The two newest members of congress – Mike Garcia, R-Calif., and Tom Tiffany, R-Wis. – were sworn in today, after winning special elections in their congressional districts on May 12, 2020. One of the first acts for both was to sign the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act discharge petition.
The petition, H.R. 102, would move the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Act (H.R. 962) out of the House Rules Committee and onto the House floor for consideration. The petition has 205 signatures but needs 218 to bring H.R. 962 before the full House.
The Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act would shield infants who survive an attempt to abort them, requiring that medical practitioners “exercise the same degree of care as reasonably provided to another child born alive at the same gestational age” and “immediately admit the child to a hospital.” Health professionals who violate the act would be subject to criminal penalties, while those who intentionally kill the child would be subject to prosecution for murder.
Pro-abortion activists often claim that the law is unnecessary, that no infants survive abortion. But recently reported health data from Minnesota, Michigan and Florida showed that at least 40 babies were born alive after failed abortions between 2016 and 2019 – in just those three states. Not all states report such information, so it’s impossible to know the total number since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down state and federal abortion laws in 1973.
All House Republicans, and three House Democrats – Dan Lipinski of Illinois, Ben McAdams of Utah, and Collin Peterson of Minnesota – have signed the petition. Lipinski recently lost his primary battle to a pro-abortion candidate, so will not be up for re-election, while both Garcia and Tiffany will be running again for a full term in November.
Tiffany won his election in a rural, conservative Wisconsin district, defeating Democrat Tricia Zunker 57% to 43%. He took a seat vacated by Republican Sean Duffy, who was first elected in 2010. Duffy was part of the reality TV show The Real World: Boston in the late nineties and worked as a commentator for ESPN. Duffy left office in September 2019 after learning that his ninth child, due the next month, had serious health issues.
Garcia is a former Navy pilot whose father was a Mexican immigrant. He won California’s 25th District in northern Los Angeles County, with an unexpectedly wide margin over his Democrat opponent, Christy Smith, of 55% to 45%. Garcia and Smith are expected to face each other again in November.
Garcia’s congressional seat became available when freshman Democrat Katie Hill resigned in October 2019 amid allegations involving nude photos, a polyamorous relationship with her husband and a female staff member, and another relationship with a male staff member. Hill was the first person elected to Congress who openly identifies as bisexual.
The discharge petition was sponsored by House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., who recently held a hearing on H.R. 962. Scalise says the measure “is a commonsense bill supported by 77 percent of Americans and 70 percent of Democrats.”
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