On Monday evening, Senate Democrats blocked legislation that would protect babies who survive botched abortion attempts.
The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which was sponsored by Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE), failed to pass the Senate with a vote of 53-44. Sasse needed 60 votes to make it law.
The Act would require doctors to save the lives of children who are born alive after an abortion and treat them like any other patient in need of life-saving care.
"This bill amends the federal criminal code to 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," the legislation says.
"The term 'born alive means the complete expulsion or extraction from his or her mother, at any stage of development, who after such expulsion or extraction breathes or has a beating heart, pulsation of the umbilical cord, or definite movement of voluntary muscles, regardless of whether the umbilical cord has been cut," the bill continues.
The legislation also says anyone "who commits an overt act that kills a child born alive is subject to criminal prosecution for murder" and allows the mother in question to "file a civil action for damages against an individual who violates this bill."
"You find that so many Democrats are afraid to buck Nancy Pelosi, but again on this issue I don't understand how you can allow a baby to be born alive and then let it be murdered and think that that should be legal anywhere," House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) told CBN News.
"This is an issue that even most people who identify themselves as being pro-choice think it's wrong to kill the baby after it's born alive. This shouldn't even be part of the abortion debate, this should be a protection that's guaranteed everybody in America - if you're born alive, nobody can take that life," he continued.
All Democratic senators except three voted against the legislation. The three who did support their Republican colleagues are Bob Casey (D-PA), Joe Manchin (D- VA), and Doug Jones (D-AL).
Every single Democratic candidate running for President in 2020 voted against the bill, including Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). Independent Bernie Sanders (VT) also voted against the bill.
Three Republican senators did not vote on the bill. They are Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Tim Scott (R-SC). National Review's Alexandra DeSanctis reports that according to their communications directors, Cramer and Scott missed the vote due to flight delays.
During the floor debate, Democrats said the bill is an attack on women's health.
"That is the actual intent of this bill, reducing access to safe abortion care would threaten the health of women in Hawaii," Sen. Mazie Hirono argued (D-HI).
"This bill is just another line of attack in the ongoing war on women's health," said Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH).
Republican Sen. Jonie Ernst (IA) argued the bill is not about limiting abortion, but saving the life of a child who survives abortion against all odds.
"My colleagues across the aisle are debating a bill that's not in front of us. They are talking about health care for women, which is abortion," Ernst said. "This bill does not address abortion. . . . What this bill does is address the health care of a baby that is born alive after a botched abortion. We're not talking about abortion, folks. We're talking about the life of a child that is born."
Pro-life leaders condemned the failed vote.
"Senators who could not bring themselves to vote to pass the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act should reconsider whether or not they have what it takes to serve. Senator Sasse's common sense bill would merely require doctors assist a newborn struggling to survive after a failed attempt on her life. Anyone who lacks the basic level of human compassion needed to vote in favor of this should quickly find another job. We look forward to a vote in the House of Representatives so that Chamber can get on record as well," said Jeanne Mancini, president of March for Life.
The Family Research Council's Tony Perkins argues this bill should not be a partisan issue.
"In a civilized society, there should brightly colored moral lines that neither party will cross. The killing of infants should be one of them. But Senate Democrats crossed that line today, putting every American on notice that there is no bridge too far, no policy too extreme. This should not be a partisan issue, but it is telling how extreme the Democrats have become that they even refuse to condemn infanticide."
Dr. James Dobson, the founder and chairman emeritus of the non-profit Focus on the Family, called February 25 "a disgraceful day in the history of the US Senate."
"February 25, 2019, is a disgraceful day in the history of the U.S. Senate, which failed to pass legislation that would have protected newborn babies, some of them at full term, from infanticide. These pitiful babies come into the world wounded after attempts to abort them and are then left to die on porcelain trays, alone and frightened, without the warmth and comfort of their mothers' breast. Have we no heart for these vulnerable little human beings? Have we no compassion? Have we no shame?" Dobson said in a statement.
"God Himself created these precious babies who encountered a cruel, cold world, where they would spend their last minutes or hours of life, a few steps from doctors and nurses who could have saved them. It is unconscionable that forty-four Democrats voted against the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. In so doing, they grievously failed to denounce infanticide in America. Forty-four Democrats, including six currently running for president, chose instead to hide behind such tired euphemisms as a 'women's health,' 'health-care options,' and 'privacy.' Senators, including Mazie Hirono of Hawaii and Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, recycled these lies rather than acknowledging the gruesome fact that because of their complicity, it remains legal in nearly half of America to murder babies – outside their mother's womb – after they survived a botched abortion. God forgive us!" the statement concluded.
Monday night's vote follows a series of shocking state measures around the country in which Democrats have removed all restrictions on abortion.
CBN News reported last month that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) signed the Reproductive Health Act into law, which legalized abortion up until the moment of birth. Illinois recently passed a similar bill.
Meanwhile, Americans' attitudes about abortion have taken a "dramatic shift" in recent weeks.
A new Marist poll commissioned by the Knights of Columbus found that Americans are now as likely to be pro-life (47%) as they are pro-choice (47%).
Last month, a similar Marist survey found that Americans were more likely to pro-choice (55%) than pro-life (38%).