Dems overwhelmingly oppose bill requiring medical care for babies born alive after botched abortions

Texas Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar was the only Democrat to back the bill.
Baby, RSV, Cloquet, Minn., May 6, 2020

The House of Representatives on Wednesday passed the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act to require medical care for babies who survived failed abortion attempts, with 210 Democrats opposing the measure.

A total of 220 lawmakers supported the measure to grant legal person status for abortion survivors and require that doctors care for them as a "reasonably diligent and conscientious health care practitioner would render to any other child born alive," according to Fox News.

Texas Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar was the only Democrat to back the bill, while Democratic Texas Rep. Vicente Gonzalez voted present, per The Hill.

It would further impose fines and a maximum of five years in prison for intentionally killing a baby who survived the procedure while granting the mother a civil cause of action against the offender. A press release from Missouri Republican Rep. Ann Wagner, who introduced the bill, indicated the provision was an effort to acknowledge "that women are the second victims of abortion."

At center stage on the House floor were comments from former Virginia Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam made in 2019 in which he appeared to support delivering still-living babies and then killing them outside the womb.

"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 between the physicians and the mother," Northam said in a radio interview when discussing late term abortions.

Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan directly referenced Northam's remarks.

"Taking the life of unborn children right up to their birth day, and then as Gov. Northam has pointed out, even after that. We want to make sure that 'even after that' part never happens," said Jordan, per Fox.

Several Democrats contended that the bill was merely an effort to advance an agenda to ban abortion nationwide.

"We all know what this is about. It is not about the protection of newborn children. It's about control," Rep. Sydney Kamlager-Dove, D-Calif., said. "It's about the nation-wide abortion ban that Republicans have been itching to enact since the overturning of Roe v. Wade."

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., meanwhile, said the measure was part of a GOP-led "march to criminalize abortion care, to impose a nationwide ban, to set into motion government-mandated pregnancies," according to the outlet.

The bill does not further restrict abortion access.

It is likely dead on arrival in the Democrat-controlled Senate.