Born-alive abortion survivor protection bill blocked in U.S. Senate on Feb. 4

An effort in the U.S. Senate to require health care for a child born alive during an abortion failed Feb. 4 after a single Democratic member objected.

Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) blocked approval of the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act (S. 130) when the proposal’s sponsor, Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) (pictured), asked the Senate for unanimous consent in support of the measure. Sasse told the Senate he was giving all 100 members “an opportunity to condemn infanticide.” Defeat of a unanimous consent agreement requires an objection from only one senator.

Sasse has initiated the process to bring his bill to the Senate floor for a roll-call vote. Sasse’s bill was announced a week after New York enacted a law that legalizes abortion until birth for the mother’s health and one day after Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) expressed support for allowing babies to die if they survive abortion. Sasse and many other pro-life advocates charged the governor with defending infanticide.

The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act not only says a child who survives an abortion or attempted abortion is a “legal person” deserving protection, but it mandates a health care provider give the same degree of care offered “any other baby born alive at the same gestational age.” Under the proposal an infant who survives an abortion must be admitted to a hospital after the initial treatment. A violation of the measure could result in a fine and/or a prison sentence of as many as five years. (BP)