JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - A bill that would have required medical care to any infant born alive after an abortion has failed to pass the Senate.
The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, written by Senator Ben Sasse (R) of Nebraska, would have also made any health care practitioner present at the time of the failed abortion “exercise the same degree of professional skill, care, and diligence [they] would render to any other child born alive at the same gestational age.”
Under the act, a health care practitioner who failed to provide aid to the infant would be given a fine, imprisoned or both.
“Condemning infanticide should be a unanimous vote. It’s a basic human rights issue,” Sasse said in an interview on Fox News.
President Donald Trump responded to the failed bill, saying, “The Democrat position on abortion is now so extreme that they don’t mind executing babies after birth."
He also called it, “one of the most shocking votes in the history of Congress,” and, “If there is one thing we should all agree on, it’s protecting the lives of innocent babies.”
The final vote on The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act was 53-44. It would have needed 60 to pass.
The bill was supported by all Senate Republicans, but was rejected by all but three Senate Democrats.
Those three Democratic “yes” votes came from Robert P. Casey Jr. of Pennsylvania, Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, and Doug Jones of Alabama.
Three Republicans did not vote, citing scheduling issues.
Many who opposed the bill said that it was unneeded and interfered with a woman’s medical rights.
“It is, and has always been, a crime to harm or kill newborn babies,” said Senator Mazie Hirono (D) of Hawaii. “Conservative politicians should not be telling doctors how they should care for their patients.”
“In talking to healthcare providers in Hawaii, I’ve heard how this legislation... could force them to provide care that is unnecessary or even harmful to patients,” the Senator continued.
Planned Parenthood President Dr. Leana Wen also responded to the bill, saying that it "was not based in science or reality, but instead is another attack by the Trump-Pence administration and the Republican leadership on healthcare.”
Wen also said that the Born-Alive Bill, “would have singled out physicians who perform abortions and potentially expose them to harsh criminal penalties based on lies and misinformation.”
This vote comes on the hills of controversial comments made by embattled Virginia Governor Ralph Northam earlier this year regarding his support for a bill which would loosen the restrictions on late term abortions in his state.
In a radio interview this January, Northam gave an example that, if this state bill were to pass, an infant born alive during a failed abortion would be delivered, kept comfortable and resuscitated “if that was what the family desired."
Northam went on to say that a conversation about the child’s future would then be had between the mother and a family physician.
The governor was swiftly lambasted for these remarks, and was questioned on if he was advocating for infanticide.
Northam responded to the criticism, saying that he regretted that the comments were mischaracterized.
In 2002, the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, which extended legal rights to any infant born alive after a failed attempt at an induced abortion, was passed unanimously by the Senate. It was then signed by President George W. Bush.