From: National Michael New, Ph.D. Mar 1, 2019 | 5:58PM Washington, DC
On Monday, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act failed to pass the U.S. Senate. This bill, which would have mandated medical care for infants who survive abortions, received only 53 votes — seven votes short of the 60 necessary to invoke cloture and end debate. It was opposed by all but three Senate Democrats: Bob Casey (Pa.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.), and Doug Jones (Ala.).
This was in stark contrast to the 2002 Born Alive Infants Protection Act, which received unanimous support in both the U.S. House and U.S. Senate and was signed into law by President George W. Bush. What happened between then and now? For one thing, unlike the new born-alive bill, the 2002 Born Alive Infants Protection Act did not require that doctors care for a child who survived an abortion, nor did it contain legal enforcement mechanisms of any kind. Pro-abortion lobbying group NARAL did not publicly oppose the 2002 bill but conducted a vigorous public campaign against the new legislation this year.
Monday’s vote was also evidence of a long term shift in the Democratic party. For decades, Catholic voters, often with immigrant roots, who came of age either before or during the Great Depression were a key part of the Democratic party’s electoral coalition. These voters tended to be fairly liberal on economic issues but socially conservative, so many Democratic candidates typically made an effort appear moderate on life issues. Bill Clinton, for example, frequently said that he thought abortion should be “safe, legal, and rare.” Even Barack Obama occasionally expressed an interest in getting abortion numbers down.
Democratic congressman and senators from the South and Midwest had incentives to support incremental pro-life legislation. Consider that in 2003, 63 House Democrats and 17 Senate Democrats voted in favor of a federal ban on partial-birth abortion. In 2005, 54 House Democrats voted in favor of the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act, which would have made it illegal for a non-parent to circumvent parental-… [READ MORE HERE]