Scot Bertram, general manager of 101.7 FM Radio Free Hillsdale, is in for Jim today. Scot and Greg discuss the dramatic lurch leftward in Michigan during the midterm elections and how things somehow got even worse in Scot’s home state of Illinois. They also groan over Michigan’s full embrace of abortion and Montana voters rejecting a law requiring doctors to care for all babies born alive. They end on the lighter side as reports suggest some writers at Saturday Night Live are refusing to work this week in protest of host Dave Chappelle.
House Republicans are now trying to force a vote on legislation requiring medical care for babies who are born following attempted abortions, after Democrats rejected numerous GOP efforts to get a vote on the infanticide ban.
On Tuesday, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise brought a discharge petition to the House floor so members could sign it. If a majority of House members sign on, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will be required to call for a vote.
“Let the members vote to end, frankly, infanticide in America,” said Americans United for Life Chief Legal Officer Steven Aden, who was in the chamber for the signings and at a press conference later in the day.
So far the discharge petition has 190 signatures, meaning Republicans are at least a couple dozen signatures short of a majority. But the petition stays open for the remainder of the current Congress, which runs through the end of 2020. Aden is not giving up and thinks more Democrats will join the effort if they feel the heat from their constituents.
“We’re hopeful, but they need to hear from the American people,” said Aden.
Democrats offer a series of objections to the legislation, the most common being that infanticide is already banned through the Born-Alive Infant Protection Act, which was passed in the early days of the George W. Bush administration.
Aden says that law is good but there’s a major problem with it.
“Unfortunately, that bill was a paper tiger. It simply states that infants that are born alive after an abortion are persons and ought to receive medical attention but there’s no teeth to it,” said Aden.
Listen to the full podcast top hear Aden explain why he believes organizations like Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America are so ardently opposed to saving the lives of babies living outside their mothers.
Lawmakers in New York and Vermont passed sweeping legislation removing abortion restrictions and are trying to do the same in Illinois, Rhode Island, and New Mexico. Similar efforts failed in Virginia. Even an infanticide ban failed to advance in the U.S. Senate.
But why is this push happening now and do conservatives see a win coming anywhere? We ask Patrina Mosley of the Family Research Council. Listen to the full podcast as Mosley explains the urgency on the left to get this done, what efforts are still underway to ban infanticide on Capitol Hill, and why there is strong evidence Democrats are vastly overreaching on this issue.
Pro-life activists are deeply upset that Democrats derailed legislation to protect babies who are delivered after attempted abortions, but they say the silver lining is that there is no doubt where Democrats now stand on infanticide.
“It’s actually immensely helpful. It reveals with such clarity what the abortion lobby wants, which is a right to a dead child no matter what,” said Susan B. Anthony List Vice President of Communications Mallory Quigley.
On Monday, the Senate failed to reach 60 votes in favor of the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. The vote was 53-44. Three Democrats voted in favor of the plan. Three Republicans missed the vote.
In explaining their opposition to the bill sponsored by Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse, Democrats cited their pro-choice commitments.
Washington Sen. Patty Murray argued that the legislation would force women to accept “care that may directly conflict with your wishes at a deeply personal, often incredibly painful moment in your life — because politicians in Washington decided their beliefs mattered more than yours.”
“Republican politicians just tried (and failed) again to score political points at the expense of women. Enough. Women and their doctors should decide what’s best for their health – not the Republican politicians just tried (and failed) again to score political points at the expense of women. Enough. Women and their doctors should decide what’s best for their health – not the @SenateGOP,” tweeted Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
Quigley says those arguments aren’t even relevant in this debate.
“This is not a bill about abortion. It’s about infanticide and protecting babies that are born alive during failed abortions, completely separate entities from their moms. What are we going to do with them? All this bill would do is require that those infants receive the same care that we would give and expect for a preemie baby born at the same stage,” said Quigley.
Maine GOP Sen. Susan Collins supported the legislation. Quigley says Collins is strongly pro-choice and her vote proves this bill was not about abortion.
Other Democrats said the legislation was unnecessary because infanticide is already banned through the 2002 Born-Alive Infant Protection Act. Quigley says that’s very misleading.
“The 2002 bill was really a statement about what we believe about these babies, but it didn’t require anything. There were no legal teeth and no legal requirements,” said Quigley.
The Sasse bill allows for mothers to prosecute providers for not caring for their child once it’s born and prescribes jail time for those who refuse to attempt life-saving care.
Quigley says this should have been an easy vote on the merits and in pleasing the public.
“It’s not just the morally right position to take. It’s very popular. Seventy-seven percent of voters support this legislation. Fifty-five percent strongly support it,” she said.
Quigley expects this issue to resonate loudly in the 2020 campaign now that Americans can see where Democrats stand.
“This is such extreme depths of depravity. It’s really horrifying that we’re in a place where we have to have these conversations, but I’m thankful for the clarity, because at least having this conversation allows us to change people’s hearts and minds,” said Quigley.
Listen to the full podcast to hear Quigley respond to other objections from Democrats on the legislation, how pro-life lawmakers are working to force a vote on this in the House of Representatives, and how President Trump is taking steps to reduce taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood by as much as $60 million.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America lament the Democratic derailing of the Born Alive Act that would have required doctors to provide care for babies who survive failed abortions. They also defend Univison’s Jorge Ramos as he is detained in Venezuela after confronting Venezuelan Dictator Nicolas Maduro over his violent and corrupt record. And they are frustrated by Bernie Sanders offering very weak criticism of the Maduro regime while he often passionately condemns American business.
Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse vows to press forward on a federal ban on infanticide, says opposition is rooted in the big dollars of the abortion industry, and believes many critics are convincing themselves that active killing of newborns is wrong but passively killing them is not.
Last week, the U.S. Senate failed to pass the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act by unanimous consent. Washington Democratic Sen. Patty Murray objected, saying the bill is unnecessary because infanticide is already illegal. Later she suggested there was more to the bill than requiring care for a baby born alive after an abortion.
Sasse authored an op-ed in USA Today on Tuesday, imploring readers not to think of infanticide as a partisan issue.
“Every single public servant should be able to say it’s wrong to leave newborn babies to die. Sadly, that’s not happening,” he wrote.
In a Tuesday interview with Radio America, Sen. Sasse says he is genuinely surprised that there is any opposition to his Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act.
“If there’s anything the U.S. Senate ought to be able to get done 100-0, it’s something like this, stating the basic truth that babies that are born alive deserve a fighting chance at life,” said Sasse.
Sasse has been pushing he bill for two-and-a-half years but says there is much greater urgency after the New York law that repealed requirements for medical personnel to take all possible steps to care for babies that survive abortions.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam was under fire on this issue before his yearbook scandal pushed the infanticide issue off the front pages. In a live interview, Northam said babies that survive abortions should be resuscitated if that’s what the family wants and then kept comfortable while a discussion ensues – presumably about whether to continue to provide care for the newborn infant.
The Virginia abortion bill was defeated but Sasse finds Northam’s comments telling in how opponents are parsing the issue.
“I think they would draw a distinction between active and passive. They say, ‘Well, if these babies survive an abortion, no one is proactively taking a pillow and putting it over the baby’s face and smothering them to death. Since we have laws against murder already, that is infanticide. And the passive tolerance of these babies being killed, that’s a different thing and we don’t need any protections for that.'”
“That logic breaks down entirely when you consider the fact that a 12-month-old baby would also die if you left her out in the elements to die by exposure. By the way, in human history, lots of cultures have done abhorrent things like that.
“The Aztecs and the Greeks both practiced infanticide. If they thought a baby was undesirable, if she had birth defects, they would leave them out in the cold to die. So their argument here is that passive killing is not really that big of a problem. Only active killing needs to be prohibited. That’s total nonsense,” said Sasse.
Sasse says the refusal of many Democrats to stand up for babies even after they are born is more understandable when you follow the money.
“A lot of these folks are motivated by the zealotry of an abortion industry that makes lots and lots and lots of money off the status quo,” said Sasse.
Sasse says he will keep pushing his legislation in the Senate, although it could take months or even years to get a floor vote. But he wants ever member of the Senate and the Democratically-controlled House to be on the record about where they stand on infanticide.
“Love is bigger than politics and everybody with a heart should believe that we should be able to have consensus around a common sense, pro-compassion, pro-science fact that a baby that’s born alive deserves a fighting chance,” said Sasse.
“We have a moral obligation to provide the same sort of care for those babies that would be provided to any other baby at that stage of gestation.”
Listen to the full podcast to hear Sasse explain why the celebration of late term abortion legislation in New York was a perversion of a unifying symbol and offer his full analysis of Gov. Northam.
Pro-life activists are aghast at New York’s new abortion law, which allows abortions at anytime in the mother’s pregnancy if the abortion provider deems there is any risk to the patient’s health.
On Tuesday’s anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion at any time during a woman’s pregnancy, the New York State Senate approved the Reproductive Health Act. Cheered lustily by its allies, the bill paves the way to late-term abortions.
“This act permits abortion at any point during pregnancy if the abortionist deems it necessary for the mother’s life or health,” said Alison Centofante, director of external affairs at the pro-life group Live Action.
She says the law in New York previously allowed late-term abortions to save the life of the mother. She says adding a health exception provides a green light to abortion providers.
“According to Doe v. Bolton at the U.S. Supreme Court, health includes not just physical health but encompasses emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age consideration. This effectively allows abortion for any reason,” said Centofante.
Centofante stresses that there’s no need to terminate a late-term pregnancy to preserve the health or life of a woman.
“A late-term abortion like this is not needed. It’s a viable child. You can deliver that child and save the life of the mother. We can deal with the health issues separately while saving the life of this child,” said Centofante.
According to Centofante, 75 percent of Americans believe abortion should be banned after the first trimester, but she says what matters is reaching the woman whose world is turned upside down by an unplanned pregnancy.
“No woman walks into a Planned Parenthood abortion facility feeling empowered. They walk in feeling alone, like they have no other choice. Many of them, when polled, say if one person had just said that they would help me through this, I wouldn’t have gone through with my abortion. We need to be that one person for those around us,” said Centofante.
Listen to the full podcast as Centofante explains the New York abortion law in more detail and why some of those who benefit most from it may be violent criminals.
Live Action President Lila Rose says President Trump is off to a “promising” start on pro-life issues but she says the president and Congress must do what it takes to defund Planned Parenthood at a time when Democrats are voting in favor of “infanticide.”
Still in her twenties, Rose has been a leading pro-life activist for a decade, starting when she was 15. She gained notoriety for videotaping her experiences posing as a pregnant teenager at various Planned Parenthood facilities.
One year into the Trump presidency and 45 years since the Supreme Court legalized abortion nationwide, Rose gives the administration a decent grade on pro-life issues.
“I think the last year has been promising. I would use that word, especially the folks that he’s surrounded himself with, and the appointments he’s made, and the confirming of Justice Gorsuch. These are good signs,” said Rose.
“I think it’s good that he showed up to speak from the Rose Garden at the March for Life. I think his appointments are good on [Health and Human Services]. The head of the Department of Justice is now investigating Planned Parenthood. These are good things, but we really have to achieve the biggest thing, which is stopping the government forcing of taxpayers to fund abortion chains,” said Rose.
“We are urging to administration to really lean on Congress to make sure they get that bill to ensure that we’re not funding the biggest abortion chain (Planned Parenthood) $1.5 million every day,” added Rose.
Republicans did try to include defunding of Planned Parenthood in various forms of Obamacare repeal or reform legislation, only to be thwarted by the likes of Republican Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska.
Rose does worry that congressional leaders and members may be more eager to promise defunding Planned Parenthood than to actually do it.
“I am concerned about lip service and I think others in the movement are concerned. This is a really hard thing to do. You basically have to break 50 votes. Depending on how the rules are changed or amended, you could get the vice president to weigh in and be the tiebreaker in the Senate.
“There is a path to do it. It’s a matter of is this going to be the most important thing for the administration when it comes to upholding the first human right and protecting human life in this country,” said Rose.
While Rose and other pro-life activists pressure lawmakers to make defunding Planned Parenthood a priority, she is appalled by how Democrats approached Friday’s House vote on the Born Alive Infant Protection Act.
The legislation would require medical personnel to do whatever possible to save the life of a baby if he or she emerges alive from the mother’s womb following an attempted abortion. It reinforces existing policy on this front but also adds criminal penalties, including up to five years in prison for failing to pursue life-saving measures.
The bill passed, with all Republicans voting for it, but 183 of 189 Democrats opposed it.
Planned Parenthood denounced the bill.
“Medical guidelines and ethics already compel physicians facing life-threatening circumstances to respond. Doctors and clinicians oppose this law because it prevents them from giving the best care to their patients. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists strongly opposes this legislation, calling it a “gross interference in the practice of medicine,'” said a PLanned Parenthood statement.
Planned Parenthood official Dana Singiser took it even further.
“The political agenda here is clear: to take away access to safe, legal abortion,” said Singiser in the same statement.
But Rose says this vote just shows how radical Democrats are on abortion now.
“I think it just shows the insanity of the Democratic Party today, which is really going to hurt them in elections the more word gets out. This bill, the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, wasn’t even about abortion. It was about infanticide. It was about protecting children who have been born and who deserve to be protected,” said Rose.
“The fact that Democrats in a huge voting bloc, tried to reject a bill that would protect against infanticide is extremely troubling. Look, most of the electorate – including in the Democratic Party – want at least some restrictions on abortion. That’s the majority of Democrats, including Democrat women,” said Rose.
Rose says Democrats are increasingly marching to whatever tune Planned Parenthood is playing.
“They help elect these people so even though these folks try to mislead voters to say that they were more moderate or they cared about human rights or do what was best once in office, their elections are being funded by Planned Parenthood.
“They’re going to march to the beat of their drum, even if that beat ultimately includes shooting down protections against infanticide,” said Rose.
One of the major themes at Friday’s March for Life was how science is on the side of the pro-life movement, most especially with the advancements in ultrasound technology, but in other ways as well. Rose says the arguments that life begins at birth or viability should determine personhood are relics from years past.
“If you create an arbitrary line at birth, then you are killing children who are viable before birth, children that are separated by inches of a birth canal from human rights protections. It’s arbitrary. It doesn’t make sense,” said Rose.
And she says science is winning the viability debate as well.
“Viability is being increasingly moved backwards. Children can now survive outside the womb with medical assistance a little past 21 weeks. That’s incredible. The more we develop our medical technology, the more and more that viability line will change. People are realizing it’s an arbitrary line and that life, as science reveals, begins at the moment of conception,” said Rose.
Rose says the pro-life movement has a lot of momentum right now both politically and to some extent in the courts. However, she does contend Congress needs to seize that momentum and end taxpayer subsidies for Planned Parenthood for this Congress to be a true success.
She also claims cultural momentum, pointing out that more Americans are pro-life and young people a major reason why. Rose also says the personal stories of mothers who carry difficult pregnancies to term and the testimonies of former abortion clinic workers are making a big difference in changing minds around the nation.