We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. 

The words that helped define our country on July 4, 1776, were called into question last week””when the United States Senate could not pass a bill to protect newborn babies from infanticide. 

February 25, Democratic leaders in the Senate blocked a bill that would require doctors to provide medical support to infants born alive after a botched abortion. 

The bill titled the “The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act” fell seven votes short of the 60 votes needed to become law. Forty-four Democratic senators, including all six running for president in 2020, voted against the bill. 

The bill required that health care practitioners present at the time of a birth, “exercise the same degree of professional skill, care, and diligence to preserve the life and health of the child as a reasonably diligent and conscientious health care practitioner would render to any other child born alive at the same gestational age.” 

In other words: Babies surviving an abortion would receive the same resuscitation and medical help as babies who struggle after any other birth. 

The bill did not outlaw abortion or make restrictions on abortion any more severe. It only prevented doctors from taking any action that would harm the life of a baby surviving abortion. 

Some who didn’t support the bill touted that this legislation was unnecessary because of a 2002 bill, the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act””a bill signed into law by George W. Bush. This 2002 legislation affirms that any baby born alive is entitled to the same legal status and rights as every other American citizen. This would include, presumably, protection from murder””including murder by an abortion doctor at a hospital. 

But the new legislation takes the 2002 law and clarifies what a doctor’s responsibility is after a botched abortion. Instead of simply affirming that babies have rights, the new (failed) legislation specifies the role of the medical community in affirming their right to life. 

Both versions of the 2002 Born-Alive Infants Protection Act passed their respective legislatures with unanimous consent voice votes. No roll calls needed. Who would go on record voting for infanticide? No one. 

But times have changed. It’s shocking and horrifying to believe that a mere 17 years later so many U.S. Senators refused to defend our most basic human right. 

Pro-life advocate, Congresswoman Ann Wagner from Missouri, made this statement as she introduced the House version of the “Born-Alive” bill (HR 962) earlier last month:

Our Founding Fathers did not put age limits on who is entitled to life, but over the past month, I have been astounded and horrified to watch radical legislators upend the Constitution and argue that babies who survive abortions should not be given the same level of medical care that all other newborn babies receive. New York legislators repealed a law mandating medical care for any baby born alive during an abortion. A law proposed in Virginia would allow abortions up to the very moment of full delivery.  Congress must act to protect those who cannot protect themselves. . .We choose life or we choose death. 

No matter what spin abortion activists give it, it couldn’t be any clearer than Rep. Wagner’s assessment. Defending life has never been optional in this country. It certainly shouldn’t be now.