Earlier on Friday, as Reagan reported, the Democratic controlled House of Representatives passed the Women's Health Protection Act (WHPA). The 218-211 vote was almost entirely along party lines, except Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) voted against it. Not only did Democrats vote to pass such extreme pro-abortion legislation, they also denied the motion to recommit, which would have amended the bill to include protections for babies born alive after abortions.
Rep. Julia Letlow (R-LA), while speaking on the House floor, indicated "this amendment is simple, straightforward, and the right thing to do. It would ensure that newborn children that survive an abortion are given the same crucial life saving medical care that any other infant would receive."
?? 219 House Democrats BLOCKED an amendment to ensure that ANY baby born alive after an attempted abortion receives proper medical care— Chad Gilmartin (@ChadGilmartinCA) September 24, 2021
House Republicans stand for life, while Democrats are pushing a radical pro-abortion bill.
WATCH @RepJuliaLetlow on the House Floor ?? pic.twitter.com/PwTEZTwAAB
Republicans have been trying for years to get such protections onto the House floor for a vote, in the form of Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. Their efforts remain stymied, however, because the method the Republicans are turning to, a discharge petition, needs 218 members, and there just aren't enough.
Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) has introduced and reintroduced such legislation in the Senate. In 2019 and 2020 it received the support of a majority of senators, including some Democrats, but never enough to make it past the 60 vote threshold to overcome a filibuster.
Late-term abortions may at times result in babies born alive from such procedures. There's living proof provided by abortion survivors alive today, including Gianna Jensen, Melissa Ohden, Claire Culwell, Josiah Presley, and Brandi Lozier.
And, according to statistics from the Charlotte Lozier Institute:
Because of gaps in national and state abortion reporting, and the continued opposition of abortion advocacy groups to more accurate and detailed reporting, relatively little is known about how often survival now occurs after abortion. The number is certainly not zero. The Charlotte Lozier Institute has engaged in a multi-year effort to obtain abortion data from the 49 jurisdictions that voluntarily provide annual summaries of abortion incidence to the CDC. Only eight states have publicly reported or responded to requests for statistics on children marked for abortion who were born alive during abortion procedures (Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Oklahoma, and Texas). In just four of these eight states (Arizona, Florida, Minnesota, and Texas), 26 children were born alive during attempted abortions in 2019. Additionally, Florida reported seven babies born alive in 2020.
The CDC estimates that between 2003 and 2014, at least 143 babies died after being born alive during abortions, and it is very possible that this undercounts the actual number. Additionally, the CDC report counts only babies who were born alive during abortions and then later passed away – it does not include babies who survived attempted abortions and are still alive.
The WHPA allows for even more unrestricted abortion access beyond Roe v. Wade, and will allow for abortions up until birth.