Born Alive Act defeated

By Jeff McCoy

Senate Bill S 130, “The Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act” is simple in its meaning and requirements. The Senate bill was sponsored by Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE). It protects children that are born after an abortion attempt. On it states in part;

“Congress finds the following:

(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.


 “(a) Requirements for health care practitioners.—In the case of an abortion or attempted abortion that results in a child born alive:

“(1) DEGREE OF CARE REQUIRED; IMMEDIATE ADMISSION TO A HOSPITAL.—Any health care practitioner present at the time the child is born alive shall—

“(A) exercise the same degree of professional skill, care, and diligence to preserve the life and health of the child as a reasonably diligent and conscientious health care practitioner would render to any other child born alive at the same gestational age; and

“(B) following the exercise of skill, care, and diligence required under subparagraph (A), ensure that the child born alive is immediately transported and admitted to a hospital.

 “(2) INTENTIONAL KILLING OF CHILD BORN ALIVE.—Whoever intentionally performs or attempts to perform an overt act that kills a child born alive described under subsection (a), shall be punished as under section 1111 of this title for intentionally killing or attempting to kill a human being.”

Basically, the bill would require medical personnel to provide the same life-saving procedures given to any other human being. However, 42 Democrats and 2 independent senators voted against the bill causing it to fail.

Born alive babies have been an issue for years. Many pro-choice supporters claim that it is just a figment of pro-lifer’s imagination. Mona Charen, a columnist for in 2008 wrote in her column, after appearing on TV as a guest where the issue was hotly debated –

“The denial goes very deep. Any number of e-mailers expressed their contemptuous certainty that “born alive” infants were an invention of pro-life activists. OK, enter “abortion survivors” into your browser and see what you get. Or, if you prefer a traditional media source, consult the Daily Mail in Britain. The Mail has reported that in just the past year 66 infants had been left to die after abortions in Great Britain.”

With New York’s new pro-abortion law and the Virginia governor drawing fire for his statement supporting infanticide, the nation has brought the pro-life pro-choice debate to the forefront, so much so that it may be a deciding factor for voters in 2020. That did not stop the Democrats, including presidential candidates Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) from killing the bill.Every opponent that voted against the bill has received money from Planned Parenthood over the last several years.

Planned Parenthood attacked the bill early and used social media to get their message to the world. Planned Parenthood President Leana Wen twitted “We must call this out for what it is: a direct attack on women’s health and rights.”

The tweet received some support but many people were outraged replying with comments such as;

“Your PR team couldn’t find a good way to spin the #BornAliveAct so they just left the actual name of the legislation out of your tweet! Lol! Smh!”

“I must call your tweet what it is: a lie.”

“We must call this out for what it is: baby killing after birth.”


Some opponents to the bill said that babies do not survive abortions and there were laws on the books already. Melanie Israel, a research associate for the DeVos Center for Religion & Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation wrote in the Daily Signal “That law clarifies that all infants born at any stage of development are in fact “persons” under the law, regardless of the circumstances surrounding their birth—including an attempted abortion. But it does not specify that doctors must provide care for such infants, so in effect, the baby can be left to die after birth without any clear legal consequences.”

Sen. Sasse, while on the floor of the Senate stated “Are we a country that protects babies that are alive, born, outside the womb after having survived a botched abortion? Are we a country that says it’s okay to actively allow that baby to die, which is the current position of federal law.”

He believed the bill couldn’t cause any political risk. “This frankly should be the easiest vote we ever cast in this body.”

Sasse also reinforced what the bill was really about. “This bill has nothing to do with abortion itself. Nothing in this bill changes the slightest letter of Roe v Wade. Nothing touches abortion access in this bill. This bill is about living and breathing babies that are alive outside the womb.”

He spoke of how many people are waiting to adopt a baby stating that there were no unwanted babies. “Deep down each of us of us knows that every member of our human family ought to be protected and deserves to be cherished and loved. And the love we see every day in the eyes of moms and dads for their newborn babies is an inescapable reminder of that most fundamental truth that love is stronger than power,” Sasse said.

Those that voted against the bill wereTammy Baldwin (D-WI), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Tom Carper (D-DE), Chris Coons (D-DE), Catherine Cortez-Masto (D-NV), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Angus King (I-ME), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Ed Markey (D-MA), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Patty Murray (D-WA), Gary Peters (D-MI), Jack Reed (D-RI), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Tina Smith (D-MN), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Jon Tester (D-MT), Tom Udall (D-NM), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Mark Warner (D-VA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Ron Wyden (D-OR).

Staff reporter Jeff McCoy can be reached

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