GOP House Keeping Its Campaign Promises on Abortion
The Republicans in the House are keeping their promises to the conservative base. In one of its first acts this session, the GOP passed a bill focused on ensuring that health providers protect infants that were born alive after an attempted abortion.
This was a campaign promise from many GOP candidates, they were champions of legislation guaranteeing life-saving healthcare to newborns. Their Democratic opponents maintained that the bill was an attack on women’s reproductive rights. They said it was unnecessary because it is already illegal to kill newborns born alive.
Rep. Henry Cuellar, a Democrat from Texas, joined all the GOP lawmakers to support the legislation, so the final tally was 220-210. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX) voted “present” and three Republicans did not vote.
Like many of the bills passed in the House this season, it is not likely that it will pass the Democrat-controlled Senate.
The bill was called the “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act.” It says that healthcare practitioners who do not reasonably act to “preserve the life and health of the child” after an attempted abortion could face fines or up to five years in prison. The bill also gives detail on civil remedies for the mother of an abortion survivor.
“This reasonable legislation would protect a baby born alive following an abortion. This bill isn’t about interfering with a so-called right to abortion. It is about stopping infanticide. Congress must act now to pass this legislation and protect these vulnerable babies,” Carol Tobias, the president of Right to Life, said about the bill.
Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO), who introduced the bill, said that the legislation will “ensure that every single baby born in the United States receives lifesaving medical care at their most vulnerable moment.”
House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries said, “We believe in Roe v. Wade. You wonder about our position? That’s it … What this bill is about today: a march towards criminalizing abortion care, a nationwide ban.”