Today, House Democratic officials blocked the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act for consideration for the 50th time. The bill would require medical care for an infant born alive during a botched abortion and for medical providers to protect the baby's right to life or face punishment, something Republicans argue is a "fundamental right." House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA 23rd) exclusively told Townhall that the Democratic Party's refusal to even discuss the measure is "incredibly frustrating" and a "devastating shame."
"I never thought I’d see this Congress move so far left to the point that making sure proper medical care is provided to babies who survive abortions is a conversation barred from being had on this House floor," Leader McCarthy said in a statement given to Townhall.
“When I expressed back in February that House Republicans would ask again and again for this bill to be brought to the floor for a vote, I never expected this day to come. I never expected that after more than three months, 50 requests, and a filed discharge petition, House Democrats would still not regard the life of a baby outside the womb worthy enough of an up or down vote on the floor," Leader McCarthy added.
The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act was introduced by Missouri Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO 2nd) in February of this year. The act would amend federal law to require a "health care practitioner who is present" during the time of a botched abortion to "exercise the same degree of care as reasonably provided to another child born alive at the same gestational age." It would also require the individual to "immediately admit the child to a hospital."
However, critics argue that the bill would put an undue burden on women seeking an abortion and criminalize mothers for such a procedure. But, Leader McCarthy told Townhall that, "Rep. Wagner’s bill is not about restricting or criminalizing abortion in this country, as some Democrats want the American people to believe -- and Democrats who have actually read the bill know that."
The language in the bill indicates that it is the healthcare providers, doctors, and nurses who assist in the killing of a baby born alive during an abortion who would be punished by fines or imprisonment, or both, depending on the severity of their actions -- not mothers.
Mothers of these children would be barred from prosecution "for conspiracy to violate these provisions, for being an accessory after the fact, or for concealment of a felony." The bill also allows for mothers to "file a civil action for damages against an individual" who violates this law.
Contrary to the claims of pro-abortion advocates, Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey exclusively told Townhall that this bill is simply about ensuring "that a child born alive after surviving an abortion receives the same care any other child would receive." Rep. Smith added that this "humane, pro-child, human rights legislation" needs to be voted on because "we cannot look away when a child’s fundamental right to life is not protected."
Rep. Vicky Hartzler (MO-04) echoed these claims, telling Townhall that it is "preposterous" that, "the lives of our country’s youngest and most vulnerable newborn babies are in danger" since Democrats will not bring the bill forth for a vote. "All children, no matter the circumstances surrounding their birth, deserve immediate care and attention, and that’s what the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act does," Rep. Hartzler added.
Without this protection, Rep. Hartzler noted that in America, "one baby is provided with the best care available and another is left to die."
In an e-mail sent from Leader McCarthy's team today after Democrats rejected Rep. Hartzler's request for "unanimous consent for the House to consider the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act," the Republican leader pledged that "House Republicans will continue to ask Democrats to save children born alive."