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The first book I read in my middle school English class was “The Giver” by Lois Lowry. I can still picture my 6th grade classroom and my teacher, sitting on her desk, patiently answering our dis­be­lieving ques­tions. We found “The Giver” dis­turbing and a little creepy. Our teacher wrote the def­i­n­ition for “euphemism” on the board, and explained why, in the novel, the word “release” was used instead of “kill” for the elderly and young.

On Monday, Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., took the Senate floor and implored his fellow sen­ators to vote unan­i­mously for a bill that rightly labeled infan­ticide as wrong. H.R. 4712, or “The Born Alive Infant Pro­tection Act,” would have made it illegal to withhold care for a baby that has been born alive, heart beating and lungs breathing, during an abortion pro­cedure. When Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., stood up to halt voting on the bill, I wanted to dig out my 6th grade English notebook and explain to her what a bunch of 6th graders could under­stand: Killing a baby, no matter what you call it, is wrong.

The BAIPA came at the tail-end of shocking com­ments from the Demo­c­ratic gov­ernor of Vir­ginia, who had a few days prior, defended a bill up for debate in the state leg­is­lature. Gov. Ralph Northam had no problem explaining on live radio how the bill allowed for a baby, if born during an abortion, to be “kept com­fortable” and resus­ci­tated only if “that’s what the mother and the family desired.” Even then, a “dis­cussion would ensue” as to whether the baby would be allowed to con­tinue to live — even after birth. The com­ments sparked outrage across the nation, spurring the intro­duction of H.R. 4712 by Sasse, now co-spon­sored by 42 other Repub­lican sen­ators.

The country has become embroiled in a fierce debate over abortion. Yet, the Born Alive Infant Pro­tection Act has absolutely nothing to do with restricting abortion. It does not place limits on any­thing regarding when, how, or why an abortion may occur. The only thing it requires is for a baby born alive after an abortion to be given the same medical care as any other infant in our country.

This bill did nothing to infringe upon a women’s so-called right to end the life of her unborn baby. It only infringed upon the right of a woman and doctor to end the life of her born baby, some­thing that our country gen­erally pro­tects. Murray claimed that infan­ticide is already illegal, and said Sasse’s bill is a “gross mis­in­ter­pre­tation” and a “solution in search of a problem.” But Sasse’s bill is neither redundant nor unnec­essary. Only 26 states cur­rently require medical care for infants born alive during botched abor­tions, and as of 2016, only six states required physi­cians to report such instances at all.

Babies born alive and left to die after an abortion have been oddly excluded from such a basic pro­tection as the right to life. It is hardly legal for a mother to wake up and sud­denly decide her 4th grader is a nui­sance worthy of a legal injection, so why are babies in an abortion room sud­denly so dif­ferent?

But perhaps the ardent oppo­sition to Sasse’s bill neither unrea­sonable nor out­landish. After all, if we are required to save an unwanted baby born alive, what’s going to stop us from being required to save an unwanted baby in the womb? The Born Alive Infant Pro­tection Act is only an attack on abortion rights if you accept that abortion is no dif­ferent from leaving a baby to die on the oper­ating table.

But for now, our pro-abortion sen­ators have declared that a mother’s right to choose life or death for her baby extends past her preg­nancy. Instead of cor­recting their dismal logic and facing the fact that abortion takes a human life, they have decided to march on, mowing down any limit on so-called abortion “rights.” They are hoping to outrun the morality and logic that will inevitably chase them down.

From here, it looks like oppo­nents of Sasse’s bill are marching towards a future with no limits on when a child can be killed. If you don’t know what that looks like, I suggest picking up a copy of “The Giver.”

  • Jen­nifer Melfi

    There are many over­steps in this article. Let us all try to be wiser about this very sen­sitive subject.