The House’s Born Ultimatum: Vote on Alive Abortion Survivors Act

Like a lot of pregnant women, the young mom who visited Planned Parenthood in St. Paul last summer wasn’t sure she wanted to have the abortion. Already well into her second trimester, she was started to have second thoughts about whether this was the right decision for her or her baby. But, pressured by doctors to go through with it, she agreed — giving her permission for them to start the painful, two-day procedure. When the time came, she watched in shock as the male abortionist started “jamming that needle in and out” of her stomach. Finally, she was told: he couldn’t reach the baby’s heart to inject it with the fatal drug that would kill it. Panicked that her child might survive the abortion, she asked, “What if the baby was to come out alive?” The female doctor paused and said, “Most likely, we would break the baby’s neck.”

Horrified, she asked them to stop the dilation and went home. Her baby survived. But dozens of unborn children, who cross that same threshold every day, aren’t so lucky. As far as Planned Parenthood is concerned, the killing of a tiny child — whether she’s in the womb or breathing on her own — is what “choice” is all about. The decision of destroying a life, they’ve argued, even one who’s lived through the worst our world had to offer, “should be between the patient and the health care provider.” Even if it’s murder. They’ll deliver a baby alive to harvest its organs or they’ll cover up a botched abortion by leaving the little survivor to die. Either way, they’re breaking the law. And Republicans in Congress have had enough.

For more than two years, they’ve held hearings, launched investigations, and turned over reams of damning evidence to the FBI. Now, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) says, it’s time to act. “Next week– the week of the annual March for Life, when tens of thousands of Americans come to Washington to give voice to the voiceless unborn — the House will vote on the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Act,” he announced. The bill, which easily passed the same House in 2015, never got a vote in the Senate. This time, leaders vow, it will. Although a similar measure was signed into law by President Bush in 2003, it never had the teeth pro-lifers needed to hold the abortion industry accountable. Under this version, the law would not only criminalize people who let newborns die (or actively kill them) but gives moms a private right of action to sue.

“…[I]f a baby is born after a failed abortion attempt, he or she should be given the same medical care as a baby born any other way,” McCarthy explained. “There is absolutely no ambiguity here. This is about protecting babies who are born and alive, and nobody should be against that.” Tell that to Planned Parenthood. They’ve argued that the bill would have a “chilling” effect on the “provision of abortion services.” “I cannot think of a more chilling effect,” Arina Grossu fired back, “than continuing to let abortionists get away with infanticide, the intentional killing of born-alive, breathing babies after an attempted abortion.”

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But how often does that happen? According to David Daleiden’s videos, a lot more than we think. Yet even on the stand, under oath, Planned Parenthood’s Cecile Richards denied it. “There was one specific video,” Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) reminded Richards, “…describing harvesting the brain of a late-term boy. She said she wasn’t sure if the baby was alive since its heart was still beating and she harvested its brain by cutting his head open starting with the chin. Do you recall that?” She said she didn’t. “There is nothing she has ever described,” Richards claimed, “that I could attest to has ever happened.” Based on hours of footage, the findings of the House Select Panel on Infant Lives, and the testimony of this one (out of who-knows-how-many) young Minnesota mother, it does happen. And obviously, the practice is far more widespread than Planned Parenthood, its president, or our former president will ever admit.

Murdering an innocent human being is not, and never has been, a constitutional right. That’s true whether the person is nine seconds old or 90 years old. Join Leader McCarthy, Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), and 60 of her co-sponsors by calling your House member and supporting the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Act. Even one lost baby is too many.

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

Tony Perkins
Tony Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council. He is a former member of the Louisiana legislature where he served for eight years, and he is recognized as a legislative pioneer for authoring measures like the nation’s first Covenant Marriage law. (Via FRC’s Washington Update. Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.)

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