February 26, 2019
We all saw it coming. But expecting yesterday's vote didn't make watching it any less horrifying. If we're being honest, most of us still held out hope that we lived in a country where some truths were non-negotiable. Last night on the Senate floor, we saw with gut-wrenching clarity what we really are: a nation where 44 of our most powerful men and women would order America to back away from a table where struggling newborns cry out for help. It was the birth of a new extreme: Democrats for infanticide.
With 30 of their House colleagues looking on, Senate Republicans begged their colleagues to consider what this debate was really about. "I know a lot of opponents of this bill sincerely believe the talking points that they read from their staffs," Senator Ben Sasse (R-Nebr.) said. "We've heard speech after speech after speech that have nothing to do with what's actually in this bill. I urge my colleagues to picture a baby that's already been born, that's outside the womb gasping for air. That's the only thing that today's vote is actually about. We're talking about babies that have already been born… We're not talking about Roe v. Wade."
But there's a reason that Democrats are lying about the legislation. "Although the bill doesn't restrict abortion rights, it brings into crystal-clear focus the irrationality of the pro-abortion position," NRO's Alexandra Desanctis explains. "If those who support abortion concede that perhaps there is something wrong with permitting an infant to die the moment after birth if it was meant to have been aborted one minute earlier suddenly the question becomes, 'Why is it acceptable to perform that abortion one minute earlier?'"
So Democrats marched to the floor, one after another, parroting the helpful headlines from their media friends to obscure what the debate was truly about. "Republicans need to stop wasting time on political games and legislation aimed at rolling back women's constitutionally protected rights," Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) fumed. But negligent homicide isn't abortion. Taking the life of a newborn baby that could grow up in a loving family isn't abortion. The only reason Senator Sasse even introduced this bill, Desanctis reminds everyone, is because Virginia Governor Ralph Northam (D) endorsed infanticide as a legitimate form of health care! "When they opposed the bill today, Democrats took the exact same line that Northam did."
Like a lot of liberals, Senator Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) insisted that saving a baby's life is an "attack on women's rights." What she won't say is the truth -- that the only rights being violated are the baby girls' who will never have a chance to grow into women under her kind of radicalism. Even President Trump had a hard time believing the ground liberals were defending. "Senate Democrats just voted against legislation to prevent the killing of newborn infant children. The Democrat position on abortion is now so extreme that they don't mind executing babies AFTER birth. This will be remembered as one of the most shocking votes in the history of Congress. If there is one thing we should all agree on, it's protecting the lives of innocent babies."
These are not "choices" writhing on a metal table. They're not "medical options" being thrown away in a heap of dirty towels. These are innocent human beings, as real as any son or daughter smiling from the picture frames in Senate offices. But in a party beholden to a powerful abortion lobby, only three Democrats -- Senators Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Doug Jones (Ala.), and Bob Casey (Pa.) -- had the moral courage to say that infanticide is wrong. The others, including all five Democratic 2020 hopefuls, are so committed to killing that they'll allow it after birth.
So much for the moral high ground of Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) -- the woman who just last year insisted, "We cannot tolerate a society and live in a country with any level of pride when our babies are being slaughtered." Or Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.), who promised to "build a country where no one is forgotten and no one is left behind." A "a great nation is judged…" Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) warned, "by how it treats the most vulnerable." A great party will be judged too. Maybe not this week or this year, but there will be a day when 44 U.S. senators will have to answer for the choice they've made.
In the meantime, Democrats have lost where it matters -- in the hearts and minds of Americans. The winds of change are blowing across this country, where 80 percent have made it clear: this party doesn't speak for us. In the four weeks since Democrats cheered the deaths of innocent babies in New York, Americans finally understood the horrors of what they stand for. And the masses have started walking away. There are 14 percent more pro-life Democrats today than last month. Fourteen percent more who will fight to end this generation's nightmare. No, we didn't win on Monday's vote. But this is far from over. This is truly a moment of choosing for the nation. Similar to the choice Moses put before the children of Israel, "I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live." (Deut. 30:19)
For more on the debate, including the determination of our House friends to demand a vote, check out today's press conference on Capitol Hill, featuring FRC's own Patrina Mosley.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.