Holder Doesn't Know if Born-Alive Infants Protection Act has Ever Been Enforced

Attorney General Eric Holder told Congress yesterday that he doesn't know if the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, passed during President George W. Bush's first term, has ever been enforced.

During an oversight hearing before the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) brought up the case of Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, who just cut a deal for life in prison after being convicted of three newborn murders.

"I suppose the unique thing about it is is that it's not all that unique. While we might sanitize the clinics and other places, about 18,000 babies a year, 20 weeks or older are aborted in this country. And that's the Guttmacher Institute's quotes and there are about 44,000 abortion survivors living in the country today," Franks said.

"I guess my first question would be along the lines, where is our president on this subject, but unfortunately, I already know that answer. He voted against the Born Alive Infant Protection Acts when he was in his home state several times," the congressman continued. "...So my question to you -- and it's a sincere question, and I hope you take it so -- in 2002, Congress enacted the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, and it provides that all federal protections, including from your office, sir, for persons apply to every infant born alive."

"So will you enforce the infant -- the Born Alive Infant Protection Act as attorney general? And will you consider carefully what's happening in clinics across the country like happened at the clinic that Kermit Gosnell ran?"

"Well, like you, I share the many of the concerns that you talked about. I'm a father. I have three kids. And I am interestingly married to a woman who is an obstetrician, a gynecologist, very accomplished in her field. I have responsibilities as attorney general to enforce all the laws that Congress passes," Holder said.

"Have you ever enforced this law even one time?" Franks asked.

Holder said he didn't know. "We can examine that and see whether the U.S. attorneys -- well, since the law was passed -- you said in 2002?" he asked. "What the -- how many prosecutions there have been under that law?"

"Well, there's been 18,000 opportunities a year since then approximately. So I'm just wondering if you've even even enforced once?" Franks continued.

"I don't know whether there was enforcement during the Bush administration or the Obama administration since the passage of the law in 2002. I just don't know what the statistics are," Holder said.

Franks told the attorney general that "to stand by in silence while the most helpless of all children are tortuously and agonizingly dismembered, day after day after day, year after year, Mr. General, is a -- quite honestly a heartless disgrace that really can't be described by the vocabulary of man."