12/17/2019: A previous version of this column suggested that New York and Illinois permitted abortion beyond the point of birth. The error has been corrected.
We live in strange times when saving the life of a newborn baby is considered controversial. A commonsense, compassionate and overwhelmingly popular bill that protects newborn babies has now gone six months without a vote in Congress.
States like New York and Illinois have shocked the nation this year by expanding abortion up to the point of birth. In January, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D-Va.) described his stance on abortion in an interview: “The infant would be delivered; the infant would be kept comfortable; the infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desire, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.”
In response to this state-level extremism, Rep. Ann Wagner (R-Mo.) introduced the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, legislation to ensure that a baby born alive during a failed abortion receives the same life-sustaining medical care as any other baby born prematurely at the same age.
The compassion and necessity of this bill is plainly obvious. Polling has found that 77 percent of voters — including 75 percent of independents, 70 percent of Democrats and 75 percent of women — want Congress to pass it.
More than six months later, Congress has failed to act. The problem? House Speaker Nancy Pelosi won’t allow a vote. Republican members have gone to the House floor more than 80 times to simply ask for one, and every time, they have been blocked. Some members have even had their microphones shut off before they could finish speaking.
To try to overcome this obstruction, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) filed a discharge petition. If it garners 218 signatures, the full House would be forced to vote on the bill. Just over 200 members have signed, including every House Republicans and only three House Democrats. Over in the Senate, Democrats have also blocked born-alive protections, which need 60 votes to pass.
The fact that this overwhelmingly popular legislation has been stonewalled in both chambers of Congress demonstrates how extreme the Democratic Party has become. They are out of step with the people they claim to represent, to the point of backing hideous abortion measures and blocking commonsense safeguards on the lives of the unborn.
How could anyone turn a deaf ear and a blind eye to the suffering of these vulnerable children? This issue transcends what it means to be an American and goes to the core of what makes us human.
Ted Budd represents North Carolina as a Republican in the United States House. Marjorie Dannenfelser is president of the national pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.