On Monday, as one of their first bills to bring to the floor, House Republicans introduced the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. The bill represents a commitment to the pro-life position for the 118th Congress, and a fulfillment of pro-life promises from the now Republican House majority. In previous sessions, then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who has dubbed herself "very Catholic" despite her pro-abortion stance, refused to even allow the bill to come for a vote. Members thus previously had to go about forcing a vote via a discharge petition.
"The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act is a key part of Republicans' promise to the American people to uphold the value and sanctity of life." Rep. Cammack joined @RepAnnWagner and @SteveScalise in announcing this monumental pro-life bill. https://t.co/X9eHc7QrGB— Rep. Cammack Press Office (@RepKatCammack) January 9, 2023
As the name suggests, the bill would protect infants born alive from failed abortions by requiring that they receive the same amount of care as any other newborn born at that gestational age is entitled to receive under the law. This includes also being transported to the hospital, as is explained in a press release from Rep. Kat Cammack (R-FL), one of the bill's co-sponsors, who also serves as co-chair of the House Pro-Life Caucus. The bill was also sponsored by Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO) and House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA).
"The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act is a key part of Republicans’ promise to the American people to uphold the value and sanctity of life. Over the last four years, the Democrat-controlled House has failed to vote on this bill, and we’re ready to change this, ensuring that infants born alive during abortion procedures receive the lifesaving care they deserve," Rep. Cammack said. "All life is sacred and I’m honored to join with Majority Leader Scalise and Rep. Wagner in making this statement so early in this Congress."
“I’m incredibly proud to introduce this bill alongside my colleagues @SteveScalise and @RepAnnWagner. Babies born alive during abortion procedures should, without question, receive lifesaving care—just as any other newborn would." - KC pic.twitter.com/qfjhfQtXA5— Rep. Cammack Press Office (@RepKatCammack) January 10, 2023
All members in their statements took aim at the failure of the previously Democratically-controlled House to even vote on the bill. "It pains me that this fight has to be fought at all, but medical care for babies should not be a partisan issue. Now, with Republicans in the Majority, the House will finally take action and vote to protect the fundamental right to life," Rep. Wagner said as part of her statement.
Scalise, who has served in leadership both when Republicans were in the minority and the majority, also spoke to the issue as a matter of fulfilling promises. "On the first day of the 118th Congress, I am proud that Republicans are following through on the promises that we made to the American people," he said. "It is appalling that for the last four years, Democrats refused to hold a vote on the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. Republicans are committed to defending life and doing everything in our power to keep babies who survive an abortion alive," he said later in his statement.
Eyewitness accounts have come from nurse-turned-whistleblower Jill Stanek, as well as associates of Texas abortionist Douglas Karpen. Abortionists themselves have also admitted they won't resuscitate infants born alive. Data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) shared that from 2003-2014 there were 143 infants born alive who then died, though the CDC acknowledges "it is possible that this number... underestimates the total number of deaths..."
Further, the existence of people living today to share their stories after surviving abortion attempts is also proof that it does happen.
And then there's Democratic support for the practice. Then Gov. Ralph Northam (D-VA) caused quite the stir with his response in January 2019 about what would happen to an infant born alive for an abortion, in the context of a bill allowing for abortion up until birth was being considered in the House of Delegates.
"If a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen," Northam said. "The infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother."
That being said, there are nevertheless countless instances of infants born alive who are then left to die or killed that we don't know about. The bill also requires healthcare workers and hospital employees to report violations to law enforcement, "reducing the number of born-alive abortions that go unreported."
Not only are women spared from criminal penalties, as is consistent with federal and state pro-life legislation, they, along with the abortion survivor, also have a civil cause of action against the abortion provider. According to the press release, this is in "recognizing that women are the second victims of abortion and promoting the dignity of motherhood."
Cammack's press release mentions the support of 10 organizations, including Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, National Right to Life Committee, Heritage Action, Faith & Freedom Coalition, Students for Life Action, Abortion Survivors Network, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, Family Policy Alliance, Concerned Women for America, and Coalition for Jewish Values.
It's also just as telling who doesn't support the bill.
NARAL Pro-Choice America issued a statement about this bill and other pro-life initiatives, including making the Hyde Amendment permanent so as to protect taxpayers from having to fund elective abortions, and a resolution that condemns pro-abortion violence of which there has been an uptick.
The pro-abortion group described the born-alive bill as "one that would allow politicians to interfere in personal family decisions (H.R. 26, the so-called 'Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act')," and seemingly dismissed the pro-abortion violence, claiming the resolution is "meant to muddy the waters and detract from their extremely unpopular anti-reproductive freedom agenda."
Planned Parenthood, which performs more abortions than any entity in the country, misled even further with a press release from Planned Parenthood Action Fund.
The release described the initiatives as one which "peddle misinformation about abortion care to address a made-up problem" and "disingenuously condemn violence at anti-abortion facilities, while ignoring the mounting violence and threats against people who get abortions and abortion providers," though there is no evidence pro-life Republicans have failed to condemn such violence. Further, a study released in October from the Crime Research Prevention Center showed that pro-life organizations were 22 more times likely to be met with violence than pro-abortion ones.
Republicans had also introduced the bill in the Senate in previous years. When it did come up for a vote, it was filibustered by pro-abortion Democrats who distorted the bill's intention by falsely claiming it would restrict abortion in any way. While such pro-life bills are being considered, especially at the state level, now that the U.S. Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade with the Dobbs v. Jackson case, the aim of this bill is merely to ensure infants born alive from an abortion attempt receive the appropriate amount of medical care.