Democratic efforts to legislatively expand abortion rights in several states have brought to the public’s attention the topic of not just late-term, third-trimester abortion procedures, but also clear-cut examples of post-birth infanticide — such as deciding whether or not to save the life of an infant that survives an attempted abortion.
However, when asked for their positions on the killing of soon to be born or just-born babies, most Democrats have danced around the question, attempting to avoid the touchy topic.
This has prompted some Republicans in Congress to force a vote on the issue, if only to expose exactly where everyone stands.
Missouri Republican Rep. Ann Wagner recently introduced a bill known as H.R. 962, referred to as the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which would require health care practitioners to provide life-saving care to infants that survive an attempted abortion.
The measure has drawn 121 co-sponsors — only one of whom is a Democrat from Georgia — and has been championed by Republican House Minority Whip Steve Scalise.
On Wednesday, Scalise attempted to force a declaration of unanimous consent on the bill to move it along and out of the House Judiciary Committee that it had been referred to, but that effort by Scalise was blocked by Democratic leadership.
Afterward, Scalise tweeted, “Before the entire House, I asked for immediate consideration of a bill that protects infants born alive during abortions. But Democrats rejected my motion and refused to consider it. Why won’t they go on record and tell the American people where they stand on infanticide?”
Before the entire House, I asked for immediate consideration of a bill that protects infants born alive during abortions. But Democrats rejected my motion and refused to consider it. Why won’t they go on record and tell the American people where they stand on infanticide? pic.twitter.com/eaqBS17LTl
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) February 7, 2019
While on the House floor, Scalise asked of the Democratic member filling in for Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi, “Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that the committee on judiciary be discharged from further consideration of H.R. 962, the Born Alive Survivors Protection Act, and I ask for its immediate consideration in the House.”
The acting Democratic Speaker replied, “Under guidelines consistently issued by successive speakers, as recorded in Section 956 of the House rules and manual, the chair is constrained not to entertain the request, unless it has been cleared by the bipartisan flooring committee leadership.” In other words, “No.”
Later, Scalise asked once again, “Mr. Speaker, if this unanimous consent request can’t be entertained, I would urge the Speaker and Majority Leader to schedule the Born Alive bill immediately, so we can stand up and protect the sanctity of human life, Mr. Speaker.”
Scalise’s remark earned applause and cheers from fellow Republicans in the House chamber, prior to him adding amid the cacophony, “And I would ask all others to join in on that request … and I yield back.”
Unfortunately, Scalise’s effort to get Democrat members officially on record as either opposing or supporting the killing of abortion survivors has been unsuccessful, as that is something far too many members of that party have studiously avoided, and will continue to avoid, as long as possible.
In a statement coinciding with the failed effort by Scalise, as well as a similarly shot down effort in the Senate led by Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said, “Democrats in both the House and Senate rushed to the floor to block unanimous consent requests on a bill that would require the same comfort and care to an infant who survives an abortion as any other infant who is born.”
“The radicalization of the Democratic party is truly complete,” he continued. “Infanticide has always been unacceptable in a civilized society, regardless of what one may think about abortion itself. The unthinkable — that elected officials would support infanticide — has now become reality.”
“The governors of New York and Virginia want to talk about abortion in euphemisms and broad strokes — instead of what it really is: a gruesome and barbaric form of killing children even up through birth and possibly after,” Perkins said.
He added thanks to the members who had stood up for the sanctity of life while urging all other members to support the effort to protect the lives of innocent unborn babies.
Steve Scalise made a valiant effort at getting Democrats officially on record with their individual stance on whether aborted babies who survived the procedure should be saved or not.
Perhaps not surprisingly, though, Democrats are using their power as the majority to try and avoid holding such a consequential vote.
Hopefully, Scalise and other Republicans will continue to press this issue until such a vote is held, as the American people deserve to know exactly where their elected representatives stand on the issue of life or death for innocent newborns.