NationalReview. More than two dozen Republican congressmen gathered in the Capitol on Tuesday afternoon to host the minority’s first hearing this Congress before a full crowd of observers, convening a panel of experts to discuss the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act.
Representative Ann Wagner (R., Mo.) introduced the bill in the House in early February, and Ben Sasse (R., Neb.) introduced it in the Senate, on the heels of comments from Virginia governor Ralph Northam suggesting that in some cases infants could be left to die from lack of medical care when delivered alive after an attempted abortion procedure.
Unlike the Born-Alive Infant Protection Act, which was signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2002 — and which defined as legal “persons” infants born alive after attempted abortions — this bill would create criminal penalties for doctors who allow born-alive infants to die rather than providing them with medical care.
The born-alive bill mandates that newborns delivered in abortion clinics be transported to a hospital and that health-care practitioners report violations of the law. It also grants the woman on whom the abortion is performed civil cause of action against the abortionist and protects her from prosecution.
When the bill came to the floor in the Senate in late February, 44 Democrats blocked it, claimingthat the legislation would “unnecessarily restrict doctors from making case-by-case decisions about what is best for infants and mothers.”
Some opponents of the bill have suggested that the legislation would compel doctors to perform unnecessary procedures on premature or sick infants.