The many horrific provisions of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Reproductive Health Act (RHA) include the repeal of existing laws that protected viable babies born alive following late-term abortion procedures. New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms (NYCF) is pleased to report that an effort is underway in the U.S. Senate to toughen existing federal protections for abortion survivors.
On February 4, Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) proposed that the U.S. Senate pass his Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act by unanimous consent. The Act would strengthen the protections already provided under the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act of 2002. According to Omaha.com, the Act would require “any health care provider present when a child is born alive following an abortion or attempted abortion [to] exercise the same degree of care they would provide to ‘any other child born alive at the same gestational age.’” the Act would further require health care providers to see that any such child be immediately admitted to a hospital. The Act would also include criminal penalties for professionals who violate its provisions.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) correctly described the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act as “‘the very definition of something that might receive unanimous consent.’” “‘What could be more unanimous than this? … It’s harrowing this legislation is even necessary,’” McConnell said. Unfortunately, however, Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) had other ideas. After accusing Sen. Sasse of misrepresenting the contents of his bill, Sen. Murray objected to the passage of the bill by unanimous consent and walked off the Senate floor without any further explanation. Several senators rose to express their dismay at this turn of events, and Sen. Sasse pointed to the provisions of the Reproductive Health Act as evidence that his bill is needed. Sen. Sasse poignantly added, “‘Those little babies aren’t Republicans or Democrats… They’re babies and they need protection from all of us.’”
While the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act did not pass the U.S. Senate by unanimous consent, NYCF is thankful that Leader McConnell has expressed his intention to bring the bill to the floor for a regular vote at a later time.