If there’s one word to sum up 2019 so far, it’s abortion. Following the passing of the Reproductive Health Act in New York on January 23rd, legislators in the state of Virginia proposed a bill that would allow abortion all the way up until an infant took their first breath. Thankfully, that bill was turned down for the third year in a row, but the focus on abortion is pressing on.
On Monday, the United States Senate voted on an anti-infanticide bill called the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. Proposed by Senator Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), the bill would protect the life of an infant who survives abortion.
The bill stated that “if an abortion results in the live birth of an infant, the infant is a legal person for all purposes under the laws of the United States, and entitled to all the protections of such laws.”
The legislation needed 60 votes to pass, and it failed with a vote of 53 in favor and 44 against.
44 people voted against a bill that would protect the rights of a living, breathing, SURVIVING child.
Senator Sasse’s bill comes 17 years after President George W. Bush signed into law the 2002 Born Alive Infants Protection Act, which established the right to life for any child born alive — even as the result of an abortion — and would be legally considered a “person,” “human being,” “child,” and “individual” under federal law. Although it protected the lives of survivors, the President’s bill does nothing to penalize those who choose not to follow it.
Enter: the 2019 Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. Under Senator Sasse’s proposed bill, abortionists who break the law would be penalized and face punishment for their actions including a fine and/or up to five years in prison.
It would also have allowed for a woman to take legal action against an abortionist who breaks this law, and would require mandatory reporting of violations.
The bill states that any child who accidentally survives an abortion must be treated with “the same degree of professional skill, care, and diligence to preserve the life and health of the child as a reasonably diligent and conscientious health care practitioner would render to any other child born alive at the same gestational age” and would make certain that “the child born alive is immediately transported and admitted to a hospital.”
The Abortion Survivors Network says that the raw data on abortion survivors is difficult to obtain—especially in the U.S. because several states do not record the number of abortions that take place each year, much less the survivors. But, thanks to a number of countries who DO report the incidence of abortion survival, we have some insight to the numbers.
According to a statement on the Network’s website, “A government report in Canada from 2012 reported that 491 children survived abortions there over the nine-year period of 2000-2009. There’s also this report that identifies 766 children survived abortions in the five-year period from 2013-2018. Additionally, there are similar government reports from the U.K. and states in Australia.”
Recent polling conducted by Live Action “indicates that just since radical pro-abortion legislation was signed into law in New York in January, more Americans are identifying as pro-life, including Democrats. Other polling indicates that the vast majority of Americans oppose the killing of children who survive abortions.”
Live Action president Lila Rose responded to the news of Monday’s vote saying, “There is no difference between infanticide and abortion: both kill the same child….”