The Senate has blocked a bill that would require doctors to “exercise the same degree of professional skill, care and diligence to preserve the life and health” of an infant that has survived an abortion.
The bill fell seven votes short of the needed 60 to pass, making the final vote count 53 in favor and 44 opposed.
Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Doug Jones of Alabama and Bob Casey of Pennsylvania were the only senators to cross the party line to vote in favor of the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act.
All six of the presidential candidates currently in the Senate include Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Kristen Gillibrand of New York, Kamala Harris of California, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Cory Booker of New Jersey and Sherrod Brown of Ohio, along with Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, voted against the bill.
This bill was sponsored by Republican Sen. Ben Sasse (NB) and was co-sponsored by 49 other Republicans. (RELATED: Trump Slams Senate Democrats On ‘Born-Alive Bill’: ‘One Of The Most Shocking Votes In The History Of Congress’)
Democrats are saying this is another attempted attack against a woman’s right to decide what is best for their healthcare. But Sasse and McConnell contested this argument, saying this bill would not remove any healthcare rights or choices for women and that this act was purely for the safety of the newborn child.
But Democrats feel that this bill will have negative long-term effects. The failed bill would have punished physicians for not acting to save the life, or care for the infant after surviving an abortion. And it is this element to the bill that worried some in the Democratic Party. The fear being that it would deter doctors from providing late-term abortion options, even if the mothers health were at risk.
While Republicans remain hopeful that policy around reproductive rights will start to change in the near future, Democrats fear this is an attempt to split the party.