Republican senator Ben Sasse (Neb.) reintroduced an act Thursday protecting newborns who survive failed abortion attempts.
The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act gives personhood rights to infants and requires doctors to give abortion survivors "the proper degree" of medical care. The bill comes one day before the annual celebration of the March for Life.
"Every baby deserves a fighting chance, whether she’s born in a state-of-the-art hospital or an abortion clinic in a strip mall," Sasse said. "A decent society can’t turn its back on these babies because compassion, truth, and love still matter."
Sasse said the bill provides an opportunity for unity and called on President Joe Biden to support the bill.
"A week ago, President Biden stood on the Capitol steps and said, ‘With unity we can do great things. Important things. We can right wrongs.’ Well, here’s a chance to do just that," Sasse said.
The bill sets up another showdown with congressional Democrats, who have repeatedly defeated the legislation in recent years. Fifty-six senators voted for the legislation in February 2020, putting it just short of the 60-vote threshold required for passage. Three Senate Democrats voted for the legislation, along with every Republican senator. With a more favorable margin for the Democrats in the Senate in 2021, however, the bill is unlikely to garner significant bipartisan support.
Rep. Ann Wagner (R., Mo.) took up the legislation in the House of Representatives in 2020. Three Democrats crossed the aisle to vote with House Republicans for the legislation, but all three of those Democrats lost their reelection bids.
Forty-five Republican senators cosponsored the bill. Polling indicates that despite mixed views on abortion, the American public overwhelmingly favors the act's contents.
In addition to Sasse's reintroduction of the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) reintroduced legislation Wednesday that would ban abortions after 20 weeks. This legislation has also met defeat on multiple occasions in Congress.