By Dave Andrusko
On Thursday we reposted what I consider the best analysis yet of the vote for infanticide, by which I mean a vote against the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. The in-depth look was provided by Paul Stark of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life and ran under the headline, “Here’s exactly how Minnesota Senator Tina Smith justified her vote for infanticide.”
As you recall on February 25 all but three Democrats voted against moving ahead to vote on the substance of the bill. In so doing they illustrated just how little regard they have not only for babies who survivor the abortionist’s best efforts, but also for the truth.
Minnesota’s two senators, Tina Smith and presidential aspirant Amy Klobuchar, joined 42 of their colleagues in insisting that equal treatment (aka non-discriminatory treatment) of abortion survivors somehow constitutes an attack on “reproductive rights.”
If I may, I’d like to piggyback on three of Paul’s outstanding critiques of Smith’s defense for her “no” vote.
1. In a classic example of the strategy employed by pro-abortion Democrats, Smith talks about a woman whose unborn baby had a devastating anomaly and how to continue the pregnancy would also have threatened her own health. But, under the bill, she could have had the abortion which is why, as Stark astutely observes, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act had nothing to do with the woman’s tragic situation. It would have only if the “baby was born alive.”
Illustrating yet again that the bill does not stop abortions, Stark adds, “In that case, the bill says the child should be treated like other premature infants rather than discriminated against merely because of the circumstances of her birth”—equal treatment.
2. “The rest of Smith’s speech is no better,” Stark writes. Contra Sen. Smith, this is not ” a health care issue” for women. Whose health care is being denied? The abortion survivor! “A woman’s health care doesn’t require the denial of health care to someone else.”
3. The key to the oppositional optics was/is/and always will be to state—as Smith did on the floor of the Senate—that the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act would “compel physicians to provide unnecessary care.” To increase the rhetorical power, they usually they tag on the insistence that this would be “painful” for the baby.
But the bill wouldn’t require “unnecessary care.” The bill “simply says that physicians can’t treat certain babies differently just because their mothers had abortions.”
This is so pivotal. “The bill doesn’t specify the care that is appropriate in any given situation,” Stark reminds us. “Or is Smith suggesting that any care for a baby who survives abortion is ‘unnecessary’?” (Answer? Probably yes.)
Smith moved on to insist that the bill would “override physicians’ professional judgments about what is best for their patients.” Is that true? Of course not!
“It would only do this if physicians’ ‘judgment’ is that they should abandon, neglect, or kill their patients,” as Stark keenly comments.
So, what was (and is) the fight over? Ending discrimination, pure and simple.
As Sen. James Inhofe and Rep. Steve Scalise wrote in a piece for Fox News, “This bill requires medical practitioners—those who have sworn to ‘do no harm’—to exercise equal care to a baby who survives an abortion as any other child and provides criminal penalties for anyone who intentionally kills or denies lifesaving care to a child who is born alive after an abortion.”