The US Senate is set to vote Monday evening on a controversial bill which requires doctors to provide medical care to all infants who survive a failed abortion. The so-called “Born Alive” Infants Protection Act was sponsored by Ben Sasse, a Republican senator from Nebraska. During the debate, Democratic Senator Tammy Duckworth took to the floor to strongly oppose the legislation.
Duckworth, a Democrat representing Illinois, said the “born alive” act amounts to a way to bully doctors and to deprive women of the care they need, when they need it. She argued that the act would be excessive requirements on doctors and would create an atmosphere of fear, which would eventually scare doctors who perform abortions out of business — making it harder for women to access abortion services when needed. Duckworth said:
“We know the partisan extremist playbook it [the born-alive act] comes out of: one based not in fact, but in fiction, steeped in ignorance and misogyny. The goal here is obvious: to bully doctors out of giving care. To scare them out of business, one potential lawsuit or jail sentence at a time, making it even more difficult for women to get the care they need, when they need it most, as the number of physicians available shrinks.”
You can watch her full speech on the Senate floor here:
The born-live legislation was introduced after many pro-life activists were angered by remarks made by the Democratic governor of Virginia, Ralph Northam. Northam was speaking about a Virginia state law governing how women can access late-term abortions. Northam said, while discussing the bill:
“In this particular example, if a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen: the infant would be delivered; the infant would be kept comfortable; the infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired. And then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother,” Northam said. His remarks were later widely quoted, with his critics saying that he was defending infanticide. Northam said his words were taken out of context.