Steve Scalise leads charge to bypass Pelosi, force House members to vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on infanticide

House Republican Whip Steve Scalise, Republican from Louisiana, is leading the charge against infanticide by trying to force every House member to “go on record and tell the American people EXACTLY where they stand on this barbaric practice.”

By every measure of humanity and morality this should be an easy, unanimous vote; it should not be partisan. Yet no fewer than 25 previous attempts to bring the bill to a vote were shut down by Democrat leaders, who hold the House majority.

The bill is sponsored by Rep. Ann Wagner, Republican from Missouri.

“It will protect babies born alive during attempted abortions from being killed,” said Scalise, as reported by CNS News. “But Nancy Pelosi refuses to bring it to the floor for a vote. That’s why I filed a discharge petition to bypass her.”

A discharge petition is a means of bringing a bill out of committee and to the floor for consideration without a report from the committee. It “discharges” the committee from further consideration of a bill or resolution.

According to the legislation, H.B. 962, “If an abortion results in the live birth of an infant, the infant is a legal person for all purposes under the laws of the United States, and entitled to all the protections of such laws.”

At a press conference this week, Scalise was joined by many GOP House members, including Rep. Wagner, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Republican from California, and Rep. Chris Smith, Republican from New Jersey.  Several survivors of late-term abortion also attended.

“Twenty-five … twenty-five is the number of times we have asked on the floor in the chamber to save children who are born alive who survived an abortion,” Rep. McCarthy said. “Twenty-five times is the number we have heard ‘no’ from Democrats leading the House. Today, it all changes.”

In a Fox News opinion piece authored by Scalise and Wagner they wrote: “Over the past few months, states across the country have removed restrictions on late-term abortions, and even taken steps to establish abortion as a constitutional right in their state. When we heard Virginia Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam gruesomely describe the process for letting babies die if they were born during a failed attempt at an abortion, there was a national revolt, and we knew we had to act quickly at the federal level to protect newborn children.

“One of us, Rep. Ann Wagner … re-introduced the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, a simple bill that ensures a baby born alive during an abortion is given the same medical care as any other baby born at a similar age.”

According to Scalise and Wagner there is very strong nonpartisan support among voters for this legislation, with 86% of Republicans, 75% of independents, and 70% of Democrats in favor.

They continued:  “The effort to protect newborns transcends the abortion debate. No matter how you feel about abortion, we should be able to agree that when a baby is born alive and outside the womb, we should do everything in our power to keep it alive. We cannot discriminate between children who are wanted and children who are unwanted; all newborns deserve the opportunity to lead a long, happy life.

“Some people wonder if this bill is even necessary. However, states that allow late-term abortions will inevitably have more children born alive during an attempted abortion who are old enough to survive outside the womb. This is not an unknown phenomenon. Abortion survivors live among us. Melissa Ohden, for example, was a victim of an attempted saline abortion in which she was burned, born, and later saved by the grace of a nurse who “couldn’t just leave me there to die” and rushed her to a neonatal intensive care unit in a hospital for treatment. Some abortion survivors, like Melissa, publicly advocate for abortion survivor protection laws, and even more survivors live quietly as regular, productive Americans. However, hundreds of living, breathing newborn abortion survivors are not given a chance at life and are left to die in utility closets, buckets, or toilets.”

Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway is among conservatives who wonder how the killing of infants can even be an issue. In February she said, “We are not a country that is going to allow illegal infanticides as long as Donald Trump is the President of the United States.”

Victor Rantala

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