February 27, 2019

Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act

Editor's note: We couldn’t be more proud of one of our teammates, Isaac Rose-Berman, who penned his first op-ed this week in USA Today: “How college students can bridge American divides: 'Study abroad' in Alabama or New York.” Please give it a read, and share far and wide!

From the Left

The left believes the GOP is politicizing the issue in order to drum up support from its base ahead of 2020, and points out that there is already a law in place that protects the infants in question.

There [are] painful situations in which the fetus might be at the edge of viability and labor must be induced to save the mother’s life. For instance, a condition called pre-eclampsia, involving high blood pressure and other problems, can kill both mother and fetus, and in most cases the only treatment is to deliver the baby. If it seems unlikely that the baby will survive, the family may choose to provide just comfort care — wrapping and cuddling the baby — and allow the child to die naturally without extreme attempts at resuscitation.”
Denise Grady, New York Times

“Having a child born to die on his or her birthday is a unique tragedy. While some parents may insist on heroic measures, many of us, after counseling from neonatologists, specialists in high-risk pregnancies and other medical professionals decide that a blanket and an embrace is the highest quality care we can give our baby… Politicians who twist the memory of a birth followed by a death to score political points and mislead about the reality of both abortion and newborns who are born to die should be ashamed of themselves.”
Jen Gunter, New York Times

Laws already exist to protect the baby. In 2002, Congress passed the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, which guaranteed to infants born at any stage of development full legal rights. That bill, which passed with bipartisan support, did not include criminal penalties for doctors and did not impose specific requirements on medical care.” According to a board member of Physicians for Reproductive Health, this bill “is a stark departure from the 2002 law as it singles out abortion and applies strict new requirements on abortion providers only, with the intent to malign and threaten abortion providers.”
Anna North, Vox

Sasse is capitalizing on a manufactured controversy over a New York bill recently signed into law… In so doing, he mischaracterizes the bill, saying in his press release that it ‘repealed protections… for an infant born alive during an abortion.’ In reality, New York lawmakers removed abortion from the criminal code, as the state had decided to criminalize the medical procedure before the historic Supreme Court decision in 1973. Lawmakers also created a new section within public health law, solidifying the right to abortion up 24 weeks and access thereafter strictly in cases of fetal non-viability and to preserve the health or life of the pregnant person.”
Amanda Michelle Gomez, ThinkProgress

“The move is part of a larger strategy designed to maintain current abortion restrictions while revving up the GOP’s conservative base ahead of 2020 and courting independents who may be turned off by [the] Democrats' position on abortion rights…

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) laments that “This is pure Mitch McConnell. It's all aimed at keeping his base in line, while the president grows increasingly unpopular. We're not doing infrastructure, we're not doing health care. We're not doing anything that matters to help our country. It's just votes on abortion and other kinds of divisive votes he's going to bring."
Alice Miranda Ollstein, Politico

“Trump’s defenders will say this evidence is all circumstantial. But circumstantial evidence is not weak evidence: it’s simply evidence based on the circumstances in which an act of wrongdoing is committed — such as the license plate of a car that speeds away from a bank just after that bank is robbed. Criminals are convicted on such evidence all the time. They will also say that there’s no explicit quid pro quo proposal here. But… ‘even when a corrupt deal is struck implicitly, the government can still prosecute extortion on a quid pro quo basis. Circumstantial evidence can be enough to prove a criminal exchange.’…

“In the absence of an explicit quid pro quo over restarting aid, the context and circumstances are what will become the focus of the investigation. There is enough here to support impeachment. Whether it is also enough to convince Republicans and lead to removal is another matter.”
Noah Feldman, Bloomberg

Some suggest that Congress “remove Trump from office, so that he cannot abuse incumbency to subvert the electoral process, but let the American people make the judgment on whether or not he gets a second term… Removing Trump from office for the remainder of his term would disable him from abusing presidential power again and protect the integrity of the electoral process from inappropriate interference. At the same time, letting him run for a second term would permit the American electorate to decide whether Trump, despite his attempt to subvert the system, should have another chance… Decoupling removal from disqualification lowers the stakes and changes the constitutional calculus. As long as Trump can run again, Republicans cannot hide behind a claim that they are [the] ones protecting voter choice by opposing impeachment.”
Edward B. Foley, Politico

From the Right

The right believes that babies who survive abortions should be protected and given life-saving medical care, and condemns opposition to such measures as extreme and indefensible.

From the Right

The right believes that babies who survive abortions should be protected and given life-saving medical care, and condemns opposition to such measures as extreme and indefensible.

“Nothing in the legislation forces doctors to provide any particular treatment to infants; it merely requires that they provide medical treatment. It mandates that doctors ‘exercise the same degree of professional skill, care, and diligence to preserve the life and health of the child as a reasonably diligent and conscientious health care practitioner would render to any other child born alive at the same gestational age.’ In other words, the born-alive bill would’ve done nothing more than insist that health-care providers treat children born alive after attempted abortions the same way that they’d treat any other infant.”
Alexandra DeSanctis, National Review

“While current law recognizes that all infants born alive are ‘persons,’ babies who survive an abortion attempt are left vulnerable because the law provides for no requirements that health care practitioners treat the infant with the same degree of care afforded to any other newborn. The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act would remedy this problem.”
Melanie Israel, Heritage Foundation

“This bill applies only to babies who are alive, breathing the air of day, separate and apart from the mother’s body, no longer in any sense ‘fetuses’ but who are unambiguously, fully formed human beings. These are babies that doctors tried, but failed, to abort. They are there, presumably in the maternity room, struggling for life… This isn’t about abortion. The bill would stop not a single abortion. This is about infanticide, or, to put it bluntly, murder.”
Quin Hillyer, Washington Examiner

Dated but relevant: “It should not be difficult for the members of the U.S. Congress to affirm that a child, outside the womb, deserves the protections of our law. It should not be controversial to say that a child, cold and naked on a table, deserves to be treated with dignity and humanity. It should not require courage to declare that we are a country that knows life is something to be cherished, not something to be tossed on the trash heap.”
Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE), USA Today

“Is it cynical it point out that the majority of elected Democrats – including every presidential hopeful in the Senate — are, judging from polling numbers, far to the left of the country? Although polls have consistently shown that large majorities of Americans oppose all third-trimester abortions, I can’t find one that asks if they support the practice of aborting infants who had the temerity to survive a third-trimester abortion. I wonder what the numbers would look like on that question.”
David Harsanyi, The Federalist

Democrats are helping Trump expand the range of anti-abortion voters — arguably his single most reliable constituency — from religious conservatives to Americans in the broad muddled middle of the most important political debate in this country's history… In the space of only a month, the percentage of Americans who identified themselves as ‘pro-choice’ dropped by nearly 10. Some 47 percent of Americans call themselves pro-choice; the same percentage say they are pro-life. This has not been the case in a decade.”
Matthew Walther, The Week

Others note, “I’d hate to be a Democratic member of Congress trying to convince Joe Sixpack that this is a whole new ballgame. The transcript shows Trump being Trump and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky trying to ingratiate himself with the big dog by, for instance, mentioning that he stays at Trump hotels. Trump’s conversation is typically scattershot, wandering all over the field, leaving a reasonable listener puzzled about what the takeaways are supposed to be…

“I think Joe Sixpack’s response is going to be a hearty shrug. After all that has emerged about Trump so far, his approval rating is closely tracking Obama’s approval at the same point in his presidency. To get Mr. Sixpack’s attention you are going to have to do better than this.”
Kyle Smith, National Review

President Trump should be happy. As much as Warren is articulate, obviously intelligent, and energetically supported by Democrats, she would also be far easier to defeat than Joe Biden… Considering Trump's economy, the president is well placed to defeat Warren.”
Tom Rogan, Washington Examiner

A libertarian's take

“After adding in the ultra-millionaire’s tax and factoring in the other capital taxes Warren wants to levy — on financial transactions, on unrealized capital gains, on corporations — we’d be asking every billionaire to hand over more than two-thirds of their total wealth over a 10-year period. If the government actually managed to collect it, their fortunes would rapidly erode — and so would tax collections. The plan might be a good way to smash wealth, but it’s a terrible way to fund the nation’s health-care system…

“If Warren makes it to the White House, and tries to pass a plan, the Congressional Budget Office will eventually attach more reasonable numbers, with more defensible assumptions, sparking an even more spectacular political blowback than the one that greeted Friday’s announcement. Outside of the progressive Twitterati, there isn’t necessarily an enormous constituency for spending $20.5 trillion to herd every American into a national health insurance program; there would be even less support for spending what Warren’s plan would actually cost.”
Megan McArdle, Washington Post

On the bright side...

The Vatican’s Swiss Guards are now using 3D printed helmets.
The Verge

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