Running this program: How Congress can help defend newborns


Earlier, I talked about having watched the 2008 blockbuster Tropic Thunder. Although I was unimpressed with the way it treated people with disabilities, I did think that the movie offered an important lesson for pro-lifers.

The plot revolves around some actors who are filming a movie set during the Vietnam War. Unfortunately for them, real combat ensues when the stars run across a gang of heavily armed drug traffickers. The actors are taken prisoner but manage to turn the tables on their captors, leading one of the characters to triumphantly declare that “we’re running this program now!” It’s at this point that another actor takes the initiative to immediately charge off…and look for drugs, thus jeopardizing their chances of escape.

Like the stars of Tropic Thunder, congressional pro-lifers are indeed “running this program now.” The midterm election has left both houses of Congress with a pro-life majority, so it’s time to put those numbers to good use. And, while I don’t think that our movement is about to run off en mass in search of opium, it’s still crucial that we remain focused on our goal of saving lives. That doesn’t just mean defending children from abortion; it also includes stopping the murder of those newborns who survive it.

Infants who survive abortions are supposed to be protected under the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act. Unfortunately, the law doesn’t seem to be getting much use: when U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder appeared before the House Judiciary Committee in May of last year, he admitted to having no idea how many times the law had been applied. This doesn’t seem to be due to any lack of infringements, as Live Action has released damning video footage of abortion clinic staff who admit to killing newborns.

In 2012, Live Action dispatched volunteers with hidden cameras to a number of late-term abortion centers. What they recorded was disturbing. During a visit to a facility in New York City, an employee was heard promising to drown the volunteer’s baby if he or she survived the procedure. At a clinic in Washington, D.C., Dr. Cesare Santangelo explicitly said that no assistance is given to children who survive abortions. Apparently, this wasn’t just a hypothetical scenario, as the doctor then explained that “it’s happened before.”

This is consistent with reports from Canada, as the government there acknowledged that between 2000 and 2009, at least 491 babies were left to die after botched abortions. It also fits with the cases documented by Sarah Terzo, the pro-life activist has covered multiple instances in which babies were murdered following delivery. Finally, it seems to mesh well with Planned Parenthood’s outlook, too. When Florida state Rep. José Oliva asked a Planned Parenthood spokesperson what should happen to abortion survivors, she said the decision belonged to “the patient and the healthcare provider.”

Congress has broad investigatory powers and this is an area where they should be put to use. You can help make that happen by contacting your representatives and demanding that Congress investigate the killing of infants as well as the Justice Department’s failure to stop it. You can can also sign Live Action’s petition calling on state and local officials to defend young lives as well.

Enacting new pro-life legislation will be a challenge as long as President Obama remains in office. The good news, however, is that exposing infanticide and the administration’s failure to address it are things that Congress can do on its own.  It’s going to take time and effort to bring an end to abortion, but stopping infanticide is a battle that pro-lifers can win now.

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