February 4, 2021
U.S. Senator Ben Sasse, author of the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, issued the following statement after the Senate held a roll call vote on an amendment based on the legislation. The amendment received a bipartisan majority vote of 52-48, but failed to meet the 60-vote threshold required to advance.
“Protecting newborns ought to be the easiest thing in the world. This legislation isn’t red vs. blue, it is simply about giving every baby a fighting chance. Every baby deserves care. This isn’t about abortion, it’s about human rights. I am going to continue to fight for these babies because love is strong than power and we will win."
Senator Sasse spoke on the Senate floor prior to the vote. Full text of the remarks is available below.
"Thank you. Mr. President, we're doing a lot of red vs. blue jersey stuff today until about 2:00 a.m. It's going to be mostly straight, partisan votes. It'd be good for us to find some common ground and this amendment is an opportunity to do that.
This amendment, modeled on the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, is an opportunity to come together and to defend babies. It's pretty simple actually. Every baby - whether she's born in a state-of-the-art hospital with a NICU unit or whether she's born in an abortion clinic in a strip mall - every baby is born with dignity and is created in God's image and she deserves care.
This amendment is aimed at making sure babies who survive abortions get the same degree of care that any other newborn would. There's nothing partisan about that. That's why my Democratic colleagues Joe Manchin and Bob Casey both voted for this last year as legislation. We disagree on a bunch of stuff, but not this.
There's a lot of complicated debates in this chamber but this isn't actually one of them. Here's a chance for 100 Senators to come together and support every baby. Every baby deserves a fighting chance.
Thank you, Mr. President."
Senator Sasse first introduced the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act in 2015 and reintroduced the bill last month for the 117th Congress.
The bill would protect newborns that survive abortions by requiring appropriate care and admission to a hospital.
The legislation requires that, when an abortion results in the live birth of an infant, health care practitioners must exercise the same degree of professional skill and care to protect the newborn as would be offered to any other child born alive at the same gestational age. It also requires that the living child, after appropriate care has been given, be immediately transported and admitted to a hospital.
Current federal law does not adequately protect a born child who survives an abortion.
In the 116th Congress, the legislation passed the U.S. House of Representatives by a bipartisan vote of 248 to 177.
In 2019, Sasse asked for unanimous consent on the bill but some Democrats blocked the request. The bill was then brought to the Senate Floor for a roll call vote and, despite receiving the support of a bipartisan majority, Senator Sasse’s Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act failed to receive 60 votes to break a Democratic filibuster.