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Our government’s most sacred duty is to safeguard the right to life for all Americans, including the most vulnerable. That’s why pro-life leaders in Congress are demanding a vote on the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act to ensure that every newborn receives equal care, no matter the circumstances of their birth.

The effort is bitterly partisan – but it shouldn’t be. It would take only five House Democrats joining the Republicans’ petition to force a vote on this bill. Five Democrats – not to guarantee passage, just to simply have a vote. If just five House Democrats sign the Republicans’ petition, this decidedly popular, common ground legislation will get a vote. Every Republican member of Wisconsin’s congressional delegation supports this bill. Shamefully, not a single Democrat has signed on. Rep. Ron Kind, up for re-election again next year in one of the country’s most competitive districts, consistently sides with Nancy Pelosi in favor of abortion on demand. On the Senate side, Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin also refuses to support the Born-Alive Act.

Most Americans are horrified when they learn that Roe v. Wade permits abortion on demand up to birth. Indeed, the U.S. is one of only seven nations that permit late-term abortions for any reason more than halfway through pregnancy, even up to birth – a shameful club that includes North Korea and China. Even more shocking, babies sometimes survive and are callously left to die.

Like many states, unfortunately, Wisconsin reports no data on how many babies survive abortions. However, neighboring Minnesota does. Since their born-alive law went into effect in 2015, statistics show at least 19 babies have been born alive after failed abortions.

We seldom know the fate of these children. However, more and more adult survivors of abortion are coming forward to tell their stories. A leader in this movement is Melissa Ohden, who miraculously survived five days of being burned by saline in the womb. Ohden was born alive in an Iowa hospital, only to be discarded like medical waste. Fortunately, she was rescued by a compassionate nurse who heard her cries, and was adopted by a loving family.

In 2002, President George W. Bush signed a law clarifying that there is no “gray area” when it comes to babies who survive abortion attempts – they are considered persons under the law, with legal rights. This was a good first step, but it didn’t create any specific requirements, or hold personnel accountable if they deny babies life-saving care.

Nationwide, fewer than half of states lack adequate born-alive protections — and in states like New York and Virginia, Democratic politicians have been pushing to expand late-term abortion and remove any existing, modest protections for survivors. Virginia’s Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam, a physician, described in a live interview how babies who survive abortions can be denied care.

In the face of growing extremism, a national law is clearly needed. The Born-Alive Act would simply ensure that any infant born alive after an abortion receives the same standard of care as any newborn baby.

We’re stunned anyone would object — yet pro-abortion Democrats led by Speaker Pelosi have blocked a vote for two years. There’s no reason this issue should be partisan. The overwhelming majority of Americans, including millions of rank-and-file Democrats, support such a law.

218 petition signatures would force the full House to vote. An unprecedented 202 members signed on the first day – including 29 women, 19 of whom are new to Congress – and counting.

If five Democrats in Washington can’t even find the courage to stand up for defenseless infants, they don’t deserve to be in Congress and must face political consequences in the 2022 midterm elections.

Infanticide has no place in our society – not in Wisconsin or anywhere in America. We hope every constituent will contact their legislators today and urge them to support the Born-Alive Act.

– Marjorie Dannenfelser is the president of SBA List.

– Heather Weininger is the Executive Director of Wisconsin Right to Life.

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