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‘Born-alive’ amendment fails again in the Senate

February 5, 2021 CNA Daily News 1

Washington D.C., Feb 5, 2021 / 08:05 am (CNA).- On Thursday evening, the Senate rejected a measure requiring care for babies who survive abortion attempts.

As part of consideration of a budget resolution on Thursday, Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) tried to insert an amendment based on his Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. The legislation requires that babies born alive during botched abortions receive the same standard of care that other newborns of the same gestational age would.


Sasse’s amendment failed to receive the necessary 60 votes to be included in the budget resolution, receiving only 52 votes in favor and 48 votes against.


Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Bob Casey (D-Penn.) were the only two Democrats who joined Senate Republicans in supporting Sasse’s amendment.


Pro-life groups stated their disapproval with the amendment’s failure to pass.


“Appalled that this didn’t pass,” Democrats for Life of America tweeted. “There’s nothing Democratic about denying medical care to newborn survivors of abortion.”


“Thank you @SenSasse for introducing the amendment tonight that simply requires EQUAL medical care for infants, whether they’re born in the L&D ward of a hospital, or ‘accidentally’ in an abortion facility,” Susan B. Anthony List stated.


“Protecting newborns ought to be the easiest thing in the world,” Sasse stated after the vote. “Every baby deserves care. This isn’t about abortion, it’s about human rights.”


Senate Pro-Life Caucus chair Steve Daines (R-Mont.) tweeted that denying care to abortion survivors “isn’t healthcare, this is infanticide. It’s chilling.” Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) tweeted, “We must restore a culture of life to our legislature.”


“Born-alive” legislation has been introduced in both the House and the Senate in recent years, but has never been enacted. The House passed a version of the legislation in 2018.


When Republicans were in the minority in the House in the 116th Congress, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise led a discharge petition to bring Rep. Ann Wagner’s (R-Mo.) Born-alive bill to the House Floor for consideration. The petition fell 13 signatures short of the 218 signatures necessary to do so.


Sasse introduced the Senate version of the bill; his legislation required that, once infants surviving abortions received necessary care, that they be transported and admitted to a hospital. That bill failed in a 2019 roll call vote, 53-44.


Not all states publicize data on abortions, but the pro-life Charlotte Lozier Institute has reported that there have been instances of babies surviving botched abortion attempts.


In Florida alone in 2019, the state reported two survivors of abortion attempts; between the years 2013 and 2019, 23 babies in Florida were reported to have been born alive during abortions.


The Senate on Thursday night considered a variety of other amendments to a budget resolution, the first legislative step in passing another coronavirus relief package.


Other proposed amendments included attempts to prohibit increasing the number of justices on the Supreme Court, and to stop COVID relief from going to prison inmates.


President Trump in September issued an executive order requiring medical care for babies surviving failed abortion attempts. He directed the Health Secretary to ensure that federally-funded health care programs and activities were “aware” of the order to provide the care and transfer the babies to hospitals, and to investigate complaints of violations.


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Senators speak out for the unborn on the day before the March for Life

January 28, 2021 CNA Daily News 0

Washington D.C., Jan 28, 2021 / 03:45 pm (CNA).- The day before the March for Life, several senators emphasized protecting the human dignity of the unborn.


In remarks on the Senate floor on Thursday, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said that “being pro-life isn’t just the right to be born; it also means the right to live and to thrive,” arguing that policies like an expanded Child Tax Credit would help build a culture of life.


Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.), the founder and chairman of the Senate Pro-life Caucus, spoke in support of the 48th annual March for Life on Friday. 


“I believe every human being is created with God-given dignity and potential,” Daines said. “No court, no legislature, no law, can take that away.”


Senators also spoke out against President Joe Biden’s order allowing for funding of pro-abortion groups overseas. Biden repealed the Mexico City Policy, which prohibits taxpayer funding of foreign NGOs that perform or promote abortion.


The policy, originally enacted by President Ronald Reagan in 1984, has been in place during each Republican administration since, and repealed by each Democratic administration since. Critics of the policy sometimes refer to it as the “global gag rule.”


Rubio criticized Biden for prioritizing the repeal of the policy “[b]efore we even before we passed a bill to deal with the pandemic, or bring back good jobs back to the United States.”


Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), author of the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, said in a statement that “These pro-abortion executive orders from President Biden shock the conscience.”


“Our government shouldn’t be funding abortions at home, let alone overseas,” Sasse said. “Unity is important at times like these, but waging a culture war is only going to deepen divides and hurt innocent victims.”


Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) also defended the Mexico City Policy in a statement, saying that its elimination “means our tax dollars will now fund groups that perform and lobby for abortion in foreign countries.” 


“[Biden] claims his foreign policy is about ‘championing America’s values and human rights,’ but there is nothing more hostile to America’s values and human rights than killing innocent children,” Cotton said. 


Daines also praised lawmakers for re-introducing a discrimination abortion ban, legislation that would ban abortion based on a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome. 


“It is our duty to protect every innocent life, no matter how small, no matter how many chromosomes they may have,” Daines said. 


Meanwhile, others praised Biden’s move to repeal the Mexico City Policy. 


Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) said Biden’s repeal was “a win for reproductive freedom.”


<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>This is a win for reproductive freedom – glad to see these promising first steps from <a href=””>@POTUS</a>. <a href=””></a></p>&mdash; Sen. Maggie Hassan (@SenatorHassan) <a href=””>January 28, 2021</a></blockquote> <script async src=”” charset=”utf-8″></script>


Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) also praised Biden’s move. 


<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>I am thrilled President Biden is rolling back the <a href=”;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#GlobalGagRule</a>. We've got to stop this vicious cycle where access to life-saving services is repeatedly removed and reinstated. It's time to pass the Global HER Act to PERMANENTLY repeal the global gag rule. <a href=””></a></p>&mdash; Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (@gillibrandny) <a href=””>January 28, 2021</a></blockquote> <script async src=”” charset=”utf-8″></script>


<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>A great step for reproductive rights—President Biden will put an end to the global gag rule, which has jeopardized women’s access to health care around the world.<br><br>It’s time to roll back this cruel Trump-era policy. <a href=””></a></p>&mdash; Senator Mazie Hirono (@maziehirono) <a href=””>January 28, 2021</a></blockquote> <script async src=”” charset=”utf-8″></script>