Sen. Sasse Presents Bill Outlawing Infanticide — And One Senate Democrat Moves To Block It

Virginia Kruta Associate Editor
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Democratic Washington Sen. Patty Murray moved to block a measure Monday that would have outlawed infanticide.

The bill, presented by Republican Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse, was titled the “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act” and would have offered medical care and legal protections to infants who survived attempted abortions.

Sasse addressed the topic from the Senate floor Monday evening, calling for unanimous consent and saying, “Frankly, this shouldn’t be hard.” (RELATED: Ben Sasse Is Putting Senators On The Record Over Stance On Infanticide)

Murray objected to the measure, saying that it was unnecessary to move forward since infanticide is already illegal — and her objection prevented the bill from receiving the support Sasse had asked for.

Sasse took up the effort following remarks from embattled Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, who had been speaking in defense of a late-term abortion bill in his home state.

“We are actually talking about babies that have been born. The only debate on the floor tonight is about infanticide. . . . This is about fourth-trimester abortion,” Sasse said Monday. “Everyone in this Senate ought to be able to say that the little baby deserves life, that she has rights, and that killing her is wrong.”

Sasse’s effort is not the first attempt to protect infants who survive late-term abortions, either — and it’s not the first time a Democrat has moved to block the move. In 2002, former President George W. Bush signed a similar measure into law. One year later, Barack Obama voted against an identical bill in the Illinois Senate. In January 2018, H.R.4712 – Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act passed the House.

The push to legalize late-term abortions has hit several states — most notably New York, Virginia and Rhode Island — and has drawn criticism from Republicans, pro-life advocates and even physicians.

Dr. Omar Hamada, a former flight surgeon and theologian who appeared on Fox News to discuss New York’s recently-passed legislation expanding abortion rights, took to Twitter to explain why access to  late-term abortions was not about the health of the mother or the child. “There’s not a single fetal or maternal condition that requires third trimester abortion,” he tweeted. “Not one. Delivery, yes. Abortion, no.”

Former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop offered a similar take in 1980, saying, “Protection of the life of the mother as an excuse for an abortion is a smoke screen. In my 36 years of pediatric surgery, I have never known of one instance where the child had to be aborted to save the mother’s life. If toward the end of the pregnancy complications arise that threaten the mother’s health, the doctor will induce labor or perform a Cesarean section. His intention is to save the life of both the mother and the baby. The baby’s life is never willfully destroyed because the mother’s life is in danger.”

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