On Monday, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), blocking a Senate bill that would require doctors to give aid to babies who survived abortions, objected to the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, and her one vote was enough to prevent the Senate from passing the bill in a unanimous consent vote, LifeSiteNews reports.
Last Thursday, Senator Ben Sasse (R-NB) requested the unanimous consent vote after Virginia Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam, a pediatric neurologist, had made comments indicating he did not object to letting an infant die after its birth, indicating that a born-alive “infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired.” Sasse had already called for a unanimous consent vote to pass a resolution defending the Knights of Columbus in mid-January. That resolution was passed unanimously.
According to the rules of the Senate:
A senator may request unanimous consent on the floor to set aside a specified rule of procedure so as to expedite proceedings. If no Senator objects, the Senate permits the action, but if any one senator objects, the request is rejected. Unanimous consent requests with only immediate effects are routinely granted, but ones affecting the floor schedule, the conditions of considering a bill or other business, or the rights of other senators, are normally not offered, or a floor leader will object to it, until all senators concerned have had an opportunity to inform the leaders that they find it acceptable.
Sasse appealed to the conscience of the entire Senate, saying, “Just a few years ago, the abortion lobby was really clear in its talk about hoping abortion would be … safe, legal, and rare. Now we’re talking about keeping the baby comfortable while the doctors have a debate about infanticide. You’re either for babies, or you’re defending infanticide … please, don’t let Governor Northam define you.”
Murray objected to the unanimous consent vote, stating, “This is a gross misinterpretation of the actual language of the bill that is being asked to be considered and, therefore, I object.”
Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) responded to Murray’s objection by asserting:
There is nothing great, there is nothing moral, or even humane about the discussion that we have before us today. Over the past week, we have witnessed the absolutely ugly truth about the far-reaching grasp of the abortion industry and its increasingly radicalized political agenda. Politicians have not only defended aborting a child while a woman is in labor, but have gone so far as to support the termination of a child after his or her birth. A child. A baby. Rationality, decency, and basic human compassion have fallen by the wayside.”
Majority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who will have to gauge whether to call later for a roll-call vote, said the Act was “legislation that ought to be the very definition of something that receives unanimous consent in this body. It’s harrowing that this legislation is even necessary. It was even more disturbing when last week, a Democrat governor was unable to simply state that of course — of course — these newborn babies have human rights that must be respected.”
LifeSite News noted:
It is not likely that the House version of the bill would pass in the Democrat-controlled House, if even allowed to be voted on. This is despite the fact that the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, which defines infant survivors of abortion as “human beings” entitled to all the rights in the U.S. Constitution, was passed by both Democrats and Republicans in 2002 and signed into law by then-President George W. Bush. … In 2015, only five House Democrats supported the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which then-President Barack Obama said would have a “chilling effect” on “access to care.”