Republican Senators Introduce Bill to Protect Babies Who Survive Abortions

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 1, 2023   |   4:52PM   |   Washington, DC

Republican senators have introduced a bill to protect babies who survive abortions and their bill comes just after House Republicans approved their version of the measure.

Senators James Lankford (R-OK) and John Thune (R-SD) today introduced the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, legislation that protects infants who survive an attempted abortion to ensure they receive the same care as any other newborn. The House of Representatives passed its version of the Born-Alive Survivors Protection Act on January 11, by a vote of 220 to 210.

“Every life is valuable—born or unborn,” said Lankford. “It shouldn’t be controversial to say that the small number of children who survive an attempted abortion and are living outside their mother’s womb, deserve to receive care. Protecting life should not be a partisan issue; it should be an American issue and a human rights issue. I am proud to introduce this bill and to speak up for the children who cannot speak for themselves. A baby crying outside the womb should be cared for, not destroyed.”

“Babies who are born alive during a botched abortion should be given the same basic medical care that would be afforded to any other newborn,” said Thune. “This common-sense bill is a basic standard of decency, and it is an issue that should have overwhelming bipartisan support. I’m proud to lead this effort in the Senate against the injustices of abortion and infanticide, and I will continue to fight until we can ensure that every child is protected.”

Earier this month, Republicans approved the common sense bill on a 220-210 vote with all Republicans voting for the pro-life bill and all Democrats but two voting for infanticide. Three GOP members ere absent, Rep. Vicente González voted present and pro-life Democrat Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas voted for the bill.

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The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act requires that, when a baby is born alive following an abortion, health care practitioners must exercise the same degree of professional skill and care that would be offered to any other child born alive at the same gestational age. It also requires that, following appropriate care, health care workers must transport the living child immediately to a hospital.

Current federal law does not sufficiently protect a child born following an abortion.

In addition, the bill applies the existing penalties of 18 U.S.C. Sec. 1111 (the federal murder statute) to anyone who performs “an overt act that kills a child born alive.” Further, the bill provides a civil cause of action to women who are harmed by violations of the act.

Abortion data from just seven states show babies continue to be born alive in botched abortions every year across the United States. Most states do not keep track of the number of babies who survive abortions, and the few that do provide little information about whether the babies received care, survived or were abandoned to die. LifeNews examined abortion data from seven states between 2020 and 2022 and found reports of 34 babies who were born alive in botched abortions.

Sadly, Senate Democrats will lilely not allow a vote on the bill.

House Democrats refused a vote on the bill 80 times — reading the same statement they read the previous 79 occasions that claims there is no bipartisan agreement to bring the bill up for a vote. Despite the claim, Republican leaders have repeatedly asked Pelosi and top Democrats to reach an agreement for the bill to receive a vote. Democrats also blocked the bill twice in the Senate.

National polling shows Americans — including people who are “pro-choice” on abortion — oppose abortion up to birth and infanticide. And doctors indicate abortions are never needed to protect a woman’s health and women admit having abortions on healthy babies.

Leading pro-life groups thanked Republicans for approving the bill.

“Our government’s most sacred duty is to safeguard the right to life for all Americans born and unborn,” said Hon. Marilyn Musgrave, Cice President of Government Affairs for Susan B. Anthony Pro-life America. “At an absolute minimum, legislators should be able to agree that children who are born alive during a failed abortion deserve protections. In fact, 76 percent of Americans agree. We thank Senators Thune and Lankford and their colleagues for recognizing the important role the federal government has in protecting these babies, and we urge members on both sides of the aisle to join in supporting this commonsense bill against infanticide.”

“National Right to Life commends Sens. Thune and Lankford for introducing the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act,” said Carol Tobias, President of National Right to Life. “This reasonable legislation would protect a baby born alive following an abortion. This bill isn’t about interfering with a so-called right to abortion. It is about stopping infanticide. Following Dobbs v. Jackson, several states are moving not only to fully legalize abortion up to the moment of birth but also going to great lengths to insulate abortion providers from even the most basic scrutiny. Against this backdrop, there is renewed urgency to pass the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act and protect these vulnerable babies.”

“Every baby born alive is a person and deserves to be protected. Babies should be greeted with the warmth of a thermal cap, not a cold operation table,” said Tony Perkins, President of Family Research Council. “I applaud Senator James Lankford and Senate Republican Whip John Thune for their leadership in promoting legislation that protects infants that survive failed abortions.”

“Senators Lankford and Thune should be commended for introducing the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which protects babies from infanticide by ensuring that infants who survive botched abortion attempts receive life-saving medical care and establishing criminal consequences for abortion providers who fail to give born-alive babies appropriate medical care and a chance at life,” said Jessica Anderson, Executive Director of Heritage Action. “Without clear enforcement provisions for these abortion providers, survivors could be left vulnerable and neglected, especially in so-called abortion sanctuary states, as both state and federal data confirm that babies can and often do survive abortion attempts. Heritage Action encourages all senators to endorse the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act as the first of many initiatives from the 118th Congress to protect life.”

“Every single child, born and unborn, is made in the image of God and deserves the utmost legal protection,” said Herbert M. Newell IV, President and Executive Director of Lifeline Children’s Services. “Unfortunately, current law does not adequately protect those who survive attempted abortions. The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act would require life-saving medical care for the babies who survive an abortion, as well as criminally penalizing the abortionist for failing to provide medical care to born alive infants. The measure of a society rests on how we treat the least of these, and we must prioritize medical professionalism and care for these precious little ones.”

“The extremism of the Democratic party leadership and the abortion lobby in opposing an end to infanticide shows how out of step they are with most Americans,” said Kristan Hawkins, President of Students for Life Action. “It’s inhumane to stand by while children are allowed to die even as they survive an abortion, and we have the voices of those who have survived that horrific gauntlet allowing us to see the life and death stakes. This is long overdue and represents a place to begin in this new year, and the pro-life generation calls on Congress to finally end this human rights atrocity. Ending infanticide should be a place of bipartisan agreement.”

“Senators Thune and Lankford are courageous defenders of life,” said Melissa Ohden, Founder and CEO of the Abortion Survivor’s Network. “They are again demonstrating their leadership by introducing legislation that would ensure infants like me and countless others are guaranteed medical care and legal protections when abortions fail and life wins. This legislation, like the bill passed in the House earlier this year, will save lives, but our work continues. The Abortion Survivors Network is committed to serving survivors of abortion at any gestational age, along with their mothers, who deserve compassionate prenatal and postpartum care, a delivery plan, and emotional support. Let us work together to ensure that infant survivors and their mothers receive the best medical and emotional care possible. We are proud to stand with Senators Thune and Lankford and their colleagues in strong support of this legislation.”

“Babies have been born alive in abortion clinics; the records speak for themselves throughout our nation,” said Catherine Glenn Foster, President and CEO of Americans United for Life. “Babies will continue to be born alive and left to die if the bill isn’t passed. The Born-Alive Infant Survivors Protection Act is a common sense, lifesaving bill that should be easily passed with bipartisan support. We urge the Senate – Democrat, Republican, and Independent alike – to pass this bill! Americans United for Life is very thankful to Sen. Thune and Sen. Lankford for leading on this very crucial piece of legislation. The question of whether a baby who was born alive should be left to die or protected and cared for under law shouldn’t be up for question in modern day America.”

“We are living at a sad time in history where certain newborn babies are being allowed to die rather than rushed to immediate medical care – simply because that child survives a failed abortion,” said Craig DeRoche, President and CEO of Family Policy Alliance. “This is absolutely unthinkable. We are grateful that Senators James Lankford and John Thune have introduced the Born-Alive Infant Protection Act, which will establish necessary protections for these vulnerable newborns, and we urge its passage in the Senate.”

“The Born-Alive Survivors Protection Act promises to ensure the most basic and fundamental of all human rights,” said Jim Daly, President of Focus on the Family. “No doctor should ever be allowed to turn their back on a helpless child. I applaud Senator Lankford, Senator Thune, and their pro-life Senate colleagues for codifying what should be a matter of common-sense decency, but which is now a basic human right that risks being held hostage by radical leftists committed to the legalization of even infanticide.”

“It is to our nation’s great shame that this bill, requiring medical professionals provide the necessary aid to a dying child, even has to be proposed,” said Brent Leatherwood, President of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. “And, even more so, that it has been done so in successive sessions of Congress without being passed. We speak proudly of how advanced our society is, yet we have not even been able to achieve consensus that medical care should be given to the survivor of an attempt on his or her life by an abortionist. This is an injustice that should have long ago been corrected. In the new post-Roe era we now live, it would be a welcome first step towards establishing a true culture of life in our laws to see this legislation affirmed quickly by overwhelming majorities.”

“On behalf of the over 2 million members of the Faith & Freedom Coalition, I applaud Senators Thune and Lankford for reintroducing the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act,” said Timothy R. Head, Executive Director of the Faith & Freedom Coalition. “This common-sense bill simply requires that a child born alive after an attempted abortion receive appropriate medical treatment and be transferred to a hospital – the same as would be done for any other human being at the same level of development. This bill does not limit access to abortion. It is truly a reasonable and ethical approach to how we, as a nation, should expect that any innocent human beings would be treated in a medical setting.”

“Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act is vital legislation that protect newborns from infanticide,” said Louis Brown, J.D., Executive Director of the Christ Medicus Foundation. “A civil rights bill, this legislation also protects the basic human and civil rights of newborn children and mothers by requiring medical professionals to safeguard the health and human dignity of both mothers and their infant children. Abortion is not health care and should have no place in American society. But this bill is not about abortion, it is about protecting the lives of infant children. It is unconscionable to think that any senator or member of congress could do anything but support this legislation that simply says health care professionals have an ethical and legal obligation to protect the life and health of infant children.”