It’s hard to believe that, in 21st century America, the life of a baby more than halfway through pregnancy is considered up for debate – but it’s true, thanks in part to Michigan Senator Gary Peters and his extremist Democrat friends in Congress. In many parts of the country, even newborn infants are uniquely vulnerable to being killed or left to die, all because they were slated for abortion and miraculously survived.
This flies in the face of basic decency and fundamental American values. Surely, we can all agree that at the very least, unborn babies who can feel pain, or babies born alive deserve protection – can’t we?
That is the idea behind two bills pending in the U.S. Senate. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell filed cloture on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act and the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, setting the stage for consecutive votes expected to take place this month. One stops late-term abortions after five months of pregnancy, a point when science clearly shows that unborn children can feel excruciating pain. The other ensures that babies who survive failed abortions receive the same medical care as any other baby born prematurely at the same age.
The overwhelming majority of Americans – including 75 percent of Independents and 70 percent of Democrats – support Born-Alive legislation, and a strong majority want to protect unborn children after five months of pregnancy. If the will of the people had prevailed, both would already be law – but pro-abortion Democrats in both houses of Congress have stood stubbornly in the way. Senator Peters has voted to block Pain-Capable legislation not once, but twice.
We hope Senator Peters was paying close attention during President Trump’s State of the Union address this year. The President invited as his special guests Ellie Schneider, one of the youngest surviving preemies ever born in the U.S., and her mom Robin. Ellie was born at 21 weeks and six days. Through the skill of her doctors and prayers of her parents, Ellie is now a happy, healthy two-year old.
Every year, more than 11,000 babies like Ellie are legally killed under the radical status quo imposed on our nation by Roe v. Wade – and in states like New York and Virginia, Democratic politicians have pushed to expand abortion on demand and strip away what modest protections existed. By the abortion lobby’s own admission, many are healthy babies of healthy mothers. These babies are routinely administered anesthesia during surgery at this stage because they feel pain.
President Trump is on their side. Once again, he has called on Congress to send the Pain-Capable bill to his desk and give these precious children a fighting chance at life. He has continually called out Democratic Party leaders on their extreme stance favoring abortion on demand through birth and even infanticide. While his opponents running for president on the Democratic ticket can’t manage to name a single limit on abortion they support, refusing to draw the line even at the moment of birth, President Trump uses his platform to give voice to abortion survivors, exposing the lies of the abortion industry and showing the nation that “choice” has a human face. The contrast is stark.
Michigan has become a key battleground state, helping deliver victory for President Trump in 2016. Voting to protect babies who can feel pain and babies who survive abortions ought to be a no-brainer for Peters as he faces re-election – it’s the morally right and politically smart thing to do. But it will require him to find the courage to stand up to the extremists in his party. Will he stand with innocent children and his constituents, or once again bow to the radical abortion lobby?
Defenseless babies cannot wait any longer for Congress to act. We urge all compassionate Michiganders to make their voices heard loud and clear today. Let Senator Peters know that if he can’t take a stand for the most vulnerable among us, he doesn’t deserve to represent this great state in Washington.
Marjorie Dannenfelser is the president and an original organizer of the Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List), a national pro-life group dedicated to pursuing policies and electing candidates to reduce and ultimately end abortion. She also serves as national co-chair of Pro-Life Voices for Trump. Under Marjorie’s leadership, the SBA List has grown to more than 837,000 members nationwide. Since its founding, SBA List has helped elect more than 118 pro-life candidates to the U.S. House of Representatives, 26 to the U.S. Senate, and 30 to state office.
Jane Abraham serves as SBA List’s chairman of the board. She has a lifetime of experience in national affairs and politics, including roles with the Michigan Republican Party, the Republican National Committee, as well as the Michigan State Senate, and is an energetic advocate for women and children through a variety of charities.