WASHINGTON – The U.S. Senate today voted 53-44 to advance the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act (S. 130) sponsored by Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), but pro-abortion Democrats, in a near-party-line-vote, blocked the bill from receiving the 60 votes necessary to move forward (“invoke cloture”). The bill would extend federal legal protection to babies who are born alive during an abortion.
“Today we saw the extremism of the abortion industry’s agenda on full display,” said Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life. “The 44 members of the United States Senate who voted against this bill now need to explain to their constituents why they believe abortion is such an absolute ‘right’ that it protects what amounts to infanticide: willfully withholding life-saving care from a born-alive infant.”
Senate action on the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act comes on the heels of controversy in New York and Virginia. In January, the New York legislature passed, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) signed, the so-called “Reproductive Health Act.” Among other provisions, the law repealed protections for infants born alive during an attempted abortion. Previously, New York law stipulated that a second physician be present to care for a child 20 weeks or older born alive during an abortion.
In Virginia, Gov. Ralph Northam (D) waded into the debate over a New York-style measure in the Commonwealth. In a radio interview during the Virginia legislature’s debate over the “repeal bill,” Northam said an infant born alive during an attempted abortion wouldn’t necessarily be entitled to immediate treatment other than being made “comfortable.” His comments touched off a torrent of criticism.
“Thanks to the governors of New York and Virginia, and 44 pro-abortion Democrat Senators, the extreme pro-abortion agenda has been laid bare for all to see,” Tobias added. “They believe it should be legal to kill unborn babies, for absolutely any reason, at any time up to and including the moment of their birth, and even in the moments after they are born.”
Documentation on the history of the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act of 2002 (1 U.S.C. §8) and related issues is available on the NRLC website at: www.nrlc.org/federal/bornaliveinfants