Our government’s most sacred duty is to safeguard the right to life for all Americans, including the most vulnerable. That’s why pro-life leaders in Congress are demanding a vote on the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act to ensure that every newborn receives equal care, no matter the circumstances of their birth.
The effort is bitterly partisan – but it shouldn’t be. It would take only five House Democrats joining the Republicans’ petition to force a vote on this decidedly popular bill. Five Democrats – not to guarantee passage, just to simply have a vote. Rep. Tom O’Halleran is one of those conspicuously missing legislators who consistently sides with the radical abortion lobby despite representing a firmly pro-life state. On the Senate side, freshman Democrat Mark Kelly also refused to support Born-Alive protections earlier this year – one of his first votes.
Many Americans are horrified when they learn that Roe v. Wade permits abortion on demand up to birth. Indeed, the U.S. is one of only seven nations that permit late-term abortions for any reason more than halfway through pregnancy, even up to birth – a shameful club that includes North Korea and China. Even more shocking, babies sometimes survive and are callously left to die.
In 2002, President George W. Bush signed a law clarifying that there is no “gray area” when it comes to babies who survive abortion attempts – they are considered persons under the law, with legal rights. This was a good first step, but it didn’t create any specific requirements, or hold personnel accountable if they deny babies life-saving care.
In 2017, citizen journalists released an undercover video of a former medical director for Planned Parenthood of Arizona admitting that her decisions about whether to follow state law and provide life-saving medical care for babies born alive were based on “who’s in the room.”
Thankfully, Arizona updated its own born-alive law that year and is one of a handful of states that report data on babies that survive. Since 2017, the Department of Health Services has reported at least 37 live births following abortions.
We seldom know the fate of these children. However, more and more adult survivors of abortion are coming forward to tell their stories. A leader in this movement is Melissa Ohden, who miraculously survived five days of being burned by saline in the womb.
Nationwide, fewer than half of states lack adequate born-alive protections – and in states like New York and Virginia, Democratic politicians have been pushing to expand late-term abortion and remove any existing, modest protections for survivors. Virginia’s Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam, a physician, described in a live interview how babies who survive abortions can be denied care.
In the face of growing extremism, a national law is clearly needed. The Born-Alive Act would simply ensure that any infant born alive after an abortion receives the same standard of care as any newborn baby.
We’re stunned anyone would object — yet pro-abortion Democrats led by Speaker Pelosi have blocked a vote for two years. There’s no reason this issue should be partisan. The overwhelming majority of Americans, including millions of rank-and-file Democrats, support such a law. The Arizona Legislature passed a resolution of its own earlier this year calling on Congress to pass the bill.
A total of 218 petition signatures would force the full House to vote. An unprecedented 202 members signed on the first day – including 29 women, 19 of whom are new to Congress – and counting.
If five Democrats in Washington can’t even find the courage to stand up for defenseless infants, they don’t deserve to be in Congress and must face political consequences in the 2022 midterm elections.
Infanticide has no place in our society – not in Arizona or anywhere in America. We hope every constituent will contact their legislators today and urge them to support the Born-Alive Act.
Marjorie Dannenfelser is president of SBA List. Cathi Herrod is president of Center for Arizona Policy.