted on, the petition needs 218 signatures from members of Congress. Republicans currently hold 213 seats in the House, and all are expected to sign the petition.
Wagner, the primary sponsor of the bill, slammed Pelosi for refusing to protect innocent newborns. She urged every member of Congress to support their petition.
“I will not stop working until this legislation becomes law, so newborns have a chance at life when they are at their most vulnerable,” Wagner said. “For too long, Nancy Pelosi has blocked my common-sense legislation that protects the innocent lives of children born alive. We must take a stand and tell her the American people want the Born-Alive Act passed and signed into law.”
Babies do survive abortions, though no one is sure exactly how many. In America, most states do not keep track of abortion survivors, but a few do.
Between 2016 and 2018, three states reported 40 babies were born alive after botched abortions. According to the state health data, 11 babies were born alive in Minnesota, 10 in Arizona and 19 in Florida. Texas reported six babies were born alive in botched abortions in 2019. In Michigan, state health reports from 2008 through 2013 indicate that 11 babies were born alive after abortions.
Reports from other countries prove that babies survive abortions, too, and legal protections for them are needed. In Canada, the Canadian Institute of Health Information reported 766 late-term, live-birth abortions over a five-year period in 2018. And in Australia, the country’s health minister admitted that 27 babies survived abortions in the state of Western Australia between 1999 and 2016. A report out of Ireland in the fall also suggests babies are surviving abortions and being left to die there.
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 likely are more.
A recent report by Tessa Longbons, a research associate at Charlotte Lozier Institute, SBA List’s research arm, shows that protections for babies who survive abortions are inconsistent across the United States, with fewer than half of states maintaining sufficient protections.