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Dems Opposing ‘Born-Alive Act’ Got Half a Million from Planned Parenthood

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
AP Photo/Jim Salter, File

There’s not much of a difference between abortion and infanticide to the pro-life movement that says life begins at conception. But, now, abortion supporters don’t seem to see a distinction either – especially in their opposition to a new piece of legislation.


On Monday, 42 Democrats and two independents voted against the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. The Senate bill sponsored by Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) attempted to “prohibit a health care practitioner from failing to exercise the proper degree of care in the case of a child who survives an abortion or attempted abortion.” The opposing votes shouldn’t come as a surprise for many reasons, especially after looking at the money trail.

According to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP), the senators opposing the act have received close to half a million dollars, or more than $448,000, combined from Planned Parenthood in the last five years.

Before the vote even happened, the nation’s largest abortion provider bashed the legislation.

“Today, the Senate will vote on a bill that criminalizes doctors for a practice that doesn’t exist in medicine or reality,” tweeted Planned Parenthood President Leana Wen on Monday, overlooking the cases of babies that survive abortion and the testimonies of nurses watching them left to die. “We must call this out for what it is: a direct attack on women’s health and rights.”

Every single Democrat and independent who voted against the Born-Alive Act has received money from Planned Parenthood in the past five years, according to CRP’s tracking of federal candidates:


Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)

Michael Bennet (D-CO)

Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)

Cory Booker (D-NJ)

Sherrod Brown (D-OH)

Maria Cantwell (D-WA)

Ben Cardin (D-MD)

Tom Carper (D-DE)

Chris Coons (D-DE)

Catherine Cortez-Masto (D-NV)

Tammy Duckworth (D-IL)

Dick Durbin (D-IL)

Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)

Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)

Kamala Harris (D-CA)

Maggie Hassan (D-NH)

Martin Heinrich (D-NM)

Mazie Hirono (D-HI)

Tim Kaine (D-VA)

Angus King (I-ME)

Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)

Patrick Leahy (D-VT)

Ed Markey (D-MA)

Bob Menendez (D-NJ)

Jeff Merkley (D-OR)

Chris Murphy (D-CT)

Patty Murray (D-WA)

Gary Peters (D-MI)

Jack Reed (D-RI)

Jacky Rosen (D-NV)

Bernie Sanders (I-VT)

Brian Schatz (D-HI)

Chuck Schumer (D-NY)

Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)

Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ)

Tina Smith (D-MN)

Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)

Jon Tester (D-MT)

Tom Udall (D-NM)

Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)

Mark Warner (D-VA)

Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)

Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)

Ron Wyden (D-OR)

CRP collects data from the Federal Election Commission and “lists candidates receiving money” from organizations like Planned Parenthood. CRP stresses that the “organizations themselves did not donate,” but instead the “money came from the organizations' PACs, their individual members or employees or owners, and those individuals' immediate families.” The amounts listed for organizations may also “include subsidiaries and affiliates.”

Six of the senators listed above – Booker, Gillibrand, Harris, Klobuchar, Sanders, and Warren – are looking to run in 2020. Separated from the rest, they have received $62,077 total in the past five years from Planned Parenthood.


Not all of the politicians received money each year, but all of them received money at some point in the past five years. According to CRP, Planned Parenthood gave $133,036 combined to those listed above in 2014, and, two years later, it gave $123,324 in 2016. It gave the most in 2018: $192,559.

Sen. Sasse’s proposed legislation required that “In the case of an abortion or attempted abortion that results in a child born alive,” the “health care practitioner present” must:

“(A) 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; and

(B) following the exercise of skill, care, and diligence required under subparagraph (A), ensure that the child born alive is immediately transported and admitted to a hospital.”

Those measures were necessary, wrote Melanie Israel, a research associate at the Heritage Foundation, on Feb. 25. While the 2002 Born-Alive Infants Protection Act already “clarifies that all infants born at any stage of development are in fact ‘persons’ under the law,” the law “does not specify that doctors must provide care for such infants, so in effect the baby can be left to die after birth without any clear legal consequences.”


But Planned Parenthood didn’t see it that way. Following the vote, Wen thanked the “pro-reproductive health Senators who blocked this bill.” In a statement released Monday, Planned Parenthood called the act “another attack by the Trump-Pence administration and Republican leadership on health care” and accused supporters of “one motive”: banning abortion.

Three main problems stood out with their argument. In reality, the act responded to Virginia’s Democratic Governor Ralph Northam and his extreme comments that appeared to suggest leaving babies to die after birth. Furthermore, abortion and infanticide are not health care, which strives to foster life, not terminate it. Last but not least, the bill bans infanticide, not abortion.

Unless, of course, abortion supporters want to admit that there’s no difference between the two.

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