Last week, the abortion debate broke wide open following radical abortion bills in New York and Virginia, and Gov. Ralph Northam (D-Va.)’s remarks supporting infanticide. On Monday, Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) requested a unanimous voice vote for the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, since all right-thinking Americans should defend babies born alive. Democrats blocked the bill. Since the 2020 Democratic presidential primary has already begun, candidates vying to lead the party should make their positions on infanticide clear.
Notably, Sasse shamed the four 2020 Democratic candidates in the Senate, quoting their soaring campaign rhetoric about helping the helpless and giving opportunity to everyone.
“One hundred United States senators are going to have an opportunity to unanimously say the most basic thing imaginable: and that is that it’s wrong to kill a little newborn baby,” Sasse declared on Monday. “Politicians come to this floor every single day and talk about how they care for the poorest, or the weakest, or the most marginalized members of our society.”
He quoted Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.): “The people in our society who are most often targeted by predators are also most often the voiceless and vulnerable.” Sasse replied: “Amen to that.”
The senator next quoted Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), who said he seeks to “build a country where no one is forgotten, and no one is left behind.” To this, Sasse again said, “Amen to that.”
Next came Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). “No matter where you live in America … no matter where you live in America, you deserve a path to opportunity,” Warren had declared. Again Sasse repeated, “Amen to that.”
Finally, he quoted Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), who said she would “fight for other people’s kids as hard as I would fight for my own.” One last time, he said, “And yet again, amen.”
Tonight @BenSasse noted that @KamalaHarris, @CoryBooker, @Ewarren, & @SenGillibrand all launched 2020 campaigns by saying they'd defend the vulnerable. Then @SenateDems blocked an infanticide ban. Someone should ask those candidates where they stand. https://t.co/p3UIwq9t7s pic.twitter.com/ON1oj8sKhN
— James Wegmann (@jameswegmann) February 5, 2019
“But, sadly, in the last week, these beautiful and inspiring words have been choked out by ugliness and the cruelty from another public official,” Sasse declared.
He referenced Gov. Northam’s remarks last Wednesday. Northam had responded to the public outcry over a radical abortion bill he supported. Delegate Kathy Tran (D-Springfield) had testified that under the new bill, abortion would be legal until the beginning of labor so long as one doctor — even just the abortionist — testified that carrying the baby to term would damage a woman’s life or health.
Under current Virginia law, late-term abortions require the approval of three doctors who must certify that the pregnancy would “substantially and irremediably” damage the woman’s life or health. Tran’s bill would strike the “substantially and irremediably” language.
Yet in defending the bill, Northam went even further. He explained that, if a baby survives a late-term abortion, the baby would be “kept comfortable” while the parents and the doctor discussed whether or not to “resuscitate” the infant.
As Sasse put it, “Governor Northam endorsed infanticide.” Rather than backing down, the governor stood by his remarks last week, accusing his opponents of interpreting his words in “bad faith.”
“He was literally talking about allowing space and time for a discussion about infanticide,” Sasse explained. “No euphemisms. No weasel-words. Infants could be kept comfortable and resuscitated. And also, baby girls left cold and alone to die.”
“This isn’t about clumps of cells. This is fourth-trimester abortion. That’s actually what we’re talking about here tonight,” the senator continued.
Even so, the Senate could not pass the bill by voice vote. Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) objected to the motion, claiming there are already laws against infanticide.
“This is a gross misinterpretation of the actual language of the bill that is being asked to be considered and, therefore, I object,” Murray said, LifeSiteNews reported.
Congress passed, and President George W. Bush signed, a Born-Alive Infant Protection Act in 2002. Sasse’s bill would go further, penalizing doctors who do not attempt to provide medical care to an infant born alive after an abortion with up to five years in prison. It also requires that such an infant must be transferred to a hospital. It gives the protections for infants real teeth.
Two Republicans from Murray’s state, Reps. Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.) and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), condemned Murray’s actions.
“It doesn’t matter how they have entered this world; providing medical care for babies who have just been born is a human rights issue,” Newhouse said. “I am deeply disappointed that the U.S. Senate – and senator from Washington state – could not come to unanimous agreement to approve legislation to require medical care for newborn children.”
“It’s heartbreaking that extreme party politics just superseded the principle of basic human dignity,” McMorris Rodgers said. “I urge Democrats in the Senate who blocked the Born Alive Abortion [Survivors] Protection Act to take a step back, look at the science, and consider what this means. It should be unthinkable to end the life of a living baby.”
While Sasse’s bill failed on Monday night, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has supported the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act as well, and it’s likely to make its way back to the Senate floor. Sen.s Booker, Gillibrand, Harris, and Warren will have to make their positions clear at some point.
Democrats running to lead the party against Trump in 2020 should make their positions clear on this critical issue.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.