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Single Democrat Blocks Bill Condemning Infanticide

As Governor Ralph Northam fights for his political life in Virginia, not for advocating a bill that would allow infants born alive to be left to die but for wearing blackface 30 years ago, Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) took to the Senate floor to advocate a bill that would affirm the opposition of the body to infanticide. While there seemed to be much support for Sasse’s Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, a lone Democrat was able to block the bill under Senate rules.

In a floor speech before the vote, Sasse said, “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.”

“There are only two sides of the debate on the floor debate tonight,” he added. “You’re either for babies, or you’re defending infanticide. That is actually what the legislation is that’s before us.”

Sasse called for a unanimous consent vote, which Senate rules allow to expedite proceedings if there is no objection to a bill. Unfortunately, in this case, Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) raised an objected which quashed the motion to pass the bill by unanimous consent.

“We have laws against infanticide in this country,” Ms. Murray said. “This is a gross misinterpretation of the actual language of the bill that is being asked to be considered and therefore I object.”

In fact, Murray’s objection is not fact-based, as Sen. Sasse pointed out. In a circular argument, Murray stopped Sasse’s bill because it isn’t necessary on the grounds that current law prohibits infanticide, but Sasse’s bill is a response to the fact that states are lifting their prohibitions.

The failure to pass the unanimous consent vote does not mean that the bill is dead, but its future is uncertain. The bill has 42 cosponsors, none of who are Democrats, so a filibuster is possible if Republicans try to move forward. Even if the bill had passed the Senate, it would be unlikely to pass Nancy Pelosi’s Democrat-controlled House.

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