If there is one group of Democrats more unwelcome in the party as of 2020, it’s pro-life Democrats.
During the Democratic presidential primary, we saw abortion extremism on full display by the likes of Pete Buttigieg. Top contenders like Bernie Sanders argued that being "pro-choice is an absolutely essential part" of being a Democrat.
That extremism extended to voting down legislation like the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act in February.
As Republican Whip Steve Scalise noted at the time, "everyone should be able to agree — once a baby is born alive, we should do everything in our power to keep it alive."
He added: "This abortion extremism is disgustingly out of step with the views of American voters and is a direct consequence of political spending by special interests in the big-abortion industry."
It’s thus a welcome surprise that a bill aimed at protecting abortion survivors was just introduced in the House…by a Democrat.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who has held pro-abortion positions, introduced H.R. 8923 on Wednesday, which would amend Title 18 of the United States Code "to ensure a health care practitioner exercises the proper degree of care in the case of a child who survives an abortion or attempted abortion."
The wording and penalties involved in Gabbard’s born-alive protections bill are unavailable at this time. But shockingly, Gabbard has at points in her career held a 100% pro-abortion voting record, and voted against the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act in 2015. However, Gabbard’s desire to see restrictions on abortion in the third trimester has earned her criticism from many in the Democratic Party, though she has not backed down from this stance.
“I think the third trimester, unless a woman’s life or severe health consequences is at risk, then there shouldn’t be an abortion in the third trimester,” she stated in October 2019.
A previous bill, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, originally sponsored by Rep. Ann Wagner, “require[d] that infants who survive an abortion attempt receive immediate medical attention,” according to a previous report from Live Action News. After efforts to pass the bill failed, members of Congress initiated a discharge petition which needed 218 signatures to force the bill to the House floor for a vote, but to date, the petition has received 205 signatures. As Live Action News noted, “The petition expires at the end of the 116th Congress session in January 2021.” (Live Action)
Democrats for Life set up a petition to support the congresswoman.
"There are at least 300 documented instances of babies surviving abortion: a low estimate, given reporting is not mandatory," the petition states. "Often, these babies are left by an abortionist to die, rather than being provided the necessary oxygen, fluids, and surgery they may need to survive. We need strong laws to be able to prosecute abortionists who violate their duty of care."
"Contrary to what Planned Parenthood thinks, protecting born children should be the very least we can agree on."
Live Action's Lila Rose also praised the move as a "step in the right direction."