On Monday, pro-life Senators stood alone after a vote on the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. That changed last night during the State of Union address.
Over the last two weeks, abortion has been the topic of discussion. From New York’s and Virginia’s recent legislation to legalize abortion all the way to birth and the effort of Senator Ben Sasse to pass the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, questions about what limitations there should be on abortion have dominated the news.
In the State of the Union address, President Donald Trump shared his thoughts and asked the Congress to pass legislation that would end late-term abortions.
“To defend the dignity of every person, I am asking Congress to pass legislation to prohibit the late-term (20 weeks) abortion of children who can feel pain in the mother’s womb,” President Trump said.
His comments were a welcome relief to many throughout the country who were both upset and frustrated by news coming out of New York and Virginia over the last couple of weeks.
It began with the New York legislature passing a law that would allow abortion until birth, which was celebrated throughout the state by lighting up certain landmarks in pink and by cheering at the State Capitol. Virginia then tried to pass a similar measure and comments made by government officials went viral. A delegate first said that abortion would be allowed even during the early stages of labor and then the governor argued for infanticide of born alive children with disabilities. Thankfully, the Virginia law didn’t pass.
The callous nature of the responses and the celebration at the death of preborn babies was extremely disheartening.
After the response made by the Virginia Governor, Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) asked for a unanimous vote from the U.S. Senate that would protect babies born alive in botched abortions by requiring doctors to provide life-saving care.
“Everyone in the Senate ought to be able to say unequivocally that killing that little baby is wrong. This doesn’t take political courage…There should be no politics here that are right versus left or Republican versus Democrat,” Sasse said.
What Senator Sasse proposed was not a restriction on abortion, but an acknowledgement of human life, and the reality that sometimes the abortion doctor fails to kill a preborn child. If a baby is born alive after a botched abortion, it should make sense to protect that child. However, Democratic leadership didn’t see it that way.
In an attempt to explain the decision to deny Senator Sasse his unanimous vote, Senator Patty Murray (WA-D) gave a weak response and argued that the law already protects those children. But if it does, why did the Virginia Governor say that it’s okay for a doctor to leave a child on a table cold and without comfort while the mother and physicians discuss whether the child should live or die?
The deflection of duty and basic human dignity is a stain on American history, especially in light of all the information science has given us about a developing preborn child. The Democratic response shows how radical certain sections of the party have become. Voting to protect the life of a child born alive after a botched abortion should be a no brainer, but apparently any attempt to infringe on the “right” of women to murder their born and preborn children is too much to ask.
In his State of the Union address, President Trump tried to rectify some of this. He asked Congress to pass legislation that would make abortion illegal after the point where a preborn baby can feel pain, which usually happens at about 20 weeks or earlier. (You can learn more about the science behind fetal pain by reading our Fetal Pain resource.) This is a common-sense piece of legislation that will put the United States more in line with the abortion policies of Western Europe rather than North Korea and China.
Although getting something like this passed in the current political climate might be a challenge, it is necessary to protect the lives of babies killed inside and outside the womb.