CAPITOL HILL — Ripples of shock are rolling through the ranks of pro-life Congress members after Democrats blocked a US Senate bill that would have ensured medical care for children born alive after an attempted abortion.
One of those shocked legislators worked as an obstetrician before becoming a lawmaker.
"I never could have in my wildest, worst nightmare dreamed that I would have had to come up here one day and fight harder to protect newborn babies than I did as a physician," Kansas Republican Roger Marshall told a news conference held just outside the Capitol building.
On Monday, the Senate failed to pass the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. It needed 60 votes to advance through the legislative process but failed by seven votes as the final tally came to 53-44.
All 44 "no" votes came from Democrats. Three of their number crossed over to vote with the Republicans.
'And That's Murder'
US Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) heads up the House Pro-Life Caucus. He told CBN News it's unconscionable abortionists are being allowed to take this deadly step when an abortion fails.
"They know the unborn child dies when they dismember or chemically poison them," Smith explained. "But when the babies survive, they take that next step and they make no effort whatsoever to protect this breathing, gasping, often crying little baby. And that's murder."
Lawmakers held a news conference to announce they'll push every day to get a bill put up for a vote in the House that will protect these infants.
"If Speaker Pelosi feels so strongly about her position that babies ought to be allowed to die on the table, she should just allow a vote in the House," said Mallory Quigley of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List.
77% of Americans Support a Bill to Prevent Infanticide; 9% Oppose
Quigley spoke to CBN News about recent poll results that could lead to a political change of heart for those fighting this legislation.
"Seventy-seven percent of Americans support the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act," Quiqley said. "Only nine percent oppose."
Meanwhile, Senate Democrats aren't even close to apologizing for their vote against the Born-Alive Act. Their leader, New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, labeled the bill "Washington politics at its worst."
Top Dem Labels Anti-Infanticide Act an Effort to Deny Women Health Care
"This vote does not occur in a vacuum," Schumer said on the Senate floor. "It's part of a pattern taken by President Trump and congressional Republicans to limit, deny or circumscribe a woman's right to health care."
Sen. Tina Smith (D -Minn) treated it like an assault on doctors and women, saying, "This bill intimidates providers and forces physicians to provide inappropriate medical treatment even when it's not in the best interest of the patient or her family."
'Have You Heard of Adoption?'
Hearing that, Patrina Mosley of the Family Research Council would like to give one message to women contemplating abortion.
"Have you heard of adoption?" she asked. "There are plenty of families out there who want children who can't have them. And that is a life worth saving that someone else wants. And that's okay if you don't, but someone else does. And that baby deserves to live for that family that's going to love them."
No one can say how far this trend to legalize what some are calling "after-birth abortions" will go. But polling suggests it's so shocked so many Americans, it's very likely to become a big issue in the 2020 elections.