After a majority of Democrats in the Virginia House of Delegates supported a sweeping late-term abortion bill that sent shockwaves across the country, a similar situation is now brewing on Capitol Hill. Last week, Republican-led legislation requiring doctors to care for newborns who survive a failed abortion attempt failed after Democrats voted the bill down.
S.130, introduced by Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE), also known as the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, would protect newborns that survive abortions by requiring appropriate care and admission to a hospital. The bill requires that when an abortion results in the live birth of an infant, physicians and healthcare practitioners must exercise the same degree of professional skill and care to protect the newborn as would be offered to any other child born alive at the same gestational age.
Federal law does not adequately protect a born child who survives an abortion, Senator Sasse noted in a report from CBN. He added, “In this country, all of us are created equal. If that equality means anything, surely it means that infanticide is wrong. Frankly, this shouldn’t be hard.”
Built on the 2002 Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, which clarified that babies who survive abortions are supposed to receive protections, Sasse’s bill goes even further to clarify what level of life-saving care doctors are supposed to give.
Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) also tried to bring similar legislation through the lower chamber, but was also blocked by the new Democratic majority led by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (CA-12).
Over the past two weeks, Virginians have been roiled by the Democrat-led bill that would repeal meaningful restrictions on abortion, including terminations up until the moment of birth.
H.B. 2491, patroned by Delegate Kathy Tran (D-Springfield), would repeal restrictions on third trimester abortions, allowing abortion doctors to self-certify the necessity of late-term procedures, eliminate informed consent requirements, repeal abortion clinic health and safety standards, permit late-term abortions to be performed in outpatient clinics, remove ultrasound requirements, and eliminate Virginia’s 24-hour waiting period.
Also known as the Repeal Act, it was touted by embattled Governor Ralph Northam (D) during his State of the Commonwealth address before the beginning of the 46-day General Assembly session in Richmond. Northam, a former Army medical doctor and pediatrician, relayed to lawmakers that he would help create a “fundamental right” to abortion within the Virginia Code.
Although the bill was tabled in the 2019 session, it remains a high priority for Democrats if they take back the Virginia legislative majority in the upcoming November elections.
In the aftermath of the backlash taken by Delegate Tran following her presentation of the legislation to a House subcommittee, Northam doubled down on his support for the bill. During an address on WTOP’s “Ask The Governor” segment, he explained a scenario suggesting that some babies should be allowed to die right after birth or “would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired.”
54 percent – a majority – of Democratic lawmakers sponsored Delegate Tran’s late-term abortion bill, in addition to Governor Northam, Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax (D), and Attorney General Mark Herring (D).
In his State of the Union address to both houses of Congress, President Donald Trump condemned Northam’s remarks in the national spotlight, also charging lawmakers “to pass legislation to prohibit the late-term abortion of children who can feel pain in the mother’s womb.”
Regardless, Democratic lawmakers, both state and federal, remain committed to supporting infanticide.