Protection and Dignity

“I am hopeful that senators on both sides of the abortion debate can agree that once a baby is completely outside of its mother, it at least deserves the protections and dignity afforded to all other Americans.”

Santorum made his comments at a press conference last week introducing the Born Alive Infants Protection Act, a bill that grants protection under federal law to newborns who are fully outside their mother’s womb, regardless of their stage of development. Forty-one states already have similar laws in place.

Reps. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio), Melissa Hart (R-Pa.) and Sue Myrick (R-NC) joined Santorum at the press conference. The House passed similar legislation last year by an overwhelming vote of 380-15.

Santorum said evidence uncovered last year during a hearing before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution indicates a growing indifference toward newborn life.

Two nurses testified to seeing babies who were born alive as a result of induced labor abortions being left to die in soiled utility rooms.

“The intellectual framework for legalization of killing unwanted babies is being constructed by a prominent bioethics professor at Princeton University,” Santorum said.

Professor Peter Singer has advocated allowing parents a 28-day waiting period to decide whether to kill a disabled or unhealthy newborn. In his book Practical Ethics, Singer assets that killing a disabled infant is not morally equivalent to killing a person. “Very often it is not wrong at all,” Singer wrote.

“This bill takes a necessary step to protect the growing number of babies who die, after birth, at the hands of the doctors who delivered them,” said Connie Mackey, the Family Research Council’s vice president of government affairs.

“If a child born alive after a botched abortion does not receive the protection of the law, what is to prevent an abortionist from simply delivering a child and then killing it?” Mackey asked.

“Many of the babies this legislation would protect are one who have survived abortions,” she said. “Because they were intended for death inside the womb, the horrific logical conclusion seems to be that they deserve death once outside the womb as well. It is time for Congress to make the statement that our nation will not tolerate the killing of already-born babies, just because they were once intended for death.”

Mackey said the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) has called this bill an “anti-choice assault.” In addition, NARAL says anti-choice lawmakers such as Santorum are seeking to ascribe rights to fetuses and “interfere with the sound practice of medicine by spurring physicians to take extraordinary steps in situations where their efforts may be futile.”

“By speaking against this bill, NARAL has effectively endorsed infanticide,” Mackey said. “Congress must be on record opposing this slippery, anti-life slope toward infanticide.”

(This article courtesy of the Arlington Catholic Herald.)

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