WASHINGTON (CNS) — Former nurse Jill Stanek recalls 20 years ago holding “a precious child who had been abandoned to die alone in the hospital’s soiled utility room after surviving an abortion.”
Today “we are still fighting for the basic care these little ones deserve,” she said.
Stanek, who is national campaign chair for the Susan B. Anthony List pro-life organization, made the comments ahead of her testimony at a Feb. 11 hearing on Capitol Hill sponsored by the Senate Committee on the Judiciary on the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act.
U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., is the lead co-sponsor of the measure, which he reintroduced in mid-January. The bill would protect newborns who survive abortions by requiring appropriate care and admission to a hospital.
“As extremists in New York, Virginia, Illinois and other states push to expand abortion on demand through the moment of birth,” Stanek said, “abortion survivors desperately need Congress to pass the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, to provide them with legal and medical protections and not leave open the decision whether they live or die.”
Other pro-life witnesses who testified included Dr. Robin Pierucci, a clinical neonatologist and associate scholar with the Charlotte Lozier Institute, the research arm of the Susan B. Anthony List, and Patrina Mosely, the director of life, culture and women’s advocacy at the Family Research Council.
In an opening statement at the hearing, titled hearing “The Infant Patient: Ensuring Appropriate Medical Care for Children Born Alive,” Sasse said the hearing was not “about limiting access to abortion.”
“I want to say that I am proudly pro-life, but I am not here to get my pro-abortion rights colleagues to join me at next year’s March for Life,” he said. “That’s not what this hearing is about. This hearing is not about overturning Roe v. Wade. … This hearing isn’t a debate about third-trimester, or second-trimester, or first-trimester abortion.
“This hearing is about making sure that every newborn baby has a fighting chance — whether she’s born in a labor and delivery ward or whether she’s born in an abortion clinic,” he continued. “That’s what the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection act does. That’s all it does.”
Sasse noted that in 2002, Republicans and Democrats worked together to ensure that children born alive are recognized as persons under federal law. “But, unfortunately, federal law does not criminalize the denial of care to babies who survive an abortion.”
The senator is hoping for bipartisan support of the newly reintroduced measure. When it came up for a vote in the Senate a year ago, three Senate Democrats supported it, but the final 53-44 tally on the bill fell short of the 60 votes required to break filibusters and advance the legislation.
On Feb. 13, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, filed for cloture on the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act and a second pro-life measure, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which bans abortion nationwide after 20 weeks of pregnancy on the basis the fetus is capable of feeling pain during an abortion at that stage of development.
The Pain-Capable measure contains exceptions to save the life of the mother or if a woman is pregnant due to rape or incest.
Cloture ends a debate and sets the stage for consecutive votes on the two measures later in February.
Join the CatholicPhilly.com family
CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you and hundreds of other people become part of our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community and sustain CatholicPhilly.com as your trusted news source. Thank you in advance!
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103