Infanticide Without Representation

Want to change the stigma around infanticide? Easy: just rename it. The catch-all term “reproductive rights” will cover it. That’s the protocol that’s been adopted by my Member of Congress, at any rate.

Congressman Chris Pappas
Congressman Chris Pappas (D-NH)

I recently sent an email message to Congressman Chris Pappas (D-NH) regarding the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. I asked him to support a discharge petition that would bring the bill to the House floor for a vote. I pointed out that the bill was about taking care of newborn children who survive attempted abortion. I said that I knew we disagreed on abortion, but surely we could find common ground on caring for infants.

What I received in return was an email from Pappas’s office about his support for reproductive rights. It was obviously a form letter, designed to address anything even remotely touching on abortion. Just one problem there: I hadn’t written to him about reproductive rights; I had written to him about caring for newborns.

Congressman Chris Pappas thinks caring for newborns is a threat to reproductive rights, if those newborns are the survivors of an attempt to kill them in utero. This is the man representing my district in Congress.

Here’s his message in full. Note well the contact information he kindly provides at the end.

Thank you for contacting me regarding reproductive rights. I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts with me, as it helps me better represent you and New Hampshire’s priorities in Congress.

I believe that every American is afforded the right to privacy and should have the freedom to make personal decisions about their health care.  I am committed to ensuring that women have access to the full range of reproductive health care choices. As a nation, we should focus on our common ground and shared goals – educating our children on sexual health, bolstering economic opportunity, and protecting our civil liberties.

Access to proper health care should be a right, and when women are denied the freedom to make their own personal health care decisions we not only limit their liberties but also their economic opportunities. We owe it to ourselves and to our neighbors to be as compassionate and understanding of their personal medical decisions as possible. Please know that I will keep your views in mind when considering legislation concerning reproductive rights.

Thank you again for sharing your thoughts on this important matter, and I look forward to keeping in touch. I strive to maintain an open dialogue with the people of New Hampshire about issues that matter to our state. If you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact my Washington, DC office at (202) 225-5456 or my Dover office at (603) 285-4300. I also encourage you to keep up with the work I am doing by signing up for my weekly update at https://pappas.house.gov/contact/newsletter.

“We owe it to ourselves and to our neighbors to be as compassionate and understanding of their personal medical decisions as possible.”  That sentence only makes sense in the context of the born-alive bill if you think infanticide is a “personal medical decision.” Someone else’s decision, of course; the doomed child has no voice.

“Access to proper health care should be a right…” Abortion isn’t health care, and neither is infanticide.

A change of heart is always possible, even for Members of Congress. My Congressman needs to hear from people who have enough compassion and understanding to assure him that’s it’s OK to support care for newborn children who have survived abortion.

More than once in the course of writing about life-issue legislation, I’ve asked a question: is a woman seeking abortion entitled to a terminated pregnancy or a dead baby? What happens when the induced abortion results not only in termination of pregnancy but in a live birth? In an uncharitable moment, I wrote that the dead-baby caucus was in charge.

I guess I was right.

In related news, the next Congressional election will be on Tuesday, November 3, 2020.

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/.

Abortion Survivors: “Don’t Have a Conversation About Us Without Us”

From my latest post at DaTechGuy Blog:

President Trump invited abortion survivors to the White House on February 14 to tell him their own stories. Among the survivors was Melissa Ohden, whose 2017 book You Carried Me is an account of her remarkable life, a life she knows wasn’t supposed to happen.

From Ms. Ohden via Facebook:

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. It seems like the world is having a conversation about abortion, children surviving abortions, and they don’t realize or acknowledge that there are a group of people who know all too well what everyone is talking about. 

Don’t have a conversation about abortion without those who have survived it. Don’t have a conversation about us, without us. 

Listen to our voices. Share our stories. We’re not hypothetical cases. We’re human beings.

You can find my full post here. Thanks for reading.

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.