Before I arrived in the U.S. Senate, there was much conjecture about my position on the issue of life. Today, there is no question on where I stand. My legislative record after just six weeks on the job reflects the belief I have always held: I’m unequivocally pro-life.
This week, the Senate voted on two important bills I’ve cosponsored to protect the lives of the unborn. Tragically, Senate Democrats blocked both bills.
Introduced by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act prohibits abortions past the 20 week gestational stage and imposes penalties on medical professionals who break that law.
This bill was proposed to restore the basic human rights of unborn children. Sadly, as Democrats in the Senate and around the country have reminded us, there are those who believe infanticide is an acceptable option.
According to the latest CDC Abortion Surveillance report, about 1.2% of abortions happen after 20 weeks. In 2018 alone, this would have been 11,200 unborn babies. Recent reports indicate that the unborn can feel pain as early as 12 weeks, depicting a heartbreaking picture.
America is one of only seven countries that does not have a ban on abortions after 20 weeks. Among the other six are China, North Korea, and Vietnam.
The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, introduced by Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE), requires that newborns born alive after an attempted abortion must be immediately admitted to the hospital to receive the same medical care that a baby born prematurely would receive. This bill similarly imposes penalties for medical professionals who break the law.
It’s hard to believe that we have to vote on these commonsense bills to protect the most innocent. But sadly, there are plenty of reasons why the Senate needed to vote on these bills. Each year, babies who are born alive in the wake of an abortion are left to die. From 2003-2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recorded 143 such cases in just the six states that require reporting. Tragically, that number is likely much higher.
The data alone shows why we need to address these issues. But we also need to tell the history of the issues.
When the Senate last considered born-alive legislation in 2019 and a ban on abortions after 20 weeks in 2018, Democrats blocked the bills, effectively telling America that innocent human lives do not matter. This week, Democrats again blocked both bills and sent the same unconscionable message to America.
We need to talk about the history of these issues because of stories like that of Ellie Schneider, who showed us just how important protecting innocent life is. Ellie, whom President Trump recognized at the State of the Union, was born at just 21 weeks. At the time of her birth, she weighed 14 ounces. Today, Ellie is an incredibly inspiring and healthy 2-year old girl.
This legislation is not controversial. These bills are not overtly partisan. They are commonsense. In fact, polling indicates 82% of Americans oppose removing care for a child who is born-alive. A majority of Americans even agree on restricting abortion to the first trimester.
The fact that there is a debate on this issue today points to the sad truth that our culture continues to devalue human life. As a woman of devout faith who believes each life is sacred, I am deeply saddened that Democrats have made this human rights issue into a political issue.
I will not back down when it comes to protecting life despite the many who attempt to devalue it. That is why I support three other pieces of legislation to protect the unborn. I cosponsored S.182, PRENDA, sponsored by Senator John Kennedy (R-LA), which prohibits discrimination against unborn children on the basis of gender, and makes abortions performed on the basis of the unborn child’s gender illegal. I also cosponsored S.109, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act, sponsored by Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS), which bans all federal funding for abortions. Finally, I cosponsored S.3259, the Protecting Life in Foreign Assistance Act, sponsored by Senator Mike Lee (R-UT), which would restrict federal funds to non-governmental organizations associated with the abortion industry.
For the second time in recent history, the American people had the opportunity to see where their Senators stand on the questions of ending the lives of unborn children going into the sixth month of pregnancy, and whether or not we should provide care for babies who are born alive after an abortion attempt. Yet again, we were dismayed that Democrats chose to block the legislation.
I will always advocate for protecting innocent life and will proudly speak out on behalf of those who cannot advocate for their own lives.
Kelly Loeffler serves as the United States Senator for the State of Georgia. She serves on the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, the Veteran Affairs Committee, the Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee, and the Joint Economic Committee.