News & Politics

2020 Democrats Voted Against the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act

Grabien screenshot of CNN's list of potential 2020 Democrat contenders.

On Monday, Democratic senators running for president in 2020 voted against the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, effectively declaring their support for infanticide. The bill failed to gain the 60 votes needed to pass the Senate, as most — but not all — Democrats voted against it.

Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) all voted “no.”

During the debate over the legislation, Democrats argued that it was a smokescreen to attack a woman’s right to an abortion.

Yet the bill would simply “prohibit a health care practitioner from failing to exercise the proper degree of care in the case of a child who survives an abortion or attempted abortion.”

The bill creates specific protections for babies born alive in a botched abortion:

(1) 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.

(2) Any infant born alive after an abortion or within a hospital, clinic, or other facility has the same claim to the protection of the law that would arise for any newborn, or for any person who comes to a hospital, clinic, or other facility for screening and treatment or otherwise becomes a patient within its care.

According to a recent poll, 77 percent of Americans would support a bill to outlaw infanticide or the killing of a baby after birth in an attempted abortion.

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), who introduced the bill, quoted each of these 2020 contenders, quoting their soaring rhetoric as reasons to support the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Act.

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.”

The issue of infanticide emerged with Gov. Northam’s remarks last month. 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.

Northam’s infanticide remarks inspired an old classmate of his to leak the blackface-KKK photo to the media, creating a firestorm for the governor and leading to demands that he resign.

Yet Democrats running for president in 2020 seem not to have learned the message. Americans do not support infanticide, and this position should cost these presidential hopefuls.

Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.