WASHINGTON – With a vote of 52-48, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act failed as an amendment to the 2021 Budget Resolution in the Senate. All Senate Republicans, along with Democratic Senators Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Bob Casey, Jr. (D-Pa.), voted in favor of the amendment.
Forty-eight Senate Democrats blocked the amendment, which required 60 votes to pass.
“This vote shows just how extreme the majority of Senate Democrats are,” said Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life. “This bill is not about abortion but pro-abortion groups and their allies in the Senate have tried to make it about abortion.”
Tobias continued, “There is no such thing as a ‘post-birth abortion.’ Allowing a child to die after birth is infanticide.”
The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act requires that, when a baby is born alive following an abortion, health care practitioners must exercise the same degree of professional skill and care that would be offered to any other child born alive at the same gestational age. It also requires that, following appropriate care, health care workers must transport the child immediately to a hospital.
Current federal law does not sufficiently protect a child born following an abortion.
“Any Senator who opposed this legislation should be ashamed,” said Tobias. “After surviving the violence of abortion, these newborn babies should be given the chance to survive.”
In 2002, Congress enacted the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act. Under this law, babies who are born alive, whether before or after “viability,” are recognized as full legal persons under federal law.
The 2002 Born-Alive Infants Protection Act became law without a single dissenting vote. Since then, the legal landscape has changed. There is evidence that some abortion providers, despite the clear language of the statute, do not regard babies born alive during abortions as persons. As a result, they do not provide babies born alive with the same appropriate care that would be provided to premature infants of the same gestational age.
In comments before the vote, Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) referenced abortionist Kermit Gosnell who was convicted in 2013 of three counts of murder in the deaths of three newborn babies. Senator Durbin’s reference was intended to “prove” that the law already addresses these issues.
“Senator Durbin’s comments regarding convicted abortionist Kermit Gosnell were disingenuous,” said Tobias. “Kermit Gosnell was discovered not because he was killing babies born alive but because law enforcement was conducting a raid on Gosnell who was suspected of selling prescriptions for narcotics.”
In their report in the Gosnell case, the Grand Jury observed, “Gosnell had a simple solution for the unwanted babies he delivered: he killed them…He called it ‘ensuring fetal demise.’” It is estimated that Gosnell killed hundreds of babies who were born alive by cutting their spinal cords.