A bill brought to the Senate floor by Republican Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska that would have banned infanticide for abortion survivors and forced medical professionals to render aid to any child born was blocked by Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington.
When Sasse stood before the Senate prior to the vote, he reminded his fellow lawmakers exactly what they were voting on: the most basic right that Americans are guaranteed.
“In a few minutes, the United States Senate is going to have an opportunity to condemn infanticide. One hundred United States Senators are going to have an opportunity to unanimously say the most basic thing imaginable and that is that it’s wrong to kill a little newborn baby.
“Every Senator will have the opportunity to stand for human dignity, to stand for the belief that in this country all of us are created equal, because if that equality means anything, surely it means that infanticide is wrong.”
In this country, all of us are created equal. If that equality means anything, surely it means that infanticide is wrong. Frankly, this shouldn’t be hard. pic.twitter.com/9MyPVGpw7p
— Senator Ben Sasse (@SenSasse) February 5, 2019
Sasse ended his comments with a plea to his fellow Senators:
“There are only two sides of the debate on the floor tonight: you’re either for babies or you’re defending infanticide,” Sasse said.
“Please don’t block this legislation. Please don’t let Governor Northam define you. Please don’t protect infanticide.”
Following Sasse’s complete comments, Murray took the opportunity to object to the measure, stating that Sasse’s characterization of the bill misrepresented its actual language.
“We have laws against infanticide in this country,” Murray said. “This is a gross misinterpretation of the actual language of the bill that is being asked to be considered and therefore I object.”
According to the Senate glossary:
“A senator may request unanimous consent on the floor to set aside a specified rule of procedure so as to expedite proceedings. If no Senator objects, the Senate permits the action, but if any one senator objects, the request is rejected.”
The bill stipulates that “Any health care practitioner present at the time the child is born alive shall exercise the same degree of professional skill, care, and diligence to preserve the life and health of the child as a reasonably diligent and conscientious health care practitioner would render to any other child born alive at the same gestational age …”
It further mandates that healthcare providers, “exercise of skill, care, and diligence required” to “ensure that the child born alive is immediately transported and admitted to a hospital.”
Murray, like many Democrats, has positioned herself to be a champion of the people and prominently supports the Affordable Care Act. She recently invited an air traffic controller to be her guest at the State of the Union address on Tuesday.
Even so, Murray’s courage to stand up for those who have no voice was not roused by Sasse’s pleas to protect children who have been born alive.
“There is nothing great, there is nothing moral, or even humane about the discussion that we have before us today,” Republican Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa said in response to Murray’s objection. “Over the past week, we have witnessed the absolutely ugly truth about the far-reaching grasp of the abortion industry and its increasingly radicalized political agenda. Politicians have not only defended aborting a child while a woman is in labor, but have gone so far as to support the termination of a child after his or her birth. A child. A baby. Rationality, decency, and basic human compassion have fallen by the wayside.”
Sasse quoted recent comments by Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, who said during an interview that he supported a bill that would allow a mother to decide the fate of her child after it was born.
“The infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother,” Northam said.
“Governor Northam is a disgraced coward and he has such an abysmally view of human dignity that he couldn’t bring himself to say this basic truth: it’s wrong to let little babies who’ve been born die,” Sasse said.
“This isn’t about Republicans or Democrats. We’re way beyond that. Everyone in the Senate ought to be able to say unequivocally that the little baby deserves life. That she has rights, and that killing her is wrong.”
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