Senate Dems Block Born-Alive Bill in 'One of the Most Shocking Votes in the History of Congress'

Posted: Feb 26, 2019 8:15 AM
Senate Dems Block Born-Alive Bill in 'One of the Most Shocking Votes in the History of Congress'

Source: (Aaron Lavinsky/Star Tribune via AP)

Senate Democrats blocked the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act Monday evening, which, under the threat of prison time, would have forced doctors to provide medical care to babies born alive in a failed abortion.

The bill, which was sponsored by Republican Sen. Ben Sasse (Neb.) and cosponsored by 49 GOP senators, failed by a vote of 53-44. Only three Democrats voted with Republicans: Sens. Bob Casey Jr. (Pa.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.), and Doug Jones (Ala.). Three Republicans were not present at the vote over flight delays and scheduling issues, including Sens. Kevin Cramer (N.D.), Tim Scott (S.C.), and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska).

The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act would have required that "any health care practitioner present" at the time of a birth "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."

The bill, which exempted the mother involved in the birth from prosecution, also would have required practitioners to "ensure that the child born alive is immediately transported and admitted to a hospital." It prescribed a possible term of imprisonment of up to five years for violations, not including penalties for first-degree murder that could have applied. (

President Trump slammed Democrats for the vote. 

“Senate Democrats just voted against legislation to prevent the killing of newborn infant children. The Democrat position on abortion is now so extreme that they don’t mind executing babies AFTER birth,” he tweeted. “This will be remembered as one of the most shocking votes in the history of Congress. If there is one thing we should all agree on, it’s protecting the lives of innocent babies.”

Sasse said the vote shouldn't have been about politics but rather "about having a heart."

"This is about the most simple thing you can say, which is that a baby is a baby, and they have dignity and worth," Sasse said after the vote. "And it's not because they're powerful. It's because they're babies. Today is a sad day in the United States Senate."