Democrats are not willing to protect some babies born alive. A bill put to a vote on Friday, named the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, proposes exactly what the name suggests. And nearly all Democrats in the House voted against it.
To quote the bill, it requires “any health care practitioner who is present when a child is born alive following an abortion or attempted abortion to: (1) exercise the same degree of care as reasonably provided to any other child born alive at the same gestational age, and (2) ensure that such child is immediately admitted to a hospital.”
Hadley Arkes, the engineer of a lighter version of this bill signed into law by George W. Bush in 2002, set forth to introduce a “modest first step.” He reasoned, “Even if Roe v. Wade articulated an unqualified right on the part of a woman to end her pregnancy, the pregnancy would now be over. No right to end the pregnancy would require at this moment the death of the child.” Yet 183 of the 189 Democrats who voted in the House just declined to support this measure.
This position is completely indefensible. It is so bad it is almost immune to exaggeration. For all the cries of “extremism” at any attempt to restrict abortion, the Democratic Party is now defending practices that amount to infanticide. Again, not hyperbole. This is a radical stance that does not represent the viewpoint of most Americans, regardless of their political leanings.
To demonstrate, let’s go through the standard list of justifications for abortion that Democrats’ refusal to support this bill shows they don’t really believe.
It Is Not About Bodily Autonomy
Probably the most common justification for abortion is the claim that a woman has a right to do what she wants with her own body, even if that means refusing to care for her child who depends on her. Even if you believe this reasoning can be valid, it does not apply in this case. The child is no longer located inside the mother, so this defense is no longer relevant.
It Is Not About Terminology
The favorite term used to defend abortion when the unborn may be able to survive outside the womb is “fetus.” It is used to suggest a lack of humanity in the unborn child. Likewise, if there is any term a proponent of abortion hates, it is the word “baby.”
At this stage of development, the only delineation between a fetus and a “baby” proper is location. If this child can survive outside the womb, “baby” is an appropriate description of the patient in need of care after she has been born. This is why it is accurate to say Democrats voted against protecting babies born alive.
It Is Not About the Mother’s Health
Another justification for abortion is the mother’s “health.” The problem with the term “health” is that it includes “mental health.” This is to say, as Arkes has noted, “an abortion could be ordered up if a doctor certified that his patient would suffer distress in not having one.” In other words, “health” functionally translates to “any reason.”
Obviously, caring for a child who has already been born will not have any adverse effects on the mother. If “mental health” is still a valid consideration at such a point, there is no logical barrier to targeting a toddler running around for destruction as well.
A Dead Baby Is Now the ‘Right’ Sought
Because the baby has been born alive, no violations of the mother’s rights are even in question. So, what is left to argue? All that is left, to quote Arkes again, is to argue that “the right to an abortion is the right to an effective abortion or a dead child.” The death of the child is the only end left, and it is deemed to be the good sought. The appropriate response to this notion is to say intentionally killing babies is a bad thing. I hope we can all agree.
The truth is, passing this bill will actually save the lives of some babies, by anyone’s definition, and almost every Democrat voted against it. The bill passed 241-183, thanks to every Republican present voting in favor. Abortion proponents are fond of claiming pro-lifers do not care anything for children once they are born. At least in this case, the votes show it is clearly the other way around.