January 31, 2019
Sasse moves to expedite consideration of Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act
Today, U.S. Senator Ben Sasse spoke on the Senate floor about his Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act.
Sasse has taken a dual-track approach to having the Senate consider the legislation, both under Unanimous Consent next Monday and under the Rule 14 process with a future roll call vote.
Text of the Senator's speech is below:
This place fancies itself the world's greatest deliberative body, but we would be deceiving ourselves if we ignored the biggest debate that's been happening in America over the last 36 hours. A public elected official -- the Governor of one of the 50 states -- has been defending a practice that is morally repugnant. The Governor of Virginia has been defending a practice that is repugnant to civilized people across the entire world.
Here's just one of the ugly nuggets from Ralph Northam, the Governor of Virginia. "If the mother is in labor 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 physician and the mother."
Let's be really clear about what we're talking about here. We're talking about fourth trimester abortion - or what anyone in the normal world calls infanticide. That's what we're talking about and the Governor of Virginia has been defending this all day yesterday and again today. Going out and trying to equivocate and qualify and then double down and again say he wants to defend his practice - which is infanticide.
Let's be clear what we're talking about. We're talking about killing a baby that's been born. We're not talking about some euphemism, we're not talking about a clump of cells. We're talking about a little baby girl whose been born and is on a table in a hospital or a medical facility and then a decision or a debate would be had about whether or not you could kill that little baby. We're talking about the most vulnerable among us and we have a public official in America out there again and again defending a practice. This is infanticide that we're talking about. This should be so far beyond any political consideration. We're talking about a little baby. A baby with dignity. An image bearer. We're talking about a tiny life that has done nothing wrong to warrant being left to die cold and alone on a table.
Everyone in the Senate ought to be able to say unequivocally that killing that little baby is wrong. This doesn't take any political courage. And, if you can't say that, if there's a member of this body that can't say that, there may be lots of work you can do in the world but you shouldn't be here. You should get the heck out of any calling in public life where you pretend to care about the most vulnerable among us. There should be no politics here that are right vs. left, or Republican vs. Democrat. This is the most basic thing you could be talking about. We're talking about a little baby born alive and we have a public official in America defending the idea "Well, you could have a debate about killing her."
That's why today, I'm starting a dual-track legislative process to make sure that this body has a clear-eyed look at the issue before us, has a clear-eyed look at this atrocity, and to make sure the 320 million men and women -- who are actually our bosses -- to be sure they have a clear-eyed look at what we stand for. Do we stand with those little, vulnerable babies in desperate need of care and comfort and support, medical treatment, food? Or do we stand with the comments with the Governor of Virginia over the last two days?
Tonight I'm beginning what's know as the Rule 14 Process. It's an expedited procedure for floor consideration of my legislation, "The Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act." And in addition, I want to announce that on Monday night I'm going to be sure that every senator has the opportunity to come to the floor and say who we stand for and what we stand against.
So, I want to announce that in addition to the Rule 14 Process that I'm going to initiate just here in a moment, I also want senators to be aware that on Monday evening I'm going to be asking unanimous consent for senators to come to the floor and pass an abortion survivors protection act, an abortion survivors born-alive piece of legislation. I'm going to ask all 100 senators to come to the floor and be against infanticide. This shouldn't be complicated. Therefore Mr. President, I understand that there is a bill at the desk, and I ask for it's first reading.
Chair: The clerk will read the title of the bill for the first time.
Clerk: S.311: A bill to amend Title 18 United States Code to prohibit a healthcare practitioner from failing to exercise the proper degree of care in the case of a child who survives an abortion or attempted abortion.
Sasse: I now ask, Mr. President, for a second reading, and in order to place the bill on the calendar under the provisions of Rule 14, I will object to my own request.
Chair: Objection having been heard, the bill will receive its second reading on the next legislative day.
Sasse: Thank you Mr. President, and I look forward to the debate in this body on Monday evening. Thank you sir.