On Monday, the U.S. Senate will vote on a bill that will protect infants who survive abortions just weeks after Virginia Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam defended infanticide.
The bill's fate is uncertain given Democratic control of the House of Representatives, but pro-life advocates say the vote will clarify where each politician stands on the issue of abortion and the treatment of the unborn. Sen. Ben Sasse (R., Neb.) pushed for a roll call vote, in which he and his colleagues will have to attach their name and voice to a life-and-death issue. The vote will give voters a clear view of where their elected representatives stand and highlight the radical position of those who support abortion.
"An extreme abortion business lobby is trying to hide behind a wall of euphemisms, but this is as clear-cut as it gets," Sasse said. "The Senate is going to take simple yes or no vote on whether newborn babies who survived abortions deserve medical care."
The bill, called the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, will ensure that doctors provide life-saving care to any baby that survives an abortion. While similar bills have passed at the state level, there has been no federal legislation. Sasse pushed for the bill in the wake of Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam's endorsement of infanticide during a radio interview.
"If a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen. The infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable," he said. "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."
Sasse said his legislation will prevent infants from being left to die on tables based upon the whims of abortionists. He said federal lawmakers will have to answer clearly about whether or not they agree with Northam that babies can be killed outside of the womb.
"Every member of the Senate is going to have to answer," he said. "They can stand with babies or they can defend infanticide with Governor Northam—those are the choices. The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act should be the easiest vote any Senator takes."
Pro-life groups have been working to lobby lawmakers of both parties to support the bill, including some Democrats who have identified themselves with the pro-life movement in the past, such as Sen. Tim Kaine (D., Va.), Sen. Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.), and Sen. Bob Casey (D., Pa.). Polls have shown that a vast majority of voters, including more than 40 percent of self-identified pro-choice individuals, support restrictions on late-term abortion. Those numbers jumped even higher on the topic of providing care to survivors, with 86 percent of Republicans, 70 percent of Democrats, and 75 percent of independents endorsing their protection, according to the McLaughlin & Associates poll commissioned by the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List.
Tom McClusky, president of March for Life Action, said the roll call vote will present voters with a clear idea of where lawmakers stand on the issue.
"The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act seeks to provide basic protections for babies who are even more vulnerable because they were targeted by abortion yet survived," he said. "As states like Virginia try to remove legal protection for these children, it is important to hold elected officials accountable for their abortion extremism."
The roll call vote is scheduled to be held on Feb. 25.