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Politics & Policy

House Democrats Oppose Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act

The House of Representatives has just voted to pass the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, by a vote of 241-183. Every Republican representative voted in favor of the bill, and all Democrats voted against it, with just six exceptions: Matt Cartwright of Pennsylvania, Henry Cuellar of Texas, Jim Langevin of Rhode Island, Dan Lipinski of Illinois, and Collin Peterson and Tim Walz, both of Minnesota.

The last time a similar bill was considered in Congress — the Born-Alive Infant Protection Act, which President George W. Bush signed in 2002 — it passed both chambers by a voice vote. The fact that nearly every House Democrat voted against a similar bill this year (and one that contains actual enforcement mechanisms to protect these children, rather than simply define them legally as “persons”) shows how radically pro-abortion their party has become over the last 15 years.

This bill contains criminal penalties to punish abortion providers who fail to give medical attention and care to these infants. It mandates that any child born alive after a failed abortion be transported to a hospital instead of remaining in the care of the abortionist. It requires that health-care practitioners and hospital employees report violations of the law, and it institutes penalties for the intentional killing of a born-alive child, including fines and up to five years imprisonment. The bill would also grant the woman on whom the abortion is performed civil cause of action and protection from prosecution if her child is not cared for after birth.

Update 1/24/18: Rep. Tim Walz (D., Minn.) has issued a statement explaining that he intended to vote against the bill but mistakenly voted for it due to confusion over which vote was scheduled. He filed to switch his vote to “nay,” bringing the total number of Democrats who voted in favor of the bill down to only five.

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