As Senate refuses to protect abortion survivors, House Democrats still won’t allow vote

abortion, congress

House Democrats blocked a request on Monday evening to allow a vote on the House version of the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. This happened on the same evening Senate Democrats blocked a similar measure in the Senate. Monday’s House motion marks the seventh such time a request was denied in the House, and the ninth time overall.

The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, HR 962, would ensure that any baby born alive after a botched abortion receives appropriate medical care that a “health care practitioner would render to any other child born alive at the same gestational age.” It spells out penalties for doctors who violate the law, prohibits mothers from being prosecuted under it, and institutes mandatory reporting of violations. This measure would go farther than the 2002 Born Alive Infants Protection Act, which stated that anyone born, whether the birth “occurs as a result of natural or induced labor, cesarean section, or induced abortion,” is a person with full citizenship and entitled to protections under the law. HR 962 goes further by spelling out specific protections and by giving mothers recourse in case these laws are broken.

READ: Senate fails to pass bill protecting infants surviving abortion

Despite the 2002 law, Live Action has previously reported on repeated violations of the law, including instances in which a baby, delivered at 23 weeks, was observed “moving and making noises for approximately five minutes,” after which time a healthcare worker “scooped up the baby and placed the live baby, placenta and afterbirth in a red plastic biohazard bag, which she sealed, and then threw bag and the baby in a trash can,” according to a CNN report.

House Republicans have repeatedly asked for unanimous consent to bring HR 962 to the floor for a vote; unanimous consent is a procedure for expediting action on uncontroversial measures. Beginning February 6th, and then again on the 7th, 8th, 12th, 13th, 14th, and most recently Monday, Democrats have blocked the vote from coming to the House floor.

If the measure continues to be blocked for 30 consecutive legislative days, Republican Whip Steve Scalise and Rep. Wagner will file a vote to discharge the measure from the Rules Committee, meaning after a majority of House members sign the petition and after brief debate, it could be immediately brought to the House floor for a vote.

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