The Corner

Politics & Policy

Senator Cornyn Clarifies Provisions of the Born-Alive Bill

Senator John Cornyn (R., Texas) arrives for a vote on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., November 6, 2019. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

On the Senate floor yesterday afternoon, Senator John Cornyn (R., Texas) delivered brief remarks on the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, addressing some of the common misconceptions about the legislation. The bill is sponsored by Senator Ben Sasse (R., Neb.) and will receive a floor vote after the Senate’s upcoming recess.

“It would require doctors to treat babies who survive an abortion with the same life-saving care that other infants receive,” Cornyn said. “You might think surely there are already protections that exist for that newborn baby. That’s got to be the law already, right? Well, sadly not.”

Cornyn is correct. Although Democratic opponents of the legislation protest that it’s unnecessary because, in their terms, infanticide is already illegal, there is in fact no law on the books requiring doctors to provide the same level of medical care to infants who survive abortion procedures that they would to other newborn infants.

“This legislation would build on the Born-Alive Infant Protection Act of 2002 that actually passed the Senate unanimously at the time,” Cornyn went on. “That bill clarified that every infant born alive in any stage of development is a person. Now it’s time to clarify that each person will receive appropriate medical care, no matter what their circumstances, how they happen to be delivered and born.”

When Sasse’s legislation came up for a vote last February, its opponents insisted that the Born-Alive Infant Protection Act passed in 2002 was a sufficient guarantee that born-alive infants would receive medical care. But in fact, that bill merely established that the terms “person,” “human being,” “child,” and “individual” in federal law include every infant born alive. It did not institute any penalties for physicians who neglect to care for infants who survive abortions.

Cornyn concluded his remarks by noting that the born-alive bill “is not an abortion issue.” The senator is correct. Though some media outlets are already referring to the bill as “anti-abortion,” the legislation doesn’t impose any restrictions or regulations on when or whether an abortion may be performed. It requires only that doctors give “the same degree” of care to abortion survivors that “any other child born alive at the same gestational age” would receive if delivered at that stage of pregnancy.

Anyone who refers to this bill as “anti-abortion” either hasn’t read the text, is intentionally misrepresenting its provisions, or sincerely believes that abortion rights include the right to deny medical care to a newborn infant.

Most Popular

Film & TV

America’s Favorite Movie

For more than a decade, readers volunteering their ratings on the movie site IMDb have declared The Shawshank Redemption (1994) their favorite film of all time. (Number two is The Godfather). Unlike the unholy tablets that are the box office charts, which are strongly linked to marketing budgets and show a ... Read More
Film & TV

America’s Favorite Movie

For more than a decade, readers volunteering their ratings on the movie site IMDb have declared The Shawshank Redemption (1994) their favorite film of all time. (Number two is The Godfather). Unlike the unholy tablets that are the box office charts, which are strongly linked to marketing budgets and show a ... Read More
Media

The Media Owe Senator Tom Cotton an Apology

One of the biggest issues people have with the mainstream press these days is that some of its members are so insulated that they end up buying into and promoting false narratives without actually checking these narratives' veracity. That seems to be exactly what happened in mid February, when major outlets ... Read More
Media

The Media Owe Senator Tom Cotton an Apology

One of the biggest issues people have with the mainstream press these days is that some of its members are so insulated that they end up buying into and promoting false narratives without actually checking these narratives' veracity. That seems to be exactly what happened in mid February, when major outlets ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Welcome Back, Plastic Bags

Single-use plastic bags are a miracle of modern technology. Cheap, light, convenient, and ubiquitous, they provide an elegant solution to a problem. If you recycle them, as most people do, and put your rubbish in them, that creates a net reduction in carbon emissions compared with buying the heavier, thicker ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Welcome Back, Plastic Bags

Single-use plastic bags are a miracle of modern technology. Cheap, light, convenient, and ubiquitous, they provide an elegant solution to a problem. If you recycle them, as most people do, and put your rubbish in them, that creates a net reduction in carbon emissions compared with buying the heavier, thicker ... Read More
U.S.

Some Good News Going into the Weekend

It’s Friday -- although I know it’s getting harder and harder to tell these days. You deserve a respite from yesterday’s gloom. (If you’re hungry for more gloom, there’s always the most recent edition of The Editors podcast -- and thank you, dear readers, for checking on me.) Today’s newsletter ... Read More
U.S.

Some Good News Going into the Weekend

It’s Friday -- although I know it’s getting harder and harder to tell these days. You deserve a respite from yesterday’s gloom. (If you’re hungry for more gloom, there’s always the most recent edition of The Editors podcast -- and thank you, dear readers, for checking on me.) Today’s newsletter ... Read More

The Didactic Plague

There are two Christian concepts on my mind on this Palm Sunday. One is theodicy, the other is the sin of presumption. “Theodicy” means “the vindication of God,” referring to a seeming conundrum that has vexed Christian thinkers since the beginning: How can evil coexist with an all-good, all-loving, ... Read More

The Didactic Plague

There are two Christian concepts on my mind on this Palm Sunday. One is theodicy, the other is the sin of presumption. “Theodicy” means “the vindication of God,” referring to a seeming conundrum that has vexed Christian thinkers since the beginning: How can evil coexist with an all-good, all-loving, ... Read More