The U.S. House of Representatives voted 248 to 177 on Friday afternoon to approve a bill that would give a born baby who survives an abortion the same protection under the law as “any person who comes to a hospital, clinic, or other facility for screening and treatment or otherwise becomes a patient within its care.”
Under the bill, the Congressional Research Service explained in its official summary of the legislation, “An individual who commits an overt act that kills a child born alive is subject to criminal prosecution for murder.”
The bill would also “require any health care practitioner who is present when a child is born alive following an abortion or attempted abortion to: (1) exercise the same degree of care as reasonably provided to any other child born alive at the same gestational age, and (2) ensure that such child is immediately admitted to a hospital.”
Five Democrats voted for the bill, and all 177 votes against it were cast by Democratic members. One member, Rep. John Garamendi (D.-Calif.), voted present, and eight members, including three Republicans and five Democrats did not vote.
Among the members who voted against this bill that would clarify that it is an act of murder to kill a baby who survives an abortion were House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.), Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D.-Fla.), Rep. Jackie Speier (D.-Calif.), and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D.-N.Y.)
The bill was sponsored by Rep. Trent Franks (R.-Ariz.), who was joined by 98 co-sponsors. These included Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R.-Tenn.), Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R.-Mo.), and Rep. Kristi Noem (R.-S.D.).
“The Born Alive Abortion Survivor Protection Act protects little children who have been born alive,” Rep. Franks said in a speech on the House floor before the vote. “No one in this body can obscure the humanity and the personhood of these little born alive babies.”
“The abortion industry labored all these decades to convince the world that unborn children and born children should be completely separated in our minds, that while born children are persons worthy of protection, unborn children are not persons and are not worthy of protection,” he said.
“But those who oppose this bill to protect born alive babies now have the impossible task of trying to join born children and unborn children back together again and then trying to convince all of us to condemn them both as inhuman and not worthy of protection after all,” he said.
Rep. Carolyn Maloney spoke against the bill on the House floor.
“I stand in strong opposition to this punitive and intrusive bill,” she said.
“This is politics at its most manipulative and politics that should never be permitted to come between a patient and her doctor,” she said.
“This bill attempts to criminalize legal medical care and punish millions of women by rolling back reproductive choices. It wages a kind of guerilla warfare against Roe v. Wade by threatening doctors with jail time for providing care to their patients.”