“Why should one baby down the hall be given care while another is left to die?” This was the question asked by Sen. Joni Ernst to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Not one Democrat in the room could answer the question.
The Born-Alive Survivors Protection Act, which Democrats have rejected and called unnecessary, is not about restricting abortions but about giving newborns a chance to survive no matter where they are born, said Sen. Ben Sasse, at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.
During the hearing, called “The Infant Patient: Ensuring Appropriate Medical Care for Children Born Alive,” Republican senators questioned why a baby born in a hospital should be treated differently than a baby born in an abortion facility.
Speaking at the hearing, Dr. Robin Pierucci, a neonatologist who has spent her career caring for babies born too early, referred to the Neonatal Resuscitation Program, which provides guidelines for helping a baby transition from intrauterine to extrauterine life. The program defines the standard of care medical staff is responsible for providing to babies born alive.
Pierucci explained that all doctors should promise to provide this standard of care to all human beings. “There is no ethical reason why this medical standard of care should be abandoned for a subgroup of people because they might be less ‘wanted’ than others; wanted-ness does not determine humanness,” she said.
Pierucci pointed out that treating babies differently just because of who delivered them, where they were delivered, or their condition at birth is wrong. “It would be an abandonment of my medical and ethical duty if I only responded to the need of some babies and not to others.”
As Pierucci made clear, some aborted babies have a chance at life. She said physicians can get fetal diagnoses wrong, so every baby should be evaluated once he or she comes out of the womb to determine if he or she has a chance at life. She said the bill does not require invasive care if a physician makes the assessment that the baby will not survive, but it does require that a physician make an assessment instead of assuming the baby has no hope of life.
Where is the line drawn on equality? Why should one baby down the hall be given care while another is left to die?