On Wednesday, House Republicans voted to pass a bill that would require doctors to provide life-saving medical care to infants who are born alive after failed abortions. This legislation caused an outcry from House Democrats, who argued that it poses a threat to the newborns born in this circumstance. Democrat Jerry Nadler insisted that the bill suggests giving the surviving infant medical care that “may not be appropriate.”
H.R. 26, referred to as the “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Act,” is a bill that was introduced by Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO) and was passed after gaining support from 219 Republicans and one Democrat.
It will require medical practitioners to perform “the proper degree of care in the case of a child who survives an abortion or attempted abortion,” and to do their best to “preserve the life and health of the child” in the same way they would for “any other child born alive at the same gestational age.”
The legislation will mandate that any medical employee who has knowledge of a physician who fails to provide this necessary care must report the case to the proper authorities. Any medical professional who refuses to perform life-saving procedures on a child born alive faces up to five years in prison, and anyone who intentionally kills or tries to kill a newborn is subject to prosecution for murder.
The bill also specifies that the newborn must be immediately transported to a hospital, a portion of the legislation that the Democrats latched on to as part of their fight against it.
New York Rep. Jerry Nadler (D) summarized the feelings of some of his colleagues, saying,
“The problem with this bill is not that it provides any new protections for infants, the problem with this bill is that it endangers some infants by stating that the infant must immediately be brought to the hospital where, depending on the circumstances, that may be the right thing to do for the health and survival of that infant, or it may not. That is the problem with this bill. It directs and mandates certain medical care which may not be appropriate, which may endanger the life of an infant in certain circumstances.”
Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Illinois) echoed Nadler’s concerns, saying, “The hospital could be hours away and could be detrimental to the life of that baby. This is nothing more than part of the effort to make abortion illegal.”
Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL): "[The bill] requires immediately taking a struggling baby to a hospital. That hospital could be hours away and could be detrimental to the life of that baby." pic.twitter.com/gsw9atN06u
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) January 11, 2023
Democrat Rep. Suzanne Bonamici didn’t even try to pretend like her issue was with the specific wording of the bill. She criticized the entire piece of life-saving legislation, calling it “extremist, dangerous, and unnecessary.” Apparently, saving a newborn baby’s life is “unnecessary.”
Democrat House Whip Katherine Clark accused the bill of not being based on “science,” adding that its title was “deliberately misleading and offensive to the women who face pregnancy complication and the doctors and nurses who provide their care.”