National Right to Life: 220 House Democrats Vote Against Protecting Babies Born Alive After an Attempted Abortion

WASHINGTON – Today, a Motion to Recommit on the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act failed by a vote of 187-220 in the House of Representatives.

“Once again pro-abortion Democrats in the House have voted against protecting vulnerable newborn babies,” stated Jennifer Popik, J.D., legislative director for National Right to Life. “It is unthinkable that 220 Democrats voted against protecting babies born alive following a failed abortion who can be neglected and allowed to die then discarded as medical waste. Pro-abortion Democrats are complicit in allowing this to continue.”

The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the nationwide federation of state right-to-life organizations, included a vote in favor of this motion on its scorecard of key right-to-life roll calls of the 116th Congress.

In the U.S. Senate on Tuesday, a majority of senators voted in favor of ending a filibuster (‘invoke cloture’) on the Senate version of the bill. However, pro-life senators were unable to secure the necessary 60 votes.

The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act would enact an explicit requirement that a baby born alive during an abortion must be afforded “the same degree” of care that would apply “to any other child born alive at the same gestational age,” including transportation to a hospital.

Evidences have multiplied that some abortion providers do not regard babies born alive during abortions as persons, and do not provide them with the types of care that would be provided to premature infants who are born spontaneously. In some cases, such born-alive infants are even subjected to overt acts of deadly violence. In 2013, Dr. Kermit Gosnell of Philadelphia was convicted under state law of multiple homicides of such born-alive infants, but such a prosecution and conviction is uncommon. In some jurisdictions, local authorities seem reluctant to investigate reports of infants born alive during abortions, or to bring appropriate indictments even in cases in which the publicly reported evidence of gross neglect or overt lethal acts seems strong.

“National Right to Life believes that it is time for Congress to act decisively to put the entire abortion industry on notice that when they treat a born-alive human person as medical waste, as a source for organ harvesting, or as a creature who may be subjected to lethal violence with impunity, they will do so at grave legal peril,” stated Popik. “Pro-abortion Democrats in the House now have to defend their stance to their constituents that a living baby born alive is allowed to die of neglect or, worse, direct action.”