(Central Square) – The US House of Representatives passed the Abortion Live Birth Protection Act by a vote of 220 to 210 this week.
With the support of Rep. Ann Wagner, R-MO, all Republicans voted for him. Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar of Laredo, Texas, voted with the Republicans. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, a Democrat representing the Rio Grande Valley, voted in favor of those present.
Aborted babies are considered legal entities and are entitled to the protection of all U.S. laws under a bill that would require abortion agencies and health care providers to provide medical care to children born alive after a failed abortion, just like any other newborn. .
The bill states: “Any medical professional present at a child’s live birth must (A) exercise the same degree of professional skill, care and diligence for the preservation of the life and health of the child as a reasonably diligent and conscientious physician. the care that the practitioner will provide to any other child born alive at the same gestational age; and (B) after applying the skill, care and diligence required under subparagraph (A), ensure that the live-born child is transported and hospitalized immediately.”
HR 26 will also impose penalties on those who do not comply with the rules, including civil liability and criminal charges, fines and up to five years in prison.
Rep. Kat Cammack, R-Florida, who co-sponsored the bill, said the measure does not address abortion, but “children who are born and struggle to survive despite attempted abortion.” She said the current law “does not specify any requirements for care after an infant is born alive,” which amends the bill by requiring medical practitioners to “provide life-saving care” to the infant and transport him to the hospital. “Honestly, I don’t understand what’s so controversial about it,” she said.
But Rep. Jerry Nadler, NY, said the bill does not provide any “new protection for babies” but rather “endangers some babies by saying this baby should be taken to the hospital immediately.” Under any other circumstances, this may or may not be the right decision for the health and survival of the infant. It prescribes certain medical care which may not be appropriate and which may endanger the life of the infant under certain circumstances.”
House Minority Leader Hakim Jeffreys, Democrat of New York State, said “the vote made it clear that Republicans are going to do everything possible to impose a nationwide ban on abortion, undermine reproductive freedom, criminalize abortion, and impose on the American government-sanctioned pregnancy to the people. . … It’s this week in extreme Republican country MAGA.”
Jeffreys also said Democrats “remain committed to finding common ground and addressing issues that concern the American people.”
According to a 2019 poll, 77% of Americans said they supported a law to ensure that a baby born alive from a failed abortion will receive the same treatment as a premature baby; 55% said they strongly support it.
Another 62% said they oppose legislation allowing late-term abortions, including prenatal abortions; 50% said they were categorically against it.
Rep. Hillary Scholten, Michigan, who says she is a “pro-choice Christian,” has argued that the Bible justifies abortion. Citing Jeremiah 1:5 (“I knew you before I formed you and placed you in your mother’s womb”), she says that “it is not said: the womb of the government or the womb of the speaker. … I reject the idea that if I accept the sanctity of life, I will also have to be invited by the federal government to regulate it. We must protect families from unnecessary government interference.”
Critics contend that Scholten’s argument is a misuse of a biblical text, also known as a text message check, where people use a passage from the Bible to give it a meaning that isn’t there to justify an argument they want to make. Scholars argue that numerous biblical texts support both the sanctity of life and the role of the civil magistrate in protecting it.
Another problem with this and other similar arguments, as Mat Staver, chairman and founder of Liberty Counsel, told The Center Square, is that “those who advocate for the permissibility of abortion,” misusing the biblical text, “assume that opposition to abortion is is an exclusively Christian idea. This is not true. With or without the Bible, abortion is wrong in terms of science and general (or even natural law) respect for human life.”
The bill was supported by more than 30,000 medical professionals from the American Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American College of Pediatricians, the Christian Medical and Dental Associations, the Catholic Medical Association, and the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons.
In their statement, they stated: “There is no scientific or legal basis to distinguish between people born after an abortion attempt and people born after an attempted live birth. In cases where the life of the mother is truly threatened in the second half of the pregnancy, there is no time for an abortion. … We can and do save a mother’s life by delivering an intact baby in a hospital where both the mother and her newborn can receive the care they need. There is no medical justification for the deliberate killing of this fetus.”
Between 2003 and 2014, in only eight states that report these data, 143 children were born alive after an attempted abortion, according to the CDC.