Democrats in the Senate have once again rejected a bill that would prevent infanticide by making it a felony for a doctor not to provide medical care for infants born alive after botched abortions – including all of the Democratic senators running for U.S. president in 2020.
Senators on Monday voted 53-44 on the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, falling short of a required 60 votes to proceed.
According to The Daily Signal, only three Democrats – Sens. Bob Casey (Pa.), Doug Jones (Ala.), and Joe Manchin (W.Va.) – voted with Republicans in support of the measure.
Senate Democrats rejected a vote on the bill earlier this month. House Democrats have blocked the same bill from being considered for a vote six times as of last week, as MRCTV reported.
It is unclear why Democrats are so against the bill, as it simply seeks to clarify that the law that protects infants and ensures their medical care after birth also protects those who survive failed abortions.
Democrats claim Republicans are using the bill as nothing more than an opportunity to put 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls on the spot about their views on late-term abortion with laws already on the books preventing infanticide. They also argue that the bill would restrict women’s healthcare options and limit doctors’ ability to make judgments for what is best for their patients.
But as The National Review points out:
The born-alive bill can’t possibly be both a meaningless, needless show vote and an effort to punish women and incarcerate their doctors. These arguments are not only fundamentally contradictory, but they also happen to be false.
There is no existing federal law enacting an explicit requirement that newborns delivered in the context of abortion be afforded 'the same degree' of care that 'any other child born alive at the same gestational age' would receive, as this bill would. Only 33 states currently offer some kind of protection for infants born after attempted abortions, and those laws can be repealed; New York’s Reproductive Health Act last month did just that.
The legislation places no restrictions on access to abortion or on the type of abortion a woman can receive, nor does it mandate any particular type of medical care for a born-alive infant — the specifics are left up to the judgment of the physician in each case.
Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and the author of the bill Sen. Ben Sasse (Neb.), say the bill is not controversial and that providing equal and quality care for infants who are born alive after a failed abortion should be a nonpartisan issue.