Pro-Abortion Democrats Block Senate Passage of Both the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” and the “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act”

WASHINGTON – Although a majority of U.S. Senators voted to invoke cloture today, they did not meet the needed 60 votes to move forward on the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” (S. 3275) and the “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act” (S. 311) largely because of nearly unanimous Democratic opposition.

The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is sponsored by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act is sponsored by Senator Ben Sasse (R-Neb.). 

“We thank Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senator Lindsey Graham, Senator Ben Sasse and our other pro-life allies in the Senate who dedicated their time and energy to these life-saving bills,” said Jennifer Popik, J.D., legislative director for National Right to Life. 

The Trump Administration released a Statement of Administration Policy (SAP) strongly supporting the bills and stating that President Trump would sign into law both pieces of legislation, 

Our most helpless Americans cannot protect themselves from pain or from those who would callously allow them to die. The government, therefore, has a compelling responsibility to defend the rights and interests of these babies, including to be free from excruciating or unnecessary pain. All babies have the same dignity. They should not have to endure pain, and they should receive critical life-saving care regardless of whether they are born in a hospital, at home, or in an abortion clinic.

The final tally was 53-44 in favor of cloture on the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” with 2 Democrats voting in the affirmative and 56-41 in favor of cloture on the “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act” with 3 Democrats joining their Republican colleagues.

“These bills would have protected very developed, living unborn children who can feel pain and those babies who are born alive following an abortion who are often allowed to die from neglect,” said National Right to Life President Carol Tobias.

Tobias continued, “Tragically, pro-abortion Democrats in the Senate are beholden to pro-abortion groups. Shame on pro-abortion Democrats for not being willing to even protect living babies that survive abortion or to protect late-term babies who feel the excruciating pain of abortion. Their constituents will want to know why they are willing to allow these horrors to continue.”

Since 2010, National Right to Life and its state affiliates have led the effort to protect pain-capable unborn children, starting with enactment of model legislation in Nebraska. Sixteen states have enacted the National Right to Life model legislation, and the law is currently in effect in 15. The legislation has previously passed the U.S. House of Representatives and has garnered a majority of votes in the U.S. Senate.

The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act contains 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. This language does not dictate bona fide medical judgments nor require futile measures, but rather, requires that babies born alive during abortions are treated in the same manner as those who are spontaneously born prematurely.

“Babies born after an abortion are considered separate individuals in the eyes of the law and every effort should be made to preserve their lives,” Popik said. “Babies capable of feeling pain are considered by the medical profession to be a ‘second patient’ and should be treated in the law as the pain-capable human beings that they are.”