Babies fighting for their lives deserve the chance to survive. Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., appears to disagree, voting against lifesaving health care for fully birthed infants. It is shameful and difficult to grasp.
Reasonable Americans have debated for 50 years the point at which an unborn human deserves legal protection to live and grow. Key word: unborn.
As a civilized society, we have never had mainstream disagreement about the rights of young humans outside the womb. They are persons with all rights, privileges and protections of law. Not anymore.
Left-wing politicians in New York openly celebrated and lit One World Trade Center pink after passing a late-term abortion bill in January. The law allows nonphysicians to provide abortions and repeals a statute that requires an abortion provider to have another physician present in late abortions to "take control of and provide immediate medical care for any live birth that is the result of the abortion."
To further eliminate rights of fully birthed children, the law repeals language that says abortion survivors "should be afforded immediate legal protection under the laws...."
Democratic Virginia state Del. Kathy Tran wants nearly identical legislation in Virginia, proposing removal of most abortion regulations. Republican Del. Todd Gilbert asked if a woman should have an abortion during late stages of labor, if her doctor believes the child might harm her mental health.
"Where it's obvious a woman is about to give birth — she has physical signs that she is about to give birth — would that be a point at which she could still request an abortion if she was so certified? She's dilating," Gilbert said.
"My bill would allow that, yes," Tran replied.
Two days later, a reporter asked Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam if he supported Gilbert's bill in the wake of the legislator's statement.
"If a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen," said Northam, a pediatric neurologist, renowned for blackface. "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." A discussion, one must conclude, about the option of life-saving care or death by neglect.
The chilling comment led U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., to introduce a bill extending "any infant born alive after an abortion," in a medical facility, "the same claim to the protection of the law that would arise for any newborn. "Any health care practitioner present," the bill states, must administer care "to preserve the life and health of the child as a reasonably diligent and conscientious health care practitioner would render to any other child born alive at the same gestational age."
The proposed law would protect all post-birth newborns, regardless of socioeconomic status, race, gender or the value assigned that person for any reason by parents and health care professionals.
Sasse wanted to fortify the federal Born-Alive Infants Protection Act of 2002, which is weakened by state laws allowing nurses and other nonphysician health care professionals to provide abortions.
The Centers for Disease Control's Dr. Willard Cates estimates 400 to 500 babies survive abortion each year in the United States, which ranks among only China, North Korea and four other countries that allow abortion after 20 weeks. Survivors are common enough they formed the Abortion Survivors Network, headed by abortion survivor Melissa Ohden.
"No child should have their lives left in the hands of the abortionist or a medical professional to somehow decide to provide them medical care," said Ohden, who survived a saline abortion 41 years ago and supports the Sasse bill.
Three seasoned Democrats supported the Born-Alive act, including West Virginia's Joe Manchin, Alabama's Doug Jones and Pennsylvania's Bob Casey, Jr. Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner favored the bill. Three Republicans did not vote, giving Bennet and other Democrats enough votes to kill it.
It is sad to see Bennet vote drone-style to appease party radicals so devoted to abortion rights they defend lethal neglect of newborns. We asked him to explain and received a statement from an unnamed spokesperson.
"It has always been, and continues to be, illegal to harm a newborn infant," the statement said.
The wording cleverly dodges the point. The bill would forbid medical neglect, not willful "harm." Maybe that comes next.
The statement continues, saying the bill "would create vague standards for health care professionals, interfere with the provider-patient relationship, and obstruct a physician's ability to provide the most appropriate medical care based on her judgement and training."
Nothing is vague about requiring lifesaving efforts for infants. Indeed, the bill would interfere with parents and physicians who choose lethal neglect as "the most appropriate" care for living, breathing babies.
We don't expect Bennet to oppose abortion rights. We expect him to stand up for fully birthed children, as Gardner does, fighting for their lives.
We expect leadership, not lockstep devotion to his party's disturbing disregard for young persons who cannot fight or speak for themselves, much less vote.
REPRINTED FROM THE COLORADO SPRINGS GAZETTE