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.