2015 was a landmark year in the national debate over abortion. The undercover videos released by the Center for Medical Progress sparked renewed attention on the abortion industry.
The videos underscored how ambiguous the distinction often is between abortion and infanticide. For example, in one video, an employee of Planned Parenthood partner StemExpress described taking a baby boy who was delivered in an abortion at a California Planned Parenthood, cutting open his face with scissors while his heart was still beating, and harvesting his brain.
These videos, however, did not prompt the Democratic Party to alter its stance on abortion. Instead, the party solidified its commitment to the pro-choice cause. In the space of one week in September, the party demonstrated a near-unanimous opposition to restrictions on late-term abortions, including abortions involving the death of the baby after delivery.
- September 16: The Obama administration released a statement promising to veto H.R. 3134 and H.R. 3504.
- September 18: 177 Democrats voted “no” on H.R. 3504 in the House of Representatives, while 5 voted “yes.”
- September 18: 184 Democrats voted “no” on H.R. 3134 in the House of Representatives, while 2 voted “yes.”
- September 22: 40 Democrats voted against entertaining H.R. 36 in the Senate, while 3 voted to take up the bill for debate. Previously on May 13, 180 democrats voted against the bill in the House of Representatives, while 4 supported it.
H.R. 3504, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, stipulates that babies born alive during abortions must receive medical care.
H.R. 3134, the Defund Planned Parenthood Act of 2015, takes hundreds of millions of federal dollars currently given to Planned Parenthood each year and gives the money instead to services which provide health care for women.
H.R. 36, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, would restrict abortions after the 22 week of pregnancy (20 week gestational age) and protect babies born alive during abortions.