Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Bob Casey (D-Penn.) were the only two Democrats who joined Senate Republicans in supporting Sasse’s amendment.
Pro-life groups stated their disapproval with the amendment’s failure to pass.
“Appalled that this didn't pass,” Democrats for Life of America tweeted. “There's nothing Democratic about denying medical care to newborn survivors of abortion.”
“Thank you @SenSasse for introducing the amendment tonight that simply requires EQUAL medical care for infants, whether they're born in the L&D ward of a hospital, or ‘accidentally’ in an abortion facility,” Susan B. Anthony List stated.
“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.”
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“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.