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Politics & Policy

Ben Sasse Will Push Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act in Senate

Sen. Ben Sasse speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., September 27, 2018. (Andrew Harnik/Pool via REUTERS )

On the Senate floor this evening, Senator Ben Sasse (R., Neb.) announced that he is starting a dual-track process for the Senate to consider his legislation, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, in light of Virginia governor Ralph Northam’s recent comments about late-term abortion legislation in his state.

Sasse is using the Rule 14 process to expedite consideration of the bill, as well as calling for a vote to pass the bill under unanimous consent on the Senate floor next week. “On Monday, I’m going to ask all 100 senators to come to the floor and be against infanticide. This shouldn’t be complicated,” Sasse said.

This renewed push to pass the legislation comes on the heels of a bill in New York State allowing lenient exceptions for women to obtain abortion up to the point of birth, as well as a proposed bill in Virginia that would do the same. In a radio interview on Wednesday morning, Northam even suggested that the bill in his state might even allow doctors and mothers to allow a newborn infant to die in some circumstances if the woman wanted an abortion.

On the Senate floor, Sasse quoted from Northam’s comments and noted that the governor has doubled down on his position since the initial interview. More from Sasse’s remarks:

We’re talking about killing a baby that’s been born. We’re not talking about some euphemism, we’re not talking about a clump of cells. We’re talking about a little baby girl who’s been born and is on a table in a hospital or a medical facility and then a decision or a debate would be had about whether or not you could kill that little baby. We’re talking about the most vulnerable among us, and we have a public official in America out there again and again defending a practice. This is infanticide that we’re talking about.

“Everyone in the Senate ought to be able to say unequivocally that killing that little baby is wrong,” Sasse continued, “This doesn’t take any political courage. And, if you can’t say that, if there’s a member of this body that can’t say that, there may be lots of work you can do in the world but you shouldn’t be here. . . . There should be no politics here that are right vs. left, or Republican vs. Democrat.”

Sasse’s legislation, which is cosponsored by dozens of Republican senators, would impose penalties on physicians who fail to provide medical care to infants born alive in botched abortion procedures. It is likely to face Democratic opposition. The House voted on a nearly identical bill in January 2018, and all but five Democratic representatives opposed the legislation.

Watch the full video of Sasse’s remarks here:

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