By L.A. Williams
Christian Action League
February 27, 2020
It’s been an up-and-down week for the pro-life movement: the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld President Trump’s Protect Life Rule, which aims to keep taxpayer funds from paying for abortion, but the U.S. Senate rejected bills that would have helped protect the unborn and those born-alive during the controversial procedure.
“We’re disappointed in members of the Senate who could not see the benefit of these life-saving measures,” said the Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League. “At the same time, we are thankful that the Ninth Circuit Court has restored regulations that help prevent taxpayers from indirectly funding abortion.”
In the Senate, the GOP had the votes to pass the bills by a simple majority, but could not get the 60 necessary for a three-fifths cloture motion that would bring them to the floor. S.311—Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act failed by four votes; S.3275—Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act by seven.
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said that refusing to support a measure that would provide life-saving care to born-alive abortion survivors is condoning infanticide.
“Continuing to allow this practice of either actively or passively allowing born-alive babies to die as Virginia Governor Northam has advocated is crossing the line from civilized to barbarous,” Perkins said. “The efforts in Congress to protect these babies should not stop, and voters have a moral duty to vote against those who condone infanticide.”
Recently, the FRC announced that it had identified at least 170 additional born-alive abortion survivors beyond the 143 reported by the CDC, and those are from just the eight states that require reporting.
Senator Mike Braun (R-Ind.) made it clear that even if babies born alive during an abortion are relatively rare, their lives matter.
“Some will say that a bill to ensure medical care for babies born after failed abortions is unnecessary because it doesn’t happen that often,” he said. “It doesn’t matter how common it is; it matters if it’s right or wrong.”
Congress passed the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act in 2002, which affirmed that all infants who survive abortion are full persons under the law, but that legislation did not require medical care for them nor create penalties for those who failed to offer it. Because the 2002 law lacks enforcement mechanisms, no prosecutions have resulted from it.
Also failing to make it to the floor of the Senate, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, sponsored by Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.), would outlaw abortions after 20 weeks.
“There are only seven countries that allow wholesale abortions at the 20-week period, including China and North Korea,” Graham told fellow lawmakers. “The United States should not be in that club.”
The Liberty Counsel’s Matt Staver said the two votes should fuel the drive to protect life, especially for those in the pulpit.
“That was something that should activate every person in America. Pastors should be giving passionate sermons about the importance of protecting life, knowing what the Bible says on this issue, and getting active in the upcoming elections to vote biblical values,” he said, reminding pastors that they have both the freedom to speak out and the responsibility to not be silent in the face of evil.
Pro-life proponents were speaking out this week in praise of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling for President Trump’s Pro-Life rule.
Announced in 2018 as a return to a 1988 regulation, the rule requires a complete financial and physical separation between Title X funded projects and abortion services. The goal is to ensure that Title X funds are not used to fund abortions except in cases of rape or incest or when the mother’s life is at stake. The rule also prohibits healthcare providers that receive Title X funds from providing abortion referrals. It has already helped to defund Planned Parenthood. Unwilling to abide by the regulations, the nation’s largest abortion provider withdrew from the Title X program forfeiting $60 million in taxpayer dollars.
In its 7-4 ruling, the Circuit Court cited the 1991 Supreme Court case Rust v. Sullivan, which upheld the rules adopted in 1988.
“Congress has long prohibited the use of Title X funds in programs where abortion is a method of family planning, and (the Department of Health and Human Service’s) recent rule makes that longstanding prohibition a reality,” U.S. Justice Department spokeswoman Mollie Timmons said in a written statement following the Ninth Circuit ruling. “We look forward to continuing to defend this vital rule against all challenges.”