Democrat blocks Senate bill banning infanticide after failed abortions
6 February 2019
Senator Patty Murray blocked the anti-infanticide bill.
The US Senate "can no longer unanimously condemn murder."
On Monday, a Democrat Senator blocked the passage of a bill which would have required doctors in the US to provide medical care to babies born alive during failed abortions.
The bill was proposed in the context of fierce debates and media controversy around late term abortion and infanticide in the last few weeks.
Just days after politicians in New York cheered the passing of an extreme bill that allows abortion up to the end of pregnancy, video of a Virginia House Delegate defending proposed legislation that would allow abortions up until the moment of birth went viral. Delegate Kathy Tran, a Democrat from Northern Virginia admitted under questioning that her bill would allow abortion even when a woman "has physical signs that she is about to give birth."
The row intensified when Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, a Democrat and pediatric neurologist, defended her comments, and then went further, arguing that a baby could be left to die after birth. In a radio interview he said: "So in this particular example, if the mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen: The infant would be delivered; the infant would be kept comfortable; the infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desire, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother."
"This is infanticide we're talking about."
These "morally repugnant" comments by Governor Northam led Senator Ben Sasse to introduce his Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act to the floor last week. He called on colleagues to support the bill, saying: "We're talking about a little baby girl whose been born and is on a table in a hospital or a medical facility and then a decision or a debate would be had about whether or not you could kill that little baby. We're talking about the most vulnerable among us and we have a public official in America out there again and again defending a practice. This is infanticide that we're talking about. This should be so far beyond any political consideration...Everyone in the Senate ought to be able to say unequivocally that killing that little baby is wrong."
Senate won't condemn murder
The bill was introduced via a unanimous consent vote, a mechanism under which the bill passes the U.S. Senate if no senator objects and individual senators’ positions are not recorded.
However, Senator Patty Murray, a Democrat from Washington, did object, claiming that there are already laws against infanticide. Following her blocking of the bill, another senator lamented on the Senate floor that this body "can no longer unanimously condemn murder."
It is now up to Senate Leader Mitch McConnell to decide whether to force a roll call vote on the anti-infanticide bill at a later date.
Strong words from Trump
Yesterday, President Trump joined in the debate about late-term abortion in his state of the nation speech, referring to the "chilling displays our nation saw in recent days."
He went on: "To defend the dignity of every person, I am asking Congress to pass legislation to prohibit the late-term abortion of children who can feel pain in the mother's womb. Let us work together to build a culture that cherishes innocent life. And let us reaffirm a fundamental truth: all children — born and unborn — are made in the holy image of God."
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