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Defending Life

April 1, 2019
Weekly Columns

As penned in the Declaration of Independence, our forefathers founded this nation with the strong belief that individuals are “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.” Among those is the right to life, which influences my commitment to protecting the most vulnerable, including the unborn.

I recognize that on the emotionally charged issue of abortion, many Americans have differing points of view. But I have always come down firmly on the side of defending the unborn—as well as those who were just born. While current law acknowledges that babies born alive are considered “persons,” the same law falls short in ensuring protections and care for newborns who survived an abortion attempt.

To protect the right to life for abortion survivors, I am a proud cosponsor of the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. No matter what side Americans fall on the issue of abortion, this bill is commonsense. By amending the criminal code, the legislation simply requires that attending medical professionals provide the same life-saving care to abortion survivors as they would to any other premature babies born alive. The bill also requires that a child born alive after an attempted abortion be immediately admitted to a hospital.

Protecting the lives of children shouldn’t be a divisive issue, and both sides should want to work together to address such a noticeable failure in the law. Unfortunately, House Democrats have week after week refused Republican requests brought by unanimous consent on the floor to allow consideration of and a vote on the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. I brought up one of those requests myself because I believe this issue can’t wait any longer. It requires urgent action at the federal level since nearly half of our states don’t have existing protections in place and some states allow late-term abortions – increasing the likelihood of abortion survivors. Since Democrats started presiding over the House this Congress, it is disappointing and baffling indeed that all 24 Republican requests on the floor to protect the right to life for abortion survivor newborns have been denied.

I will continue to stand with my Republican colleagues in defending life for the most vulnerable, whether those individuals are unborn or born. Considering that this is such a basic responsibility supported by the United States Constitution, I hope that my Democratic colleagues will finally decide to join Republicans in better stewardship of a foundational principle we are all entrusted to defend.