House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) announced Tuesday that the House will vote on the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act next week, the week of the annual March for Life.
“Next week—the week of the annual March for Life when tens of thousands of Americans come to Washington to give voice to the voiceless unborn—the House will vote on the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Act,” Leader McCarthy said in a statement obtained by Townhall. “This bill states simply that if a baby is born after a failed abortion attempt, he or she should be given the same medical care as a baby born any other way. In line with our longstanding commitment to empower women, mothers will never be held criminally accountable. However, doctors who fail to provide medical care to newborns will be held criminally accountable. There is absolutely no ambiguity here. This is about protecting babies who are born and alive, and nobody should be against that.”
“Under Republican leadership, this House has consistently stood for life,” McCarthy added. “Last year, the House passed—among many other pro-life bills—the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which banned abortion at 20 weeks when science shows babies can feel pain. Unfortunately, almost all of our Democrat colleagues voted against that bill. Their votes were an attempt to ensure America remains one of only seven countries that allows radical late-term abortions.”
The bill would amend existing U.S. law 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.”
Health care practitioners present when a child is born alive during an abortion procedure are required, at the risk of fines and imprisonment, 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” and “ensure that the child born alive is immediately transported and admitted to a hospital.”
The bill was introduced on December 21st by Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and is currently co-sponsored by 60 of her colleagues in the House. The legislation would strengthen enforcement of existing law, such as the 2002 Born Alive Infants Protection Act. The House passed a version of the bill in 2015 but it did not make progress in the Senate.
The House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives, which Blackburn chaired, found in their final report in January 2017 that abortion providers could be using techniques that resulted in infants born alive during abortion.
They wrote that, according to documents obtained in their investigation, many researchers want tissue from late-gestation infants “untainted by feticidal agents.”
They concluded in their report that “abortion providers may modify abortion procedures, in apparent violation of the law, to increase the odds of getting an intact infant cadaver (e.g., increase the number of laminaria placed in a patient’s cervix to achieve greater dilation). Clearly, these factors increase the likelihood that unborn infants are born alive during late second-trimester abortions, and raise the question whether these infants’ civil rights are recognized by abortion providers.”
The FBI and DOJ have both requested unredacted documents from the Senate’s investigation into abortion providers' alleged trafficking in fetal tissue as part of their own investigation.
The March for Life takes place every January on the anniversary of the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision to protest abortion. This year's theme is "Love Saves Lives" and focuses on pro-life pregnancy centers that empower women with other options aside from abortion.