WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) — In one of the first acts of the new Congress, the Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives tallied their votes Wednesday to pass two pro-life initiatives. One would secure legal protections for babies born alive after botched abortions and the other would articulate the House’s condemnation of attacks on pregnancy centers.
While the votes signal strong pro-life sentiment among the Republican majority in the House, the measures are unlikely to progress in the Democrat-controlled Senate.
The House voted 220-210 on Wednesday to pass H.R. 26, also known as the “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act,” which had been introduced in the House on January 9. It would amend Title 18 of the United States Code in order “to prohibit a health care practitioner from failing to exercise the proper degree of care in the case of a child who survives an abortion or attempted abortion.”
According to the legislation, if an abortion fails and “results in the live birth of an infant, the infant is a legal person for all purposes under the laws of the United States and entitled to all the protections of such laws.”
While federal law does provide protections for babies born after botched abortions, the measure would specifically require healthcare practitioners to treat such babies like “any newborn, or for any person who comes to a hospital, clinic, or other facility for screening and treatment or otherwise becomes a patient within its care.”
The House’s vote to pass the measure came despite vehement opposition from pro-abortion Democrats.
Democrat House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, who replaced Nancy Pelosi after she stepped down from the role last year, complained the bill to protect babies born alive after failed abortions was part of “a march towards criminalizing abortion care, a nationwide ban.”
In a press release shared with LifeSiteNews ahead of the vote, Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America (SBA) president Marjorie Dannenfelser affirmed that “Our government’s most sacred duty is to safeguard the lives of all Americans.”
“We thank GOP leadership for recognizing the federal government’s crucial role in protecting our most vulnerable children and their mothers in the Dobbs era,” Dannenfelser said, referring to the landmark June 2022 Supreme Court ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, in which the Court overturned Roe v. Wade and thereby eliminated the federal “right to abortion.”
Dannenfelser compared Republicans’ out-of-the-gate actions to advance a pro-life agenda to the priorities of Democrats, who she described as “pushing abortion on demand until birth and even infanticide, paid for by the taxpayer.”