Democrats oppose bill to protect newborns from infanticide
House Republicans announced a petition drive Wednesday to try to force anti-infanticide legislation to the floor for a vote over the objections of Democrats who control the chamber.
Republican Whip Steve Scalise and Rep. Ann Wagner said they are reintroducing the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which would require physicians to provide care for infants who survive a botched abortion and end up being delivered.
The Republicans said they doubt Democrats will grant floor time to their bill, so next month they’ll try to use a process called the “discharge petition” to force the measure to the floor. They’ll need to get signatures of a majority of members of the House in order to succeed.
It’s the same tactic Democrats tried to use last year to force a vote on immigration legislation opposed by GOP leaders, who were still in control at that point.
Senate Republicans tried to speed similar legislation through their chamber Monday but were blocked by a Democratic objection.
The push to pass legislation has gained steam this year after a new late-term abortion law was approved in New York and an effort to pass similar legislation in Virginia.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam sparked outrage for defending that bill, saying the fate of an infant who happened to survive an attempted abortion should be decided between the mother and her physician.
“So in this particular example if a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen, the infant would be delivered,” Mr. Northam said. “The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.”
The bill was defeated in a Virginia House committee.
President Trump elevated the issue to the nation on Tuesday in his State of the Union address, calling for a national ban on abortions after the time in which a fetus can feel pain in the womb.
His call, while drawing cheers from Republicans, drew almost no applause from Democrats, with Sen. Joe Manchin III of West Virginia being a lone standout.
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