Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse this week introduced the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which would require abortion doctors to immediately provide and seek continued care for infants born alive after failed late-term abortion attempts. Several Senators have signed on as cosponsors, including former Presidential candidates Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Lindsey Graham, and John McCain. The bill is the companion to HR37, currently under consideration in the House and sponsored by Arizona representative Trent Franks, long considered one of the most consistent and outspoken pro-life advocates in Congress.
Franks previously sponsored similar legislation in 2015 which passed on a virtual party-line vote of 248-177. Five Democrats (Cartwright – PA, Cuellar – TX, Langevin – RI, Lipinski – IL, Peterson – MN) crossed the aisle to join in support with all 243 Republican representatives, but the companion bill put forth in the Senate never emerged from committee. President Obama made very clear at the time his intention to veto the bill if it ever passed.
“Every baby deserves care and the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act is a rare opportunity to find common ground and protect newborns … I’m grateful that the House passed this legislation last Congress and I look forward to working with my Senate colleagues to put this on the President’s desk this Congress.” – Sen. Ben Sasse statement from a Jan. 24 press release
Democrats have blasted previous efforts at this legislation as unnecessary political grandstanding, claiming that current law provides for the same protections and that live births are extremely rare. But ample evidence (as in instances here, here, and here, as well as hundreds of others) proves those claims to be untrue.
The bill currently being considered goes beyond the 2002 Born Alive Infant Protection Act – which provided legal status to infants surviving abortion attempts – in requiring “Any health care practitioner present at the time the child is born alive” to follow up by having the child admitted to a hospital for care, as well as holding any such practitioner liable for failing to provide adequate care, should the mother pursue civil litigation.
The fact that either of these acts is necessary is of course a terrible indictment on our society as a whole, but with full Republican control of Congress and a President who has thus far shown to be much more favorable to the cause than many worried during the election season, hopefully the 2017 version will sail unfettered in to the law books.