Pro-Life Congresswoman Files Petition to Force Nancy Pelosi to Hold Vote on Bill to Stop Infanticide

National   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Apr 14, 2021   |   12:47PM   |   Washington, DC

Pro-life Congresswoman Kat Cammack wants the U.S. House to vote on a critical piece of legislation that would protect newborn babies who survive abortions from infanticide.

On Wednesday, the Florida representative filed a discharge petition that would force House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to bring the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act to the floor for a vote. 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. “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, and I look forward to working with Republicans in Congress and everyone who stands for life in moving this bill forward toward a floor vote this Congress.”

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 House members. Republicans currently hold 213 seats in the House, and all are expected to sign the petition.

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 born at the same gestational age. It would punish doctors who allow an infant to die or intentionally kill a newborn following a failed abortion.

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Republicans in Congress have been trying to pass the legislation for years, but Democrats who control the House have blocked it almost 80 times.

Wagner, the primary sponsor of the bill, said Pelosi has stopped a vote on the legislation for far too long. 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 commonsense 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.”

Jeanne Mancini, president of March for Life, told that she strongly supports the discharge petition:

“We strongly support the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act and applaud Whip Scalise and Congresswomen Cammack and Wagner for bringing forward the Born Alive discharge petition as well as those Representatives who have signed on. This is a common-sense bill that would require medical professionals to provide the most basic, necessary care for babies who have survived failed abortions – something that, disturbingly, some elected officials have pledged to oppose. CDC data shows that at least 143 babies were in fact born alive after a failed abortion between 2003-2014. These infants deserve equal protection under the law and Americans deserve to know where their representatives stand on this bill which is inspired by basic compassion and human dignity.”

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.

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.

Scalise blamed radical Democrats for continuing to block the legislation, saying support for the bill should be common sense.

“Why are House Democrats refusing to allow a vote on this commonsense legislation that will save lives? The Born-Alive Act deserves a vote on the House floor. The American people deserve to know where their representatives stand on taking steps to end infanticide,” he said.

National polling shows Americans — including many who are “pro-choice” on abortion — oppose abortions up to birth and infanticide.

A recent report from the Charlotte Lozier Institute shows that protections for babies who survive abortions are inconsistent across the United States, with fewer than half of states maintaining sufficient protections.