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.