House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, a Republican and consistent advocate for the unborn, will use a rare parliamentary procedure next week to force a vote on the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. The Louisiana congressman says the bill requires doctors to treat babies who survive an abortion. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has blocked a vote on the legislation on the House floor.
“I’ll be filing a discharge petition on @RepAnnWagner's Born Alive bill on April 2nd. This petition will bypass Nancy Pelosi & force a vote on the floor to #EndInfanticide if a majority of members sign on. Tell your representative to sign this petition!” Scalise tweeted on Tuesday.
Scalise will need all Republicans and at least 20 Democrats in the House to sign the petition to force the vote.
A similar bill failed in the Senate last month after 44 Democrats voted against it. Only three Democrats voted to outlaw infanticide. Every Senate Democrat running for president voted against the bill.
House Democrats insist Scalise’s move to bypass Pelosi and force a vote to outlaw infanticide is political and the legislation is not needed. They claim infanticide is already illegal.
But currently, only 26 states have laws creating a specific affirmative duty for physicians to provide medical care to infants born in botched abortions. Fortunately, Louisiana is one of them. Gov. John Bel Edwards has consistently stood up for the rights of the unborn, which is rare among Democrats.
In New York, Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently signed a law repealing his state’s born-alive protection law. A similar Virginia law would have downgraded the requirement that doctors provide care to newborns surviving abortions from a “must” to a “shall” standard, a legally significant distinction. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat, endorsed the legislation, which eventually failed.
“If a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen," said Northam in describing what would happen to a baby surviving an abortion. “The infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.”
The Centers for Disease Control reports 362 babies born alive following a botched abortion died in the last decade.
Dr. Willard Cates, a former expert on medical statistics and the chief of abortion surveillance for the CDC, admitted the numbers of those surviving abortions were most likely low.
“No one is so naive as to think there is reliable voluntary reporting of live births,” said Cates.
In 2016, then-Louisiana Sen. David Vitter, a Republican, asked Dr. Diana Greene Foster, of the University of California, about infanticide during a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting. Vitter asked Foster is she disagrees that a baby born alive after a failed abortion “should get all available medical care for survival.”
“I do disagree,” Foster replied.
The Senate born-alive bill that Democrats recently killed reads, in part, “If an abortion results in the live birth of an infant, the infant is a legal person for all purposes under the laws of the United States, and entitled to all the protections of such laws."
Why would Democrats oppose such legislation? It’s one thing to support abortion believing the unborn child has no value and is nothing more than a blob of tissue. If someone believes the baby does not represent a life, then you can see how they might support abortion.
But to oppose medical care for a baby after the baby is born is another thing entirely. Hopefully, the majority of nationally elected Democrats are out of touch with most Americans on infanticide. Hopefully, as a nation, we have not embraced infanticide.
Republican Louisiana U.S. Sens. Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy voted in favor of the failed legislation prohibiting infanticide. Louisiana’s congressional Republican delegation will likely do the same. But the delegation’s lone Democrat, Rep. Cedric Richmond of New Orleans, is another matter.
Louisiana Right to Life describes Richmond’s voting record as pro-abortion. Richmond has an opportunity to break ranks with his party and sign the Scalise petition, going on record as supporting the protection of innocent children who survive abortion.
Email Dan Fagan at email@example.com. Twitter: @DanFaganShow.