By Raymond Wolfe
Following a long-standing pattern of opposition to anti-infanticide bills, Senate Democrats voted on Thursday to block an amendment that would mandate legal protection and equal care for babies who survive abortions.
Republicans proposed the amendment during the budget reconciliation process for the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill that passed the Senate by a party-line vote on Friday.
Based on the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, the amendment sought “to prohibit a health care practitioner from failing to exercise the proper degree of care in the case of a child who survives an abortion or attempted abortion.”
The Born Alive Act, introduced by Senate Republicans several times since 2016, also has been repeatedly shot down by Democrats. All but three Democrats voted against the bill when it came to a vote in the Senate last February. House Democrats have refused to allow a vote on the bill in the lower chamber dozens of times.
On Thursday, dissident Catholic Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), the Senate Democratic Whip, filed a motion to block a vote on the Born Alive amendment. Durbin’s motion was backed by 48 Democratic senators, preventing the legislation from passing the 60-vote Senate threshold.
All Republicans voted to support the amendment, as did two Democrats, Bob Casey (D-PA) and Joe Manchin (D-WV). Newly-elected senators Sens. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) and Mark Kelly (D-AZ), both of whom are up for re-election in swing states in 2022, voted against it.
“The American people now know where every single U.S. senator stands on protecting babies born alive after failed abortions,” the Susan B. Anthony List reacted. “The legislation should have received 100 votes, but sadly, 48 Democratic senators voted against life-saving care for babies born alive,” the group added.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) confirmed that hundreds of babies likely die following botched abortions. The CDC recorded between 376 and 588 infant deaths between 2003 and 2014 and concluded that at least 143 babies were “definitely” born alive after an abortion, most of them living for over an hour. The agency admits that number may be an underestimate.
“We know it is an underestimate because these are just reported numbers from hospitals, not abortion facilities. Kermit Gosnell is only one abortionist who was responsible for “hundreds of snippings” of born-alive babies, yet he did not report even one. His numbers alone exceed the “definitive” numbers of the CDC,” congressional testimony notes.
A recent report by the Charlotte Lozier Institute, which is affiliated with the Susan B. Anthony List found that fewer than half of states have adequate protections for babies who survive abortions. Polling shows that the vast majority of Americans, including a near-majority of Democrats, believe that those babies should not be left to die.