There are renewed efforts for the US Congress to pass legislation to protect babies who survive abortion attempts on their lives.

U.S. Senator Ben Sasse, advocating for the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, said that every baby deserves dignity and a fighting chance.

“But current federal law doesn’t guarantee that.

“Last year, a bipartisan majority of the Senate voted for the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, but we couldn’t break the abortion industry’s filibuster,” said Senator Sasse.

The legislation was defeated by a filibuster despite a bipartisan majority of 53-44. 

“This bill isn’t about Republican or Democratic politics, it’s about making sure the law protects newborn babies,” he added.

“I hope that my colleagues who didn’t vote for the bill will come to this hearing to hear from the medical and legal community.

“All of us love babies, and we should all agree to protect them,” said Senator Sasse.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is currently undertaking a hearing into “The Infant Patient: Ensuring Appropriate Medical Care for Children Born Alive”.

According to Alexandra Desanctis, a visiting fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, the legislation:

  • creates criminal penalties for doctors who allow a newborn to die because they failed to provide medical care after the infant survived an attempted abortion procedure
  • mandates that a child born alive in an abortion clinic be transported to a hospital for further care
  • requires health-care practitioners to report any violations of the law
  • institutes penalties for intentionally killing a newborn, including fines and up to five years’ imprisonment
  • grants the woman on whom the abortion is performed civil cause of action against the abortionist and protection from prosecution if her child is not cared for after birth

Desanctis says that there is no existing federal law that requires doctors to provide medical care for infants who survive an abortion procedure:

“The Born-Alive Infants Protection Act (BAIPA) of 2002 established that the terms “person,” “human being,” “child,” and “individual” in federal law include every infant born alive, even after an abortion; it instituted no penalties for physicians who neglect to care for such infants.”