WASHINGTON DC (NEXSTAR) – A controversial abortion bill may soon get a redo in Congress.
Republicans in the House have demanded a vote on the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Act, but Democrats have refused to take up the legislation.
It focuses on what happens if an abortion procedure doesn’t go as planned.
“These babies are born alive and then left to die,” said March for Life VP of Government Affairs, Tom McClusky.
McClusky said the Born Alive Act mandates medical care for a fetus that survives an abortion, and prison time for any doctor or health care worker convicted of failing to comply.
“One would hope that the doctor would always think of both patients first, both the mother and the child. However, that does not seem to be the case with many abortionists,” he said.
“We’ve asked for unanimous consent to bring that bill up,” U. S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy, House Minority Leader, said.
House Republicans have gone to the floor nearly 100 times this year to demand a vote on the legislation, but Democrats have refused.
They say the bill is unnecessary since laws already exist to protect newborns.
Democrats worry the bill is intended to intimidate those who perform abortions.
However, the GOP is prepared to go around Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
“Let us put a bill on the floor to protect babies after they’re born,” said U.S. Rep Liz Cheney R) Wyoming
They need the signatures of about a dozen more Democrats to force a vote when they return from summer recess.
“We are turning more and more into a pro-life culture, so the other side is getting more desperate,” McClusky said.
States like Texas and Florida have passed similar laws, but physicians and abortion rights groups continue to fight back.
When the Senate failed to pass the bill earlier this year, Planned Parenthood said, “This legislation is aimed at shaming women and criminalizing doctors for a practice that doesn’t exist in medicine or reality.”
Both sides promise to continue the debate into the 2020 elections.
Congress passed a law in 2002 that guaranteed full legal rights to infants born at any stage of development.
It did not include criminal penalties for doctors or specific requirements on medical care.