There was a record number of first-day signatures on a discharge petition filed by House members to bring the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act to the floor for a vote. House members lined up to sign the petition beginning yesterday afternoon. By late evening, 202 members had signed.
U.S. Representative Kat Cammack (R-Fla.), one of the new pro-life freshman women in Congress, Steve Scalise (R-La.), the House Whip, and Representative Ann Wagner (R-Mo.), filed a discharge petition that would force House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to bring the bill to the floor for a vote. A discharge petition allows members of Congress to move legislation from committee to the House floor for a vote when the majority party is refusing to allow a vote on the bill. The petition requires 218 signatures from House members, which means five Democrats would have to join the 213 Republicans currently holding House seats.
Rep. Wagner said, “I will not stop working until this legislation becomes law, so newborns have a chance at life when they are at their most vulnerable. For too long, Nancy Pelosi has blocked my commonsense legislation that protects the innocent lives of children born alive. We must take a stand and tell her the American people want the Born-Alive Act passed and signed into law.”
The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act ensures that any infant who survives an attempted abortion is a legal person and will be treated with the same human dignity, respect, and treatment as any baby born after an attempted live birth. The bill also states that anyone who intentionally performs or attempts to perform an overt act that kills a child born alive shall be punished with fines or up to five years imprisonment for intentionally killing or attempting to kill a born-alive child.
More than 30,000 medical professionals from the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American College of Pediatricians, Christian Medical & Dental Associations, Catholic Medical Association and Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, support the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act and state, “There is no scientific or legal reason to distinguish between human beings born after an attempted abortion and human beings born after attempted live birth. In cases where the mother’s life actually is in danger in the latter half of pregnancy, there is not time for an abortion… We can, and do, save the life of the mother through delivery of an intact infant in a hospital where both the mother and her newborn can receive the care that they need. There is no medical reason to intentionally kill that fetal human being.”
Abortion survivors are not “hypothetical.” The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that at least 143 babies were born alive after an attempted abortion between 2003 and 2014—a number derived from only the eight states that report this information.
In addition, during the civil trial for Liberty Counsel’s client Sandra Merritt, the undercover journalist who exposed Planned Parenthood’s trade in baby body parts, an expert in stem cell research testified that various studies involving baby human hearts had to have been conducted while the hearts were still beating when cut out. In other words, the babies had to have been born alive.
Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “In Liberty Counsel’s defense of Sandra Merritt, the evidence has clearly exposed evidence that some abortionists are birthing children alive to dissect them – while they are still alive. A ‘no’ vote on the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act is indefensible. We are talking about infanticide. We must continue to fight for the preborn and newborn and restore a culture of life to America.”