Forty-One Senators Say 'No' to Protecting Abortion Survivors

Feb 26, 2020

Late Tuesday, 41 U.S. Senators voted to block the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act from being brought to a final vote on the Senate floor. In a 56-41 vote, the bill failed to receive the needed three-fifths majority, or 60 senators, to overcome a Democrat-led filibuster. This leaves open loopholes that allow medical staff to abuse and kill newborn babies in 35 states, with zero fear of legal consequences. Four more votes would have overcome the filibuster, which would have allowed a vote on the bill that would have easily passed. But, 41 Senators did not want to allow the up or down vote on this bill that bans infanticide.

The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, sponsored by Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE), ensures that any infant who survives an attempted abortion is a legal person and will be treated with the same human dignity, respect, and treatment as any baby born after an attempted live birth. The bill also states that anyone who intentionally performs or attempts to perform an overt act that kills a child born alive shall be punished for intentionally killing or attempting to kill a human being.

Senator Sasse, along with 50 cosponsors, sponsored this bill which provides legal protection to babies who survive attempted abortions. In regard to denying medical care to an abortion survivor, Senator Sasse says, “We all know that denying care to the most vulnerable among us is barbaric, and this body ought to be able to stand 100-0 against that barbarism. It’s inhumane, and it’s passive infanticide and the Senate should today condemn and prohibit that practice.”

Testimony in the U.S. Senate clearly demonstrated the newborn babies are being neglected, abused, and killed through current loopholes—but 41 senators chose to actively fight against closing these loopholes.

More than 30,000 medical professionals from the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American College of Pediatricians, Christian Medical & Dental Associations, Catholic Medical Association and Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, support the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act and state, “There is no scientific or legal reason to distinguish between human beings born after an attempted abortion and human beings born after attempted live birth. In cases where the mother’s life actually is in danger in the latter half of pregnancy, there is not time for an abortion... We can, and do, save the life of the mother through delivery of an intact infant in a hospital where both the mother and her newborn can receive the care that they need. There is no medical reason to intentionally kill that fetal human being.”

Abortion survivors are not “hypothetical.” The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that at least 143 babies were born alive after an attempted abortion between 2003 and 2014—a number derived from only the eight states that report this information. What’s more, during the preliminary criminal hearing for Liberty Counsel’s client Sandra Merritt, the undercover journalist who exposed Planned Parenthood’s trade in baby body parts, an expert in stem cell research testified that various studies involving baby human hearts had to have been  conducted while the hearts were still beating when cut out. In other words, the babies had to have been born alive.

Tuesday, the Senate also failed to overcome a filibuster (53-44) of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (S 3275), which makes it illegal to abort an unborn child after the time at which the child can feel pain, which science currently estimates is at 20 weeks.

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