By Pam Embler
In the State of the Union address on Feb. 4, President Trump urged Congress to pass legislation to prohibit late-term abortion and to protect survivors of failed abortion attempts. This call for bipartisan action came one day before the Senate acquitted Trump of the articles of impeachment brought forth by Democrats in the House.
On Feb. 25, Senate Democrats, minus Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Doug Jones of Alabama and Joe Manchin of West Virginia, got their “payback” by opposing the passage of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act and the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. Senate Republican Susan Collins of Maine voted in opposition as well. This payback comes at the expense of our most vulnerable – the lives of babies.
The failure for these bills to pass provided the United States the dubious honor of joining with only seven other countries in the world to permit late-term abortions. Senate Democrats imposed their ideologies onto the United States, identifying our country with the similar human rights ideologies of China and North Korea.
As a Ph.D.-prepared nurse, I am an ardent seeker of science-based fact. These are the facts. The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act would have prohibited abortion after 20 weeks, making exceptions for threats to the mother’s life or rape.
It is well-documented in peer-reviewed medical journals that babies can feel pain at this age. This should come as no surprise considering that since five weeks the baby’s heart has been beating, at 11 weeks the baby is fully formed, leaving only to physiologically mature, at 12 weeks the heartbeat can be heard with a stethoscope, from 14 weeks movement of the baby can be felt, and from 19 weeks the baby is now reactive to external stimuli.
The Born-Alive Survivors Protection Act requires medical care be provided to babies that survive failed abortions and imposed legal consequences to providers who fail to do so. The United States is without argument the most medically advanced country in the world. Advancements include surgeries to repair heart valve abnormalities and spina bifida. Medical advancement now provides for uterine transplant, providing women the opportunity to experience pregnancy. Couple this with the numerous families waiting to adopt. There are loving homes waiting for these babies. Again, it is well-documented in the medical journals that babies can survive and to withhold medical care is “inhumane, and it’s passive infanticide,” in the words of Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb.
The world looks to the United States, as we set the bar for civilized society. Last week, congressional partisans let us down.
Pam Embler, Ph.D., RN, holds degrees in nurse education, transcultural nursing and nurse science/philosophy.