The Corner

Culture

Abortion Survivors and the Barbara Boxer Democrats

On Friday the House passed H.R. 3504, the “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act.” The bill passed along party lines, except for five Democrats who voted Yea. Now Nebraska Republican Ben Sasse, with support from 21 cosponsors, has introduced the bill in the Senate. The legislation would augment the Born-Alive Infant Protection Act (BAIPA), passed by Congress and signed into law in 2002, by requiring that “any health care practitioner present at the time the child is born alive shall—

     (A) exercise the same degree of professional skill, care, and diligence to preserve the life and health of the child as a reasonably diligent and conscientious health care practitioner would render to any other child born alive at the same gestational age; and

     (B) following the exercise of skill, care, and diligence required under subparagraph (A), ensure that the child born alive is immediately transported and admitted to a hospital.

I have written ad nauseum about how Democrats are the real abortion extremists. But if you require any further proof, pay attention to the fate of Senator Sasse’s admirable bill.

The Democratic rhetoric surrounding abortion policy used to be “safe, legal, rare.” Abortion was defended as a necessary evil; would that we could get rid of it, but, alas . . . From that starting point, protecting babies who survived botched abortions would seem to be a straightforward proposition: “To the extent that we can protect life, we ought to do so.” Consider that BAIPA passed the Senate by unanimous consent.

That will not be the case this time around. Senate Democrats are virtually guaranteed to reject cloture (as they did today with the House’s proposed 20-week abortion ban), and Senate Republicans do not have a filibuster-proof majority. So Senator Sasse’s bill is likely to die without a vote.

Why? Because Democrats are not the party of “safe, legal, rare,” but of Barbara Boxer: “I think when you bring your baby home, when your baby is born . . . the baby belongs to your family and has all the rights.” So the senator declared in 1999. And objection to legislation such as the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Bill is the inevitable consequence of such a view. Inside the womb, outside the womb — such considerations do not matter. What matters is intent. Did you want the thing? Then it’s a baby. Did you want to abort it? Then it’s not. If what’s operative is a woman’s right not to have to be burdened with a child, then what’s the difference between a 24-week-old fetus inside the womb and in a dish?

That’s where the Democratic party is at present, and that’s why they will not be signing onto Senator Sasse’s legislation. If you’re a Democrat who finds that uncomfortable, perhaps you should reconsider your party affiliation.

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