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Tipsheet

Beto O'Rourke Responds to Question About Bill Protecting Infants Born Alive After an Abortion: 'Trust Women'

Nick Wagner/Austin American-Statesman via AP

Failed Senate candidate and former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke faced another question about the abortion issue Wednesday while he was campaigning in New Hampshire. A student asked him if he would support legislation to protect infants born alive after a failed abortion attempt. O’Rourke replied that he trusted women to “make their own decisions about their own bodies,” without addressing the fact that a newborn has already left the woman’s body.

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The student asked about the “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act” which would have strengthened legal protections for infants born after a failed abortion attempt.

“I wanted to ask you about a bill that just went through the Senate about two weeks ago and the bill was that if an abortion was performed on a viable fetus, and the fetus survived the abortion, the doctor would then be compelled to give that living baby the same care as any other pregnancy,” the student said, asking, “Would you support this bill that does not in any way limit abortion it simply seeks to keep babies alive that have been born alive?”

O’Rourke did not directly answer the question of whether or not he would support protections for infants born alive after an abortion attempt, instead giving an answer similar to one he gave earlier this week when he was asked about late-term, third trimester abortions.

“The way that I would approach your question and this issue generally is to trust women to make their own decisions about their own bodies,” O’Rourke told the student.

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After calling for “universal, guaranteed, high quality healthcare,” O’Rourke emphasized the importance of the upcoming 2020 presidential election for defending the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion.

“Women’s healthcare, reproductive rights, Roe v. Wade all the way back to 1973, the law of the land,” he said, “this next election will decide all of those issues because it will also decide the composition of the Supreme Court.”

The measure to protect infants born alive after abortion failed in the Senate. In the House, Democrats have repeatedly refused to even consider it.

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