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Senators Fight To Protect Abortion Survivors

Senators introduced legislation today to protect babies that survive abortions, after a bill to ban abortions after fetuses are 20 weeks old failed to pass.


Senators introduced a bill to protect babies who survive abortion. The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act would require doctors to take the same amount of life-saving measures for infants who survive an abortion as they would with any other newborn baby, including hospitalization and appropriate care. Senator Ben Sasse (R-Nebraska) and 20 other senators co-sponsored the bill, which is identical to another bill the House passed last week.

The bill was proposed in the wake of the defeat of a 20-week abortion ban, which Senate Democrats and two Republicans voted to block today. Though the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act received a majority of support, the final tally of 54 votes in favor and 42 against was still six votes short of the 60 required to pass.

Federal efforts to ban abortions on infants older than 20 weeks were introduced after the trial of Kermit Gosnell, a convicted murderer who snipped the necks of hundreds of babies that were born alive after a botched abortion. The House passed a bill banning late-term abortions on the second anniversary of Gosnell’s conviction. Currently, 43 states ban abortions after a certain period of pregnancy. Twenty-two have a similar 20-week ban in place.

The Daily Signal published a video yesterday detailing what life looks like inside the womb at 18 weeks, just two weeks short of what a baby would look like at 20 weeks, at which point he or she would be legally protected from abortion were the ban to take effect.

Although babies born prematurely can have difficulties surviving, it is indeed possible. Jonni Ernst shared the story of Micah Pickering, who was born at 20 weeks and is now three years old.

The two shared a high-five afterwards.

While the Survivor Protection Act wouldn’t stop abortions from taking place, it would work to prevent doctors from killing babies that survive an abortion and make it illegal to watch babies slowly die without providing them proper medical care .

The White House has said President Obama will veto any such bill, claiming it would produce a chilling effect upon doctors. The bill would hold abortionists accountable by legally discouraging them from behaving like Gosnell.

The defeat and introduction of these bills happened amid an ongoing fight over whether to defund Planned Parenthood, which is currently under investigation as to whether they profited from harvesting and selling organs from aborted babies.