A dramatic walk onto the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives

By Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation

Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) and NRLC President Carol Tobias

It was an undeniably stirring sight—Congressman after Congressman, lining up Tuesday to take a dramatic walk onto the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Led by House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, members of the House walked down the middle aisle to the desk where Scalise became the first to sign a discharge petition for the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Act. In all 193 signed, a very encouraging step to securing the 218 votes necessary to force a vote over the objections of pro-abortion Speaker Nancy Pelosi and almost all House Democrats.

It was nothing short of a “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” moment.

This cinematic-like legislative move was necessary because of the stunning obstinance of radical Democrats, who are preventing the common sense bill from coming up for a vote on the House floor.

Supporters of the bill are simply trying to ensure that babies born alive during abortions are guaranteed equal care. It seems self-evident that these infants deserve equal protection, and yet, time and time again, extremist pro-abortion Democrats are blocking a vote on what amounts to preventing infanticide.

It was with mixed emotions that I viewed the proceedings. On one hand, I was encouraged that so many Congressmen and Congresswomen were willing to take a literal “stand” on the discharge petition. But on the other hand, how as a country have we come to the point where such a stand is needed?

I trace it all back to Roe v. Wade, the tragic U.S. Supreme Court ruling which legalized abortion back in 1973. The court decision has led to a callous disregard for innocent human life. If your heart is not wrenched by the thought of a newborn baby being denied medical care after birth, where is your humanity?

Lost on the altar of Roe it would seem.

Last week, I contacted my Congressman, urging him to sign the discharge petition. I encourage others to do the same, since the petition can remain open for the entire Congress. The discharge petition is absolutely critical to enable the Republican minority to do an end-run around the pro-abortion leadership that is stopping a vote on the bill.

When I mention the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Act to people, they question why the legislation is even necessary. It does not take me long to come up with a response. After all, I live in Pennsylvania, where abortionist Kermit Gosnell plied his grisly trade. He is believed to have killed hundreds of newborns, but prosecutors could only bring charges in a handful of cases, because he destroyed so many records. Gosnell is now serving consecutive life terms in prison for the murder of three babies, along with the death of female patient Karnamaya Mongar.

Then we have the New York nightmare, where pro-abortion Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) signed a so-called “Reproductive Health Act.” This insidious piece of legislation not only legalized abortion up until birth, the RHA eliminated legal protections for babies born alive during abortions.

Add to that the Virginia fiasco, where Gov. Ralph Northam (D) said a baby born during an abortion should only be made “comfortable” until a decision could be made for the baby’s fate. It is inconceivable that politicians would speak this way but, after all, that is what Roe has wrought.

So cheers to the brave Congressmen and Congresswomen who signed the discharge petition…jeers to those who are blocking the legislative path. And heaven help us as a nation if we cannot unquestionably and passionately defend the lives of those already born.