"Protecting newborns ought to be the easiest thing in the world," Sasse stated after the vote. "Every baby deserves care. This isn't about abortion, it's about human rights."
Senate Pro-Life Caucus chair Steve Daines (R-Mont.) tweeted that denying care to abortion survivors "isn't healthcare, this is infanticide. It's chilling." Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) tweeted, "We must restore a culture of life to our legislature."
"Born-alive" legislation has been introduced in both the House and the Senate in recent years, but has never been enacted. The House passed a version of the legislation in 2018.
When Republicans were in the minority in the House in the 116th Congress, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise led a discharge petition to bring Rep. Ann Wagner's (R-Mo.) Born-alive bill to the House Floor for consideration. The petition fell 13 signatures short of the 218 signatures necessary to do so.
Sasse introduced the Senate version of the bill; his legislation required that, once infants surviving abortions received necessary care, that they be transported and admitted to a hospital. That bill failed in a 2019 roll call vote, 53-44.
Not all states publicize data on abortions, but the pro-life Charlotte Lozier Institute has reported that there have been instances of babies surviving botched abortion attempts.
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In Florida alone in 2019, the state reported two survivors of abortion attempts; between the years 2013 and 2019, 23 babies in Florida were reported to have been born alive during abortions.
The Senate on Thursday night considered a variety of other amendments to a budget resolution, the first legislative step in passing another coronavirus relief package.
Other proposed amendments included attempts to prohibit increasing the number of justices on the Supreme Court, and to stop COVID relief from going to prison inmates.