Senate Vote Against Born-Alive Infants Proves Democrats Aren’t ‘Pro-Choice.’ They’re Pro-Infanticide
David Harsanyi
By

Presidential hopeful Kamala Harris wants to force every American to give up his private health insurance, but she can’t get herself to support legislation that compels doctors to give an infant who survives an abortion attempt the same care they would provide any other human being. She’s merely one of 44 Democrats who blocked a bill that would have saved all babies from negligent homicide. Presidential candidates Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders all voted against Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse’s Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, as well.

Senate Democrats unsurprisingly struggled to find an effective way to lie about opposing a bill that prohibits abortion in the fourth trimester. Some of them maintained that Sasse’s bill was superfluous because all the things in it were already illegal. Others claimed the bill would “restrict doctors from making case-by-case decisions about what is best for infants and mothers.” Still others claimed the practice never ever happens. Other Democrats, who support government intervention in every nook and cranny of human existence, argued that tough choices should only be the domain of women and their doctors, not the state. Many of them saw no conflict between these ideas and argued all these things at the very same time.

Sen. Patty Murray claimed the bill was “clearly anti-doctor, anti-woman and anti-family” and that “proponents claim it would make something illegal that is already illegal.” This is untrue, regardless of a full-court press from Democrats and the media. As bills in both Virginia and New York clearly illustrate, the practice isn’t illegal. Both bills specifically provide legal protections for doctors who terminate babies who survive abortion attempts.

This was the practice Gov. Ralph Northam of Virginia hamfistedly explained to us on video, forgetting to use the standard euphemisms typically used to conceal the horrific specifics of the procedure. In New York, abortion—and post-birth termination—of a viable, once-healthy infant is legal through the entire pregnancy, and after, for virtually any reason. The rite of abortion is so intrinsic to progressive ideology (and coffers) that not one major player on the left had the moral spine to condemn either.

Leana Wen, the president of the state-funded abortion mill Planned Parenthood, argued that the Sasse legislation was “based on lies and a misinformation campaign, aimed at shaming women and criminalizing doctors for a practice that doesn’t exist in medicine or reality.” Why would Wen oppose criminalizing a procedure that doesn’t exist in medicine or reality? And if it did exist, would Wen support banning the practice? Has anyone in truth-seeking media asked her?

The reality is that Sasse’s bill exempted mothers from prosecution, and would have merely required medical professionals to “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.” Nothing in the bill would have inhibited the doctors from making choices about critically ill infants. Conflating the experience of couples who lose a sick child to those who terminate a healthy one is both fraudulent and immoral itself. Then again, a bill that asks doctors to fulfill their oath of keeping babies alive is in direct competition with Wen’s professional mission.

As National Review’s Alexandra DeSanctis points out, the media did its customary job of running interference for Democrats. Take this Politico piece, for example, which is teeming with the usual deceptive language, referring to Sasse’s bill as “anti-abortion”—as did many other outlets, including the Associated Press—though it would not stop anyone from performing a single abortion in this country. Most of the media portrayed the debate as a cynical election ploy to “to squeeze Democrats ahead of the 2020 campaign.” The bill was filibustered, with three Democrats voting for it. President Trump would surely sign it. Does anyone doubt conservatives want it passed?

Is it cynical to put politicians on the record for their beliefs? Is it cynical it point out that the majority of elected Democrats – including every presidential hopeful in the Senate — are, judging from polling numbers, far to the left of the country? Although polls have consistently shown that large majorities of Americans oppose all third-trimester abortions, I can’t find one that asks if they support the practice of aborting infants who had the temerity to survive a third-trimester abortion. I wonder what the numbers would look like on that question.

One of most durable talking points for abortion has to do with the notion that if a thing is in a woman’s body then it is a woman’s choice what do with that thing, even if that thing happens to be a unique and viable human being. Now Democrats have expanded their position to argue that even if a baby escapes death, then the mother (and, often, the father)—in consultation with a doctor, as if this made it any more morally palatable—can still terminate the baby’s life for any reason they fit.

These vulnerable babies are the only people in the United States who have no person representing their interests and no law protecting them from harm. And so it remains.

David Harsanyi is a Senior Editor at The Federalist. He is the author of the book, First Freedom: A Ride Through America's Enduring History with the Gun, From the Revolution to Today. Follow him on Twitter.

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