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Denying Babies Health Care

House Democrats opposed a bill that would provide health care to survivors of botched abortions.

House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries Holds Press Briefing On Capitol Hill
(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

You hear a lot about the radicalism of the Republican Party, but almost every House Democrat just voted to deny infants access to medical care.

The House of Representatives passed the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act Wednesday by a vote of 220 to 210. The bill would require doctors to provide the same care to infants who survive abortion attempts as "would reasonably be provided to any other child born alive at the same gestational age." Doctors who fail to provide such care to abortion survivors, and employees who witness and fail to report a doctor's malpractice, would be subject to "a fine, up to five years in prison, or both."

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All but two House Democrats voted no. Texas Rep. Vicente Gonzalez voted present, and his colleague Rep. Henry Cuellar was the bill's lone Democratic supporter.

The fact that House Democrats almost unanimously opposed a measure to protect live children outside their mothers' wombs obviously reflects the party's radicalism. But it also signals that the party has adopted a more logically coherent, if morally abominable, position on abortion.

Pro-life advocates have long argued that a child's worth isn't determined by his position vis-a-vis the birth canal. They have argued that a child's passing through a uterus does not endow him with moral status he did not possess moments before. The Democratic Party apparently agrees with that premise, but takes the view that the unborn child has no right to live after his birth, either.

The day after the bill was passed, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries said House Democrats would "always defend a woman’s freedom to make her own reproductive healthcare decisions." Apparently, that includes leaving her child to die after a botched abortion.

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