It’s hard to believe that, in 21st century America, the life of a baby more than halfway through pregnancy is considered up for debate – but it’s true, thanks in part to Senator Kyrsten Sinema and her extremist Democrat friends in Congress. In many parts of the country, even newborn infants are uniquely vulnerable to being killed or left to die, all because they were slated for abortion and miraculously survived.
This flies in the face of basic decency and fundamental American values. Surely, we can all agree that at the very least, preborn babies who can feel pain, or babies born alive deserve protection – can’t we?
That is the idea behind two bills pending in the U.S. Senate. Last week Majority Leader Mitch McConnell filed cloture on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act and the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, setting the stage for consecutive votes expected to take place today. One stops late-term abortions after five months of pregnancy, a point when science clearly shows that preborn babies can feel excruciating pain. The other ensures that babies who survive failed abortions receive the same medical care as any other baby born prematurely at the same age.
The overwhelming majority of Americans – including 75 percent of Independents and 70 percent of Democrats – support Born-Alive legislation, and a strong majority want to protect preborn babies after five months of pregnancy. If the will of the people had prevailed, both would already be law – but pro-abortion Democrats in both houses of Congress have stood stubbornly in the way. Senator Sinema presents herself as a moderate, but during her time in the U.S. House of Representatives she voted to block Pain-Capable legislation twice.
We hope Senator Sinema was paying close attention during President Trump’s State of the Union address this year. The President invited as his special guests Ellie Schneider, one of the youngest surviving preemies ever born in the U.S., and her mom Robin. Ellie was born at 21 weeks and six days. Through the skill of her doctors and prayers of her parents, Ellie is now a happy, healthy two-year old.
Every year, more than 11,000 babies like Ellie are legally killed under the radical status quo imposed on our nation by Roe v. Wade – and in states like New York and Virginia, Democratic politicians have pushed to expand abortion on demand and strip away what modest protections existed. By the abortion lobby’s own admission, many are healthy babies of healthy mothers. These babies are routinely administered anesthesia during surgery at this stage because they feel pain.
President Trump’s pro-life policies show he is on their side. Once again, he has called on Congress to send the Pain-Capable bill to his desk and give these precious babies a fighting chance at life. He has continually called out Democratic Party leaders on their extreme stance favoring abortion on demand through birth and even infanticide. While his opponents running for president on the Democratic ticket can’t manage to name a single limit on abortion they support, refusing to draw the line even at the moment of birth, President Trump uses his platform to give voice to abortion survivors, exposing the lies of the abortion industry and showing the nation that “choice” has a human face. The contrast is stark.
Arizona has become a key battleground state, helping deliver victory for President Trump in 2016. Voting to protect babies who can feel pain and babies who survive abortions ought to be a no-brainer for Sinema as she faces re-election – it’s the morally right and politically smart thing to do. But it will require her to find the courage to stand up to the extremists in her party. Will she stand with innocent children and her constituents, or bow to the radical abortion lobby?
Defenseless babies cannot wait any longer for Congress to act. We urge all compassionate Arizonans to make their voices heard loud and clear today. Let Senator Sinema know that if she can’t take a stand for the most vulnerable among us, she doesn’t deserve to represent this great state in Washington.
Cathi Herrod is president of Center for Arizona Policy Action and Marjorie Dannenfelser is president of the national pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List.