Sen. Hassan Replies to Message on Born-Alive Bill

I heard back from Sen. Hassan in reply to my emailed request to her that she support the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. Her message appears to have nothing to do with the bill, which calls for care of children who survive attempted abortion. I note that she arrived at her position after, in her words, “careful consideration.”

If I hear from Sen. Shaheen, I’ll post her reply as well.

Thank you for contacting me with your support for S. 311, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. I value your opinion and appreciate you taking the time to write to me about this important issue.

Late term abortions in the United States are exceedingly rare and occur in the context of complex and difficult health care decisions. I believe patients — in these situations women — must be provided the freedom, privacy, and dignity to make these decisions in consultation with their health care providers and family, in accordance with their consciences, and free from government interference. If a proposed law does not meet this standard, I will be compelled to oppose it.

Thank you again for writing to share your thoughts, and I hope that you keep in touch with me. Though we may not see eye to eye on this issue, I take your concerns seriously and hope that you know I arrived at my position after careful consideration. For more information on this and other important issues please visit my website at https://www.Hassan.Senate.Gov/.

Must-Read Link: Debunking Media Falsehoods on Born-Alive Bill

If you are on Twitter, follow Alexandra DeSanctis. Now, not later: @xan_desanctis. She is a National Review journalist focused on the life issues. She has an article online today that is much better than anything I could write about media coverage of the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act and the U.S. Senate’s recent vote on it.

As an independent voter, I don’t go looking for excuses to trash either major party (although both offer numerous opportunities). As a blogger and a huge fan of the First Amendment, I don’t go looking for excuses to trash journalists (see previous parenthetical remark). DeSanctis in her post today, though, goes after Senate Democrats and some journalists. Tough to argue with her on this one. An excerpt:

In defense of their “no” votes on this eminently reasonable legislation [the Born-Alive bill], Democrats mustered a host of lies — including, most prominently, the easily disprovable claim that the bill is anti-abortion and restricts women’s access to necessary health care.

All one would need to do to determine whether these claims were accurate is refer to the text of the legislation, which every single Democratic senator failed to do. That is for an obvious reason: The bill text did not substantiate their assertions. Nothing in the legislation limits access to abortion or regulates particular abortion methods. The only way it touches on abortion procedures at all is that it protects infants who have survived them.

But Democrats have gotten away with their transparently political rationalizations for turning a blind eye to infanticide because the vast majority of the media is complicit in peddling them. From the moment Virginia governor Ralph Northam uttered his now-infamous endorsement of infanticide (which he attempted to clarify, but never walked back) to the moment Democrats killed the born-alive bill on the Senate floor, media outlets have been engaged in, at best, a wholesale blackout and, at worst, an effort to themselves contort the substance of the legislation.

I recommend her post in full.

Is any party or any politician or any media outlet permanently invested in defending infanticide? I’d prefer to think not. Until we know for sure, though, we need to call out the dead-baby caucus at every opportunity.

Sorry – “dead-baby caucus” is not a bridge-building term. But being unwilling to protect children who survive attempts to kill them: what am I supposed to call that?


I am heartened to hear from readers who are letting Senators Shaheen and Hassan know that their Born-Alive vote was…let’s say disappointing. (There. Is that a bridge-building term?) The Senators offer contact information on their respective web sites, including office locations and hours in New Hampshire and Washington. Each senator’s site also has an email contact form.

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen’s site

Sen. Maggie Hassan’s site

Senators Shaheen and Hassan Vote Against Protecting Abortion Survivors

The U.S. Senate failed to advance the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act today when a cloture motion fell short of the 60 votes needed to prevent a filibuster. New Hampshire Democrats Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan voted No on the bill 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.

The bill’s chief sponsor is Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE). After hearing speeches from Democrat colleagues who called the bill a threat to “reproductive health care,” he said, “I know a lot of opponents of this bill sincerely believe the talking points that they read from their staffs. 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. Nothing in this bill touches abortion access.”

Senators Hassan and Shaheen refused to support the bill to protect abortion survivors.

From Senator Hassan on Twitter (@SenatorHassan): “Tonight, I voted NO on yet another partisan attack on reproductive health care. Women, families and their doctors are capable of making these complicated medical decisions without government interference.”

From Senator Shaheen (@SenatorShaheen): “The bill forced by Senate Republicans today would significantly interfere with the doctor-patient relationship & pose new obstacles to a woman’s constitutional right to make her own decisions about her reproductive health.”

If “reproductive health care,” “a woman’s constitutional right to make her own decisions,” and “complicated medical decisions” include infanticide, then the New Hampshire Senators’ tweets and votes make sense. Otherwise, I have no idea what bill they thought they were voting on.

Things to be Dodged

From the New Hampshire Union Leader, 8/15/17, page C1, “DNA discovery: NH biologist reacts to gene-editing breakthrough”: an associate professor of molecular and systems biology at Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine is asked for his comment on a recent study published in the journal Nature. The study reports that researchers in Oregon have had success using gene-editing to repair human embryos that carry a certain mutation.

Says the Dartmouth professor: “The way they have dodged some ethical considerations is that they didn’t go on to have that embryo grow into a person.”

No dispute that these are human embryos, each with unique DNA. But considering them persons would make a hash out of things – or rather, would raise “ethical considerations.”  Considerations to be dodged, apparently.

There’s something to think about.

(Photo: By ekem, Courtesy: RWJMS IVF Program [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)