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The Facts on the Born-Alive Debate

Republicans and Democrats traded accusations on the topic of abortion after a “born-alive” bill failed in the Senate. Democrats say the legislation was unnecessary and aimed at restricting access to legal abortion, while Republicans say it was about protecting babies.

President Donald Trump escalated the rhetoric in a tweet that claimed, “The Democrat position on abortion is now so extreme that they don’t mind executing babies AFTER birth.”

Existing homicide laws would indeed apply to a case of a baby being intentionally killed, but the “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act” raised questions about a complicated and sensitive topic that is likely to be a focus in the 2020 presidential election.

We’ll go through what the recent legislation said and what both sides are saying about it.

What does the recent born-alive legislation say?

S. 311, the “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act,” sponsored by Republican Sen. Ben Sasse, would amend the federal criminal code, instituting penalties and jail time for health care practitioners who don’t provide certain medical care “[i]n the case of an abortion or attempted abortion that results in a child born alive.”

Specifically, the bill would require that a “health care practitioner present at the time the child is born alive” to “exercise the same degree of professional skill, care, and diligence to preserve the life and health of the child as a reasonably diligent and conscientious health care practitioner would render to any other child born alive at the same gestational age.” It also would require that the child be “immediately transported and admitted to

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