United States Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska has called on all of his colleagues to support a bill via roll call vote that would punish a medical professional for failing to provide care for a baby that survives an abortion.
In a Thursday speech on the Senate floor, Sasse explained he wanted a roll call vote to take place on Monday evening for his proposed bill, titled the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act.
“I'm going to ask all 100 senators to come to the floor and be against infanticide. This shouldn't be complicated,” explained Sasse.
“… 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.”
Sasse’s actions came in response to Democratic Governor Ralph Northam of Virginia recently defending a pro-choice bill with comments that implied support for infanticide.
“And it’s done in cases where there may be severe deformities, where there may be a fetus that’s not viable, so in this particular example, if a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen,” said Gov. Northam to WTOP.
“The infant would be delivered, the infant would be kept comfortable. It 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. So I think this was really blown out of proportion.”
Regarding those comments, Sasse said that Northam was defending “infanticide,” and expressed outrage over a governor “defending a practice that is morally repugnant.”
“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,” continued Sasse.
“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.”
Northam’s comments came in defense of a proposed bill named Virginia House Bill 2491, which among other things would remove various state-level regulations of abortion, such as removing a 24-hour waiting period and the mandate that second trimester abortions take place in a hospital setting.
Democrat Delegate Kathy Tran, who introduced the bill, garnered controversy of her own when, during a committee hearing earlier this week, said her bill would allow an abortion up the moment of birth.
For his part, Northam has responded on Twitter to the outrage by denying that he was supporting infanticide in his interview with WTOP.
“I have devoted my life to caring for children and any insinuation otherwise is shameful and disgusting,” he tweeted, referencing his being a professional pediatrician.
However, pro-life groups like the Susan B. Anthony List were unconvinced, with their Twitter handle stating in response that they are “not insinuating anything.”
“You said you support withholding care and allowing babies to die after a failed third-trimester abortion,” tweeted SBA List. “You are a disgrace to your office and the medical community and should have your medical license taken away.”
Northam is currently being asked to resign by a number of high-level Democrats, but not for his abortion remarks. Last week, a yearbook photo surfaced in which Northam was allegedly one of two boys who were wearing blackface and KKK outfit. On Friday, Northam apologized for the photo, but in a Saturday press conference denied he was in the photo.