House Republican leaders are working to force a vote on the “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Act.” Speaker Pelosi, who controls the voting schedule on the House floor, has rejected scheduling a vote on the bill more than 20 times.
In response, Republicans are pushing forward a “discharge petition” to force a floor vote.
Legislative Path Forward
A discharge petition is a procedural motion any member of Congress can sign to allow legislation to move out of committee and to the House floor when the party controlling Congress refuses to allow a vote on it.
To succeed, a discharge petition requires a simple majority of House Members. If every Republican signs on, 21 House Democrats would need to join for the petition to be successful.
April 2nd is the first day the petition is eligible for House members to sign.
The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act
The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act (H.R. 962) requires that appropriate medical care be given to any infant who survives an abortion and that the infant be transported and admitted to a hospital. Health care practitioners who violate these requirements would be subject to criminal penalties.
This addresses a real and current problem.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), between 2003 and 2014, there were at least 143 babies born alive after a failed abortion procedure across the United States.
The CDC also notes that this number is likely underestimated because of unclear terminology and lack of proper reporting.
According to Heritage Action for America, although President George W. Bush signed the Born-Alive Infant Survivors Protection Act into law in 2002, which recognized that all babies born alive are “persons,” the law does not provide adequate protections for these babies or establish specific requirements of care on practitioners.
The Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act of 2019 would require that health care practitioners “exercise the same degree of professional skill, care, and diligence to preserve the life and health of a child” born alive following an abortion as the practitioner “would render to any other child born alive” and establishes criminal penalties for failure to comply.
This bill also comes at a time when several states have recently passed or proposed laws to legalize abortion up until birth, increasing the likelihood of botched abortions where babies are born alive.
The Born Alive legislation is necessary because it addresses the “passive” act of simply denying care to a baby born alive after a botched abortion.
Support Should Be Bipartisan
Support for this legislation should be common-sense and bipartisan. A baby’s right to life does not change because he or she was born during an abortion.
Medical practitioners should be legally required to provide medical care to a child born during an abortion and ensure that the baby is admitted to a hospital for further care.
Regardless of party affiliation, every member of Congress should stand in defense of life and liberty and against infanticide by signing the discharge petition to force a vote and pass the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act into law.