Nineteen times House Democrats have blocked a vote on a bill that would protect babies who survive an abortion.
“It is a shocking reality that the majority party in the people’s House refuses to allow a vote to protect the lives of newborn babies,” Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., chairman of the Republican Study Committee, said in a statement.
This bill simply affords infants born alive during a failed abortion attempt the same care any other newborn would receive. I cannot comprehend how any person could justify standing in the way of these children and the lifesaving care of a physician—but that is the position of today’s Democratic party.
On Thursday, House Democrats yet again blocked a vote on the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which would require medical professionals to give the same medical care to a baby who survives an abortion as they would to any other baby of the same age, and to take the baby to a hospital.
If an abortionist intentionally kills the child who was born alive, he or she would face fines or up to five years in jail, according to a press release from House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La.
Monica Burke, a research assistant in the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation, says the issue shouldn’t be political.
“Providing babies who survive an abortion with proper medical care should not be controversial,” Burke said. “Current law is insufficient to protect these infants. Current law does not stipulate that doctors must provide care for these children, which means that children can be left to die without legal consequences. Taking measures to protect innocent, vulnerable babies with bills like the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act would be a step in the right direction.”
Republicans have been calling for unanimous consent on the born-alive legislation as they attempt to keep the issue publicly alive while they gather signatures for the discharge petition.
The discharge petition strategy, which is rarely successful, requires gathering at least 218 signatures from House members to oblige the chamber’s Democratic leadership to bring the bill to the floor for debate and a vote.
Discharge petitions may be considered on the second and fourth Mondays of the month when the House is in session.
Republicans currently hold 197 seats compared with Democrats’ 235 seats, meaning Republicans would have to acquire 21 signatures from Democrats to force a floor vote.
Rachel del Guidice is a reporter for The Daily Signal. She is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, Forge Leadership Network, and The Heritage Foundation’s Young Leaders Program. Send an email to Rachel.