Pro-Lifers Target House Dems

Ad buy will focus on opposition to newborn protections

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A pro-life group plans to hold House Democrats accountable for blocking a bill aimed at caring for newborns.

Susan B. Anthony List has launched a series of ads targeting Democrats for not supporting the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. The ads will be broadcast in nine districts in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Texas, Virginia, and Michigan to emphasize that Democratic lawmakers have blocked efforts to defend infants who manage to survive abortions. SBA List plans on spending "five figures" on the ads and will concentrate its effort online.

The abortion lobby, the ad argues, has gone beyond killing children inside the womb to infanticide.

"Across the nation pro-abortion politicians are pushing a radical agenda of late-term abortion and even infanticide," the narrator says as an image of Virginia Democrat Gov. Ralph Northam appears.

Northam, a career physician, defended allowing a newborn to die on the table unless the mother approved of resuscitation during a radio interview highlighting his support of guaranteeing late-term abortion. "The infant would be delivered. 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," he said. His comments caused an uproar before state Republican lawmakers successfully defeated the late-term abortion measure. Federal efforts to advance newborn protections, however, have stalled. Senate Democrats blocked the bill, while the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives have stopped it from coming to a floor vote.

"Congress can stop this, but Nancy Pelosi is blocking a common sense bill to protect these babies," the ad says before directing viewers to contact their local congressman.

House Republicans are attempting to circumvent Democrat leadership and force a House vote on the bill with a discharge petition. Three Democrats—all co-sponsors of the act— have signed on to the effort. SBA List hopes that it can build public support to push Democrats representing moderate and conservative-leaning district to support a floor vote even if it means bucking party leadership. Susan Dannenfelser, president of the pro-life group, said the legislation is necessary to counteract state laws passed in New York and other states that would "push a radical agenda of abortion on demand through the moment of birth and even infanticide." The lack of a vote in the House, she said, may satisfy constituents in liberal states, but will not sit well with the red state residents targeted by the online ads.

"Many Democrats who represent Republican-leaning districts have not yet signed the discharge petition to hold a vote on the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act," she said in a release. "Speaker Pelosi and House Democratic Party leaders have repeatedly blocked this compassionate, common-ground bill. We urge Democrats to listen to their constituents and stand up to the extremists in their party to protect innocent children."

The discharge petition needs 218 signatures in order to advance. If successful, the bill can be brought to a vote at any time during the current session.