Last week, 44 U.S. senators blocked a bill that would have punished doctors who don’t try saving the life of babies born alive during failed abortions. The 53–44 vote fell short of the 60 votes needed to move the bill forward.
Before the vote, Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Nebraska, who sponsored the bill, said: “I want to ask each and every one of my colleagues whether we’re OK with infanticide. This language is blunt…But frankly, that is what we’re talking about here today. Infanticide is what the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act is actually about.”
The horrific implications of this vote should change the whole debate about abortion. During the last decades, the abortion debates have been based on personhood. The question usually is, when should a baby in the womb be considered a person? Catholic doctrine teaches that life – and personhood – begins at conception. Proponents of abortion consider the baby in the womb not as a person but as a mere “clumps of cells.”
The “cells” theory becomes less credible with each new scientific study of the development of the different stages of pregnancy. And common sense makes that theory more irrational with each week of a pregnancy. For most people, it is evident that the fully formed baby we can see moving in a sonogram cannot be considered a “clump of cells.” This is one of the reasons why, according to a 2018 Gallup poll, only 13 percent of Americans support abortion during the third trimester of pregnancy (https://www.npr.org/ 2018/06/13/619200865/americans-support-for-abortion-rights-wanes-as-pregnancy-progresses).
But extreme proponents of abortion sustain that the baby only becomes a person when he or she is out of the womb of the mother. It defies logic to say that the same baby goes from being a “clump of cells” that you can kill and throw in the trash to being a human person in 20 minutes, but that is the reasoning behind the late-term abortions.
Now the vote in the Senate against the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act goes beyond that. It effectively establishes that the mother and her doctors have the right to kill the baby – or let her or him suffer until dying – even when the baby was born alive during a failed abortion. You have to wonder in horror what happens in the abortion clinics when a baby is born alive and the mother decides that her son or daughter should be killed. How can you have a rational debate about infanticide?
What are the effects of such a crime on the doctors who commit them? What kind of society allows this to happen? Even by the narrow and illogical definition of personhood proposed by the supporters of late term abortion, letting a baby die after being born alive has to be considered infanticide. And they still voted for it.
If just 13 percent of America believes abortion should be legal during the third trimester of pregnancy, how many of them would approve killing a baby after being born alive? How is it possible that 44 senators think this is OK? How can we understand that Democratic presidential hopefuls Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren voted for this monstrosity?
How far from American mainstream morals can those candidates go before they start paying price for their extremism?