(Senate - February 25, 2019)

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[Pages S1414-S1422]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []


  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the Senate will 
resume consideration of the motion to proceed to S. 311, which the 
clerk will report.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       Motion to proceed to S. 311, a bill to amend title 18, 
     United States Code, to prohibit a health care practitioner 
     from failing to exercise the proper degree of care in the 
     case of a child who survives an abortion or attempted 

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Nebraska.
  Mr. SASSE. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the time 
until 5:30 p.m. today, including quorum calls, be equally divided 
between the two leaders or their designees.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. SASSE. Madam President, I just listened to the senior Senator 
from New York--my friend from the gym and the minority leader--deliver 
some summaries of what he said was in the bill before us, and he 
implored this body and implored the people watching on C-SPAN to read 
the bill, stating they would find that all of these terrible things are 
in the bill.
  I see the minority leader has to leave the floor now, but, humbly, I 
would urge him to come back and show us where any of what he just said 
is in this bill. What he said wasn't true.
  I rise today for a simple purpose. I want to ask each and every one 
of our colleagues whether we are OK with infanticide. This language is 
blunt. I recognize that, and it is too blunt for many people in this 
body, but, frankly, that is what we are talking about here today.
  Infanticide is what the abortion survivors--Born-Alive Abortion 
Survivors Protection Act is actually about.
  Are we a country that protects babies who are alive, born outside the 
womb after having survived a botched abortion? That is what this is 
  Are we a country that says it is OK to actively allow that baby to 
die, which is the current position of Federal law? That is the question 
before us, plain and simple.
  Here are the facts. We know that some babies, especially late in 
gestation, survive attempted abortions. We know, too, that some of 
these babies are left to die--left to die. No further protections exist 
today to shield them from this ugly fate, and only some States have 
protections on their books. We have seen in our national discourse over 
the last month and a half a few States moving in different ways to undo 
protections that some of these babies have had at the State level.
  The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act is trying to right 
this obvious wrong. The bill's terms are simple: A child born alive 
during a botched abortion would be given the same level of care that 
would be provided to any other baby born at that same gestational age. 
That is it.
  This bill isn't about abortion. I am pro-life--unapologetically pro-
life--but this bill is not about anything that limits abortion. This 
bill doesn't have anything to do with Roe v. Wade. This bill is about 
something else. What this bill does is try to secure basic rights, 
equal rights for babies who are born and are outside the womb. That is 
what we are talking about.
  Over the course of the next hour, as this is debated on the floor, 
people are going to say a whole bunch of other things. I would ask them 
to please bring the text of the bill to the floor when they do it and 
show us whether there is anything about limiting abortion in this bill.
  This bill is exclusively about protecting babies who have already 
been born and are outside of the womb. Every baby deserves a fighting 
chance, whether that 24-week old baby, fighting for air and fighting 
for life, having just taken her first breaths, is at an abortion clinic 
where she survived a botched abortion or she is in a delivery room at 
the local hospital. Both of those babies are equally deserving of care, 
protection, and humane treatment, and our laws should treat both of 
these human beings as babies because they are babies. They have been 
born, and they are outside of the womb.

[[Page S1415]]

  This really should not be controversial. In fact, my colleagues 
actually talk this way all of the time. This place feels like about 
one-third of the people here are currently running for President, so I 
would like to quote a few of them over the course of the last couple 
  We ought to ``build a country where no one is forgotten, and no one 
is left behind.'' Amen to that. Amen to that.

  ``The people in our society who are most often targeted by predators 
are also often the voiceless and the vulnerable.''
  That is true.
  Another offered a promise to ``fight for other people's kids as hard 
as I fight for my own kids.''
  Last week, our colleague from Vermont announced his campaign by 
saying: ``The mark of a great Nation is . . . how it treats its most 
vulnerable people.'' Bernie Sanders was right.
  Now is the chance, in this body, to make good on that promise. Now is 
the chance to protect one of the most vulnerable populations on the 
land imaginable--tiny, defenseless, little babies, just having taken 
their first breath--or was that claptrap for the campaign trail or 
sound-bites? Or do people mean the stuff they say around here?
  Let's put it another way. Today's vote asks whether or not you want 
to take the side of people like Virginia's disgraced Governor Ralph 
  Last month, before the news of his hideous yearbook broke, Governor 
Northam made clear that a baby born alive during an abortion could and 
maybe ought to be killed if that is what the parents and doctors 
decided they wanted to do after a debate. That was his position: You 
should make the baby ``comfortable,'' and then there could be a 
discussion about whether or not you throw that little baby into the 
trash can. That is what he actually talked about on the radio for a day 
and a half last month.
  Governor Northam is disgraceful for a whole host of reasons, but 
unlike some other people, he actually told the truth about what he 
wants. He wants a society where some people count more than others, and 
other people are worth less than others. He wants a society where some 
people can be pushed aside if they are inconvenient. In reality, that 
is what we are voting on today.
  Some of my colleagues want to write into our law a kind of permanent 
exception: ``Every human being should be protected from cruel and 
inhuman treatment--unless that human being came into the world through 
a botched abortion.'' Then, you can decide later if you want to kill 
  Tonight, what we are going to vote on in the Born-Alive Abortion 
Survivors Protection Act is a chance to see whether we are serious when 
people around here say they want to protect the innocent, speak up for 
the voiceless, and defend the defenseless. Tonight, we are going to 
have the opportunity to do exactly that. We can come to the aid of 
innocent, voiceless, defenseless little babies who have just taken 
their first breaths by protecting him and her from mistreatment and 
  This should be, frankly, the easiest vote we ever cast in this body, 
but the prospect of what we are voting on here is threatening to one of 
the most powerful interest groups in America. The abortion industry has 
taken to attacking this bill wildly over the course of the last 2 
weeks, even though, as we made clear repeatedly and as the text of this 
bill makes indisputably clear, this bill has nothing to do with 
abortion itself. Nothing in this bill changes the slightest letter of 
Roe v. Wade. Nothing touches abortion access in this bill.
  This bill is about living and breathing babies who are alive outside 
the womb. That is all that the text of this bill does, but Planned 
Parenthood and NARAL and their allies feel threatened by a bill to 
protect alive, out-of-the-womb babies. In other words, unlike this 
legislation, Planned Parenthood and others refuse to draw any line 
between abortion and infanticide. That is what their lobbying the last 
week has shown. That should tell us something about what these groups 
are really about. What they are about is a society built on power--the 
power of some people to decide whether other people get to live or die.
  This bill is a stumbling block to anyone who thinks that some lives 
are less valuable than others. This bill is a stumbling block to anyone 
who thinks that certain human beings should be disposable. This bill is 
a stumbling block to anyone who thinks that we should be able to 
quietly rid ourselves of little people who were ``inconvenient'' or 
supposedly ``unwanted.''
  They are not unwanted. There are lots of people in every single State 
in this Union lined up waiting to adopt, including kids who have lots 
of hard life circumstances. In every State there are waiting lists of 
people who will take so-called unwanted babies.
  America is a country built on a different principle. Ours is a 
country dedicated to the proposition that all men and women--all boys 
and girls--are created equal, even the littlest--even if they happen to 
come into the world under the most horrible circumstances, even if they 
are crippled or inconvenient, or, apparently, for a moment, unwanted. 
Ours is a country that recognizes the fundamental indistinguishable 
dignity of every human being, regardless of race, or sex, or creed, or 
ability. As a country, we have struggled for 2 centuries--sometimes at 
enormous cost--to extend those basic human rights to more and more of 
our fellow citizens. Today's vote is simply an opportunity to continue 
that work.
  Let me say by way of closing that despite oppositions and setbacks 
and despite some strange rhetoric about this bill over the course of 
the last week, I am hopeful in the long term. Deep down, each of us 
knows that every member of our human family ought to be protected and 
deserves to be cherished and loved. The love we see every day in the 
eyes of moms and dads for their newborn babies is an inescapable 
reminder of that fundamental truth. Love is stronger than power.
  Thank you, Madam President.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Pennsylvania.
  Mr. CASEY. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent to speak as in 
morning business.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

                          Black History Month

  Mr. CASEY. Madam President, I rise today, in commemoration of Black 
History Month, to recognize, honor, and pay tribute to five 
Pennsylvanians who have committed themselves to creating innovative 
solutions to our Nation's most pressing problems.
  For 13 years, I have stood on this floor on this Monday, every year, 
to pay tribute to Pennsylvanians. Sometimes it has been one individual, 
and sometimes it has been more than one, but today we have five 
  While these innovators hail from different backgrounds and have each 
mastered a different craft, they share one thing in common, and that is 
a commitment to their communities and to improving the lives of others 
in groundbreaking ways.
  Today, we will honor the individual work of the following people. I 
will list them for you first and then talk about each of them in 
succession: first, the Reverend Dr. Lorina Marshall-Blake; second, Joan 
Myers Brown; third, Sulaiman Rahman; fourth, Rakia Reynolds; and fifth, 
Omar Woodward. You will hear more about each of them in a moment. There 
is no one way, of course, to make a difference in our society. I hope 
the stories of today's honorees will help to inspire the next 
generation of leaders. These honorees are with us here in Washington 
today, and we are grateful to have the chance to spend a couple of 
minutes talking about each of them.
  Let me start with the Reverend Dr. Lorina Marshall-Blake, someone I 
have known for a long time. This is the story of a woman who has spent 
her life working to build healthier communities by advancing the 
conversation on issues like the opioid crisis and health disparities in 
our Nation, just to mention two things.
  Lorina Marshall-Blake's life began in West Philadelphia, alongside 
her sister and three brothers. She excelled in her education, earning 
degrees from Antioch College and the University of Pennsylvania.
  Today, Lorina is vice president of community affairs for Independence 
Blue Cross and also president of the Independence Blue Cross 
Foundation. Lorina has spent the better part of 30 years working to 
improve access and healthcare outcomes for those across

[[Page S1416]]

the region of Southeastern Pennsylvania, which is Philadelphia and the 
counties and communities around the city of Philadelphia. Her faith-
driven work continues outside of the office, where she serves as an 
associate minister at the Vine Memorial Baptist Church.
  Lorina is affiliated with over 30 professional and civic 
organizations. I will just mention a few: The United Negro College 
Fund, the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, and the Urban 
Affairs Coalition. While the health and well-being of our Nation is not 
perfect, it is in great part thanks to women like Lorina Marshall-Blake 
that the future of healthcare and the future of access to healthcare is 
only brighter.
  The second individual we are honoring is Joan Myers Brown. We all 
know that art itself has the power to enrich lives and inspire change. 
At the age of 17, Joan Myers Brown decided she was going to be a 
professional ballerina. She refused to let pervasive racism and 
segregation stop her from touring as a member of dance revues for Cab 
Calloway, Pearl Bailey, and Sammy Davis, Jr.
  After excelling in her own right, she decided she wanted to give 
opportunity to others. To that end, in 1960, Joan Myers Brown started 
her own dance school in West Philadelphia called the Philadelphia 
School of Dance Arts. Building on that work, she founded the 
Philadelphia Dance Company in 1970. This dance company was created to 
provide opportunities for Black dancers who were systemically denied 
entrance to local schools. The company continues to be recognized 
across the world for its dancers and for its performances.
  Personally, Joan is an industry icon in both the national and 
international art communities. For example, in 2005, the Kennedy Center 
honored her as a master of African-American choreography, and in 2009, 
she received the prestigious Philadelphia Award. In 2012, she received 
the National Medal of the Arts, the Nation's highest civic honor for 
excellence in the arts. The arts have benefited greatly from Joan Myers 
  Third is Sulaiman Rahman. No individual's success is achieved alone. 
We know that, and many in Philadelphia and beyond owe some of their 
success to Mr. Rahman. He has dedicated his life to empowering young 
professionals to personal and professional success.
  After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, Sulaiman 
started his career as an entrepreneur. He founded a platform for urban 
professionals to find local social, civic, and business events, and he 
successfully built an international marketing and distributing 
  With the goal of ending the opportunity gap for people of color, 
Sulaiman created the Urban Philly Professional Network and, later, 
DiverseForce, and the DiverseForce on Boards program. Every day he 
works to empower and connect the diverse leaders from multiple sectors 
and communities. He creates high-tech solutions to impact a more 
diverse business culture.
  When he is not running DiverseForce, he is serving on a number of 
boards, including the Community College of Philadelphia Foundation, 
TeenSHARP, and the Year Up Greater Philadelphia Chapter.
  Rakia Reynolds. We know that some of our Nation's greatest successes 
have been born out of interdisciplinary collaboration. Few in the 
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania know how to bring people together for new 
opportunities like Rakia Reynolds. From her earliest days as a child 
reading the book ``A Wrinkle in Time,'' she has always been committed 
to making things happen.
  She is a New Jersey native. She moved to Philadelphia to pursue a 
degree at Temple University. After working as a television and magazine 
producer, she started her own company, Skai Blue Media.
  Among other ventures, she helped to craft Philadelphia's Amazon bid 
and continues to advise and grow small businesses of all types. She 
gives back to her community as the copresident of the Philadelphia 
chapter of Women in Film & Television and serves as a board advisor for 
Fashion Group International and the National Association for Multi-
Ethnicity in Communications.
  In addition to her full-time work in multimedia communications, Rakia 
is a wife to her best friend, her husband Bram, and mother to her three 
amazing children.
  Finally, our fifth honoree is Omar Woodward. Like many of today's 
successful leaders, Omar Woodward understands the importance of social 
enterprises and knows how to look beyond what meets the eye.
  Omar is a Southeastern Pennsylvania native. He is the executive 
director of the Philadelphia branch of the GreenLight Fund, a nonprofit 
venture capital firm that invests in evidence-based social innovations 
focused on ending poverty.
  At the GreenLight Fund, Omar is investing millions of dollars to 
address the needs of many Philadelphians, including bringing formerly 
incarcerated individuals back into the job market, helping low-income 
children receive quality care, and ensuring that those who were 
eligible have access to public assistance programs.
  Widely recognized for his expertise in nonprofit board governance, 
Omar is also a board member of the Philanthropy Network Greater 
Philadelphia, the Global Philadelphia Association, the Maternity Care 
Coalition, and the Girard College Foundation, and he holds multiple 
degrees from George Washington University.
  In closing, these five individuals have overcome significant barriers 
to become pioneers in their fields and leaders in their communities. 
Throughout their careers, these innovators have recognized gaps within 
communities, developed creative ideas, and brought these ideas to life 
by using their determination, their passion, and their talent. We 
celebrate Black History Month to commemorate the great leaders of the 
past but also to celebrate the leaders of today and the leaders of 
tomorrow--the future.
  It is my honor to recognize and to pay tribute to the Rev. Dr. Lorina 
Marshall-Blake, Joan Myers Brown, Sulaiman Rahman, Rakia Reynolds, and 
Omar Woodard for their work in creating a stronger, more innovative 
Philadelphia. I look forward to the work these leaders will continue to 
do and the impact their work will have on the city of Philadelphia, our 
Commonwealth, and our Nation.
  I thank the Presiding Officer.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Nebraska.

                                 S. 311

  Mrs. FISCHER. Madam President, I rise to voice my full support for 
the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, offered by my 
colleague from Nebraska.
  Today's vote on this important bill is going to give every Member of 
the Senate a chance to show America where one stands on the basic right 
of care for newborn babies.
  Throughout my career in public service, I have been a strong 
supporter of pro-life policies that show compassion to women and 
children. During my time in the Nebraska Legislature, we passed the 
first statewide ban on abortion procedures after 20 weeks. Members from 
all points of the political spectrum--Republican, Democratic, pro-life, 
and pro-choice--came together to support that bill. We have the 
opportunity today to come together--Republicans and Democrats--to stand 
up for the lives of newborn infants in the U.S. Senate.
  The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act protects the lives 
of children who survive attempted abortions. Simply put, if a baby 
survives an abortion, he or she deserves the same medical care as any 
other child who is born prematurely. Without question, newborns deserve 
care, attention, and love. This should not be a divisive issue. This is 
an issue that is fundamental to what it means to be an American citizen 
and, more so, what it means to be a human being. Our Founding Fathers 
believed, unequivocally, that every person born in the United States 
has a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The Born-
Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act should be, without any doubt, a 
measure that is passed in the Senate.
  Like most Nebraskans, I have been deeply disturbed by the actions in 
Virginia, New York, and the new extremes that have been pushed in the 
ensuing national debate that it is OK to deny newborn abortion 
survivors medical

[[Page S1417]]

care. As we all know, a bill was introduced in the Virginia House of 
Delegates that would make it easier to get a third-term abortion. When 
discussing this legislation, the Governor of Virginia recently made 
extremely disturbing comments in defending the bill and promoting 
infanticide when he described the process of an abortion procedure 
taking place while a mother was in labor. These policies and lines of 
thought fly in the face of our core values, and they have to end.
  In leading up to the vote today, critics across the aisle have 
mounted a campaign of misinformation to try to knock this bill off 
course. To be clear, this legislation does not set any limits on the 
rights of one to obtain an abortion or abortion procedures or methods. 
The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act would ensure that if 
newborns survive abortions, then they would receive the same care and 
the same attention to their health as would any other newborn. Newborn 
children should never be treated without basic human rights or the full 
protection of our laws because they are not wanted, especially when 
reports have estimated that nearly 2 million couples in the United 
States are currently waiting to adopt children--2 million.
  There is simply no excuse for an infant not to receive lifesaving 
care. We live in a nation that was founded upon the basic rights of 
dignity, self-worth, and equality for every human being. In 2002, the 
Born-Alive Infants Protection Act passed the House of Representatives 
by a voice vote; it passed the Senate by unanimous consent; and it was 
signed into law by President Bush. We have the chance right now to 
build upon that 2002 consensus that those who survive abortions are, in 
fact, people and to clarify that they deserve medical care. We can come 
together today to support this sound policy once more. We can clarify, 
in light of the extremism we have seen displayed recently, that newborn 
abortion survivors deserve medical care.
  I thank my fellow Nebraskan for his good work on this bill, and I 
will be voting to affirm that children deserve protection at every 
stage of life.
  I ask all of my colleagues in the Senate to support this measure and 
to vote in favor of this important bill that is before us.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Minnesota.
  Ms. SMITH. Madam President, I rise to join Senator Murray and my 
colleagues in standing up for doctors and patients in my home State of 
Minnesota and across the country.
  S. 311 puts Congress in the middle of the important medical decisions 
that patients and doctors should make together without having political 
interference. It would compel physicians to provide unnecessary medical 
care. It would override physicians' professional judgments about what 
is best for their patients, and it would put physicians in the position 
of facing criminal penalties if their judgments about what is best for 
their patients are contrary to what is described in this bill.
  Colleagues, let me be clear. For women, this is a healthcare issue, 
not a political issue, and this bill, I fear, interferes with the 
doctor-patient relationship, which should worry us all. We can all 
agree that people deserve the best medical care based on their 
individual needs and their doctors' best medical advice. This is how 
our medical system is supposed to work--physicians and patients making 
decisions together that are based on patients' individual needs.
  Everybody is different. For example, any oncologist will tell you 
that each cancer patient's treatment is different. Treatment plans 
depend on the type of cancer and how advanced the cancer is. Decisions 
about cancer treatments also depend on each person's age and lifestyle 
and individual circumstances. The same is true when it comes to 
pregnancy. Any obstetrician will tell you that every pregnancy is 
different and that when complications arise, they can completely change 
the course of treatment. In that moment, women and their families and 
their doctors are the only ones who are able to make decisions about 
what is best for a woman and her pregnancy.
  Think about what this means in real life. In August of 2016, Tippy, 
who is from Minnesota and has agreed for me to share her story, was 
pregnant and, with her husband, went to their 20-week ultrasound 
appointment. They were excited because they thought they were about to 
find out the gender of their new baby, and they had already bought 
decorations for the gender reveal party. Instead, Tippy and her husband 
got devastating news from that ultrasound. Their baby, a boy, had 
stopped developing properly and would not survive. They would never get 
to meet him and never get to hold him. The ultrasound revealed not only 
the tragic news about this much wanted child but also showed a 
dangerous condition that threatened Tippy's own health. Tippy's 
placenta was enlarged, and to continue her pregnancy would risk the 
health of her reproductive system and her ability to have future 
children of her own.
  Tippy, with her family and her doctor, made the difficult decision to 
have an abortion in order to save her reproductive system. Because she 
was able to make that medical decision, she was able to have another 
baby a year later. Tippy and her husband are today the proud parents of 
an 18-month-old child. When Tippy and her husband made their decision, 
it was based on guidance from her doctor and what was right for them 
and the family they hoped to have in the future.
  They didn't need politicians to be looking over their shoulders in 
the doctor's office and telling them what to do. None of us in this 
body should be in the business of interfering in that doctor-patient 
relationship. We don't tell oncologists how to treat their patients; we 
don't tell emergency room doctors how to save lives; and we shouldn't 
tell women's doctors how to take care of their patients.
  Colleagues, that is what this bill does. It would give politicians in 
this room the power to make medical decisions for women and their 
families. This bill intimidates providers and forces physicians to 
provide inappropriate medical treatment even when it is not in the best 
interests of their patients or their families.
  Colleagues, we should treat women with respect. Decisions about 
women's healthcare aren't different from decisions about men's 
healthcare, so why are we treating women differently? This legislation, 
if it were to become law, would put doctors in an untenable position: 
Do they follow the law or do they follow their code of professional 
  Colleagues, let's get out of the business of dictating medical care 
for women. Let's continue to trust women and their doctors. I urge my 
colleagues to oppose this legislation.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Sasse). The Senator from Iowa.
  Ms. ERNST. Mr. President, this evening, as we debate this very 
important bill, I am hearing two different strategies, two different 
discussions, about what is actually on the floor in front of us. You 
see, my colleagues across the aisle are debating a bill that is not in 
front of us. They are talking about healthcare for women, which is 
abortion. That is what they are talking about.
  This bill does not address abortion. It does not address women's 
healthcare issues. What this bill does is address the healthcare of a 
baby who is born alive after a botched abortion. We are not talking 
about abortion, folks. We are talking about the life of a child who is 
born. So, while my colleagues across the aisle are saying this is about 
abortion, that this is about a mother's healthcare, that is absolutely 
incorrect. We are talking about a human life.
  In recent weeks, we have witnessed the ugly truth about the far-
reaching grasp of the abortion industry and its ever-increasingly 
radicalized political agenda. Some politicians have not only defended 
aborting a child while a woman is in labor but have gone so far as to 
support the termination of a child after his birth. This assault on 
human dignity cannot stand. We can and must do better, and we can as a 
nation do better to defend and uphold the basic values of compassion 
and decency that define our very society.
  I thank the junior Senator from Nebraska for offering this 
commonsense legislation that addresses this issue in a compassionate 
manner and provides critical protections for children who are born 
alive after surviving abortions.

[[Page S1418]]

  Although previous laws were passed that recognize infants born alive 
during abortion proceedings as legal persons, there still exists a 
critical loophole that prevents abortionists from being held 
accountable for failing to follow these very laws.
  This legislation closes the gap and ensures that there are concrete 
enforcement measures to protect children who survive abortion attempts.
  We can all agree that any child who is born alive, whether through a 
natural birth or a botched abortion, is a living person, a person who 
is worthy of the utmost dignity, compassion, and respect. This 
legislation ensures just that by simply requiring healthcare 
practitioners to treat those babies who survive an abortion attempt 
with the same degree of care any other baby born at the same 
gestational age would receive.
  This legislation is not meant to punish women or mothers during an 
often heart-wrenching and difficult experience. In fact, this 
legislation specifically prohibits mothers from being prosecuted. 
Instead, this bill quite simply imposes penalties for the intentional 
killing of a baby who has been born alive.
  Today, we have an opportunity to categorically reject infanticide by 
ensuring that the laws we have on the books preventing this abhorrent 
practice are meaningfully enforced and that those who fail to follow 
such laws can be held accountable.
  I urge my colleagues to set aside partisanship and support this much 
needed, compassionate solution. We as a nation can do better. We must 
protect those babies who are born alive.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New Hampshire.
  Mrs. SHAHEEN. Mr. President, I rise today in strong opposition to the 
legislation that the Presiding Officer has authored. It would 
significantly interfere with the doctor-patient relationship, and it 
would pose new obstacles to a woman's constitutionally protected right 
to make her own decisions about her reproductive health.
  Regardless of what the intent of the legislation is, the fact is, the 
way it is written, it intimidates doctors with the threat of criminal 
liability for performing safe and legal abortions. It will have a 
chilling effect on the ability of women to access the services they 
need in the United States.
  We must always remember that abortions that are performed later in 
pregnancy are most often done as the result of severe fetal diagnoses 
and the serious risks that pregnancy poses to the life of the mother.
  And let's be very clear: This isn't a decision that any women or 
family wants to be in a position to make. It is tragic and it is 
heartbreaking, and efforts to politicize the trauma of women and 
families who have been forced to make this decision are really 
shameful, and it sets a dangerous precedent for women's comprehensive 
  By installing new uncertainty and risk of criminal liability into the 
process for late-term abortions, this legislation increases the risk 
that women will not be able to get the medical care they need when 
their pregnancy poses a risk to their lives. This bill ignores those 
important realities in what appears to be an attempt to score political 
points with anti-choice groups.
  Again and again, at every turn, we have seen this administration and 
our Republican colleagues push forward policies intended to threaten 
access to abortion care. Just last week, the Trump administration cut 
off critical family planning resources for family planning clinics that 
offer information and referrals for women seeking to obtain legal 
abortions. If you want to prevent abortions, you want to make sure 
families have access to family planning. We know that is an important 
way to reduce the number of abortions in this country.
  So we are seeing that this bill is just another line of attack in the 
ongoing war on women's health. Now more than ever, we need to stand up 
and help protect women's healthcare and make certain that abortions 
remain safe and legal.
  I urge my colleagues to oppose this legislation and its consideration 
on the Senate floor.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. BOOZMAN). The Senator from Hawaii.
  Ms. HIRONO. Mr. President, I would like to first thank Senator Murray 
for her steadfast leadership in the fight to protect women's healthcare 
and for arranging this time for us to speak this afternoon.
  The legislation we are debating today is just the latest salvo in the 
far-right wing assault on a woman's constitutionally protected right to 
an abortion.
  With all due respect to my colleague from Nebraska who introduced 
this legislation, this bill is a solution in search of a problem. 
Contrary to what the proponents of this bill argue, it is and has 
always been a crime to harm or kill newborn babies. People guilty of 
this crime can already be charged and prosecuted to the full extent of 
the law.
  Let's be clear. The Senate isn't debating this legislation today 
because there is an epidemic of infanticide in this country. There is 
not one. There isn't one. I can hardly say it because it is really not 
happening; therefore, this bill is a solution in search of a problem. 
Instead, we are indulging the majority's use of a false premise to 
inflame the public, shame women, and intimidate healthcare providers.
  When you strip away the ultraconservative rhetoric, you are left with 
a very simple argument from supporters of this legislation--that the 
moral judgment of rightwing politicians in Washington, DC, should 
supersede a medical professional's judgment and a woman's decision. 
Conservative politicians should not be telling doctors how they should 
care for their patients. Instead, women, in consultation with their 
families and doctors, are in the best position to determine their best 
course of care.
  In talking to healthcare providers in Hawaii, I have heard how this 
legislation and other bills like it in States across the country could 
force them to provide care that is unnecessary or even harmful to 
patients. The Hawaii Section of the College of Obstetricians and 
Gynecologists made this point persuasively in testimony recently 
submitted to our State legislature's house committee on health earlier 
this month. In opposing similar so-called born-alive abortion 
legislation heard in Hawaii's State Legislature--which didn't make it 
out of committee, by the way--the group of doctors wrote:

       We are physicians who provide compassionate, evidence-based 
     care. By criminalizing healthcare providers, this law may 
     actually reduce the number of healthcare providers (not just 
     the surgeons, but anesthesiologists, nurses, midwives, office 
     staff) willing to provide this care. But again, that is the 
     actual intent of this bill. Reducing access to safe abortion 
     care would threaten the health of women in Hawaii.
       We are the physicians who care for patients when they find 
     out their very wanted, very loved baby has severe fetal 
     anomalies. Families sometimes choose to end the pregnancy and 
     provide their baby with palliative care rather than subject 
     their baby to any suffering or futile efforts at 
     resuscitation. These families face very difficult decisions 
     about what their values are and what is best for their 
     family; decisions that none of us has a right to make for 
     them or judge them for. What they need in these moments is 
     compassion and medically accurate information from healthcare 
     providers free of judgment or politics.

  I couldn't agree more, and that is why I urge my colleagues to oppose 
this legislation.
  In just a few minutes, I expect the Senate will defeat this bill 
because it will fail to win the required 60 votes. Nevertheless, the 
threat to women's reproductive rights is intensifying in States and 
courtrooms all across the country. Over the past few years, States have 
enacted hundreds--hundreds--of laws that harm women's health and 
violate their constitutional right to an abortion.
  Mississippi enacted a prohibition on abortion after 15 weeks of 
  Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, and Ohio have passed laws banning 
dilation and evacuation--D&E--an abortion procedure used usually during 
the second trimester.
  Indiana enacted a bevy of new abortion restrictions, including a law 
requiring every woman seeking an abortion to have an ultrasound--talk 
about invasive--and mandated she wait 18 hours after the ultrasound to 
have an abortion.
  Louisiana passed legislation requiring abortion providers to have 
admitting privileges at local hospitals. This law would result in only 
one abortion provider in a State of 4.7 million people.
  Advocates have recognized the harm these laws would have on women and

[[Page S1419]]

have filed suits to block their implementation. Several lower courts 
have ruled these restrictions unconstitutional, and the cases are 
moving steadily through the courts of appeals en route to the Supreme 
  The Fifth Circuit, for example, will hear an appeal of a lower 
court's decision to block Mississippi's 15-week abortion ban, as well 
as an appeal from Texas to allow its ban on D&E procedures to go into 
  The Seventh Circuit upheld a lower court ruling striking down parts 
of Indiana's mandatory ultrasound and waiting period law. The Indiana 
attorney general has requested the Supreme Court to review this case.
  The Supreme Court temporarily stopped Louisiana's so-called admitting 
privileges law from taking effect on a 5-to-4 vote. This is the law I 
talked about before. This law would result in one abortion provider in 
a State of 4.7 million people.
  The Fifth Circuit will now hear an appeal on the merits of the law, 
which is virtually identical to a Texas law the Supreme Court struck 
down in 2016--that was only a few short years ago--in the landmark 
Whole Women's Health v. Hellerstedt decision.
  The stakes in these court battles and the more than 20 other 
abortion-related cases making their way through the Federal court are 
incredibly high. Any one of them would provide the opening for the U.S. 
Supreme Court to finally fulfill the rightwing goal of overturning Roe 
v. Wade.
  It is with this central goal in mind that Donald Trump, Majority 
Leader McConnell, and complicit Republicans of Congress have been 
working to pack our Federal courts with ideologically driven judges 
groomed and handpicked by ultraconservative organizations like the 
Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation.
  Donald Trump has already confirmed 85 judges, including 30 to circuit 
courts and 2 to the U.S. Supreme Court. These judges comprise one-tenth 
of the Federal judiciary, with many more to come.
  In fact, a few weeks ago, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 42--
42--judicial nominees out of committee in one markup. Those 42 comprise 
an additional 5 percent of the Federal judiciary.
  Less than 2 weeks ago, Justice Kavanaugh issued a strong dissent in 
the earlier mentioned Supreme Court's 5-to-4 decision to block 
Louisiana's anti-choice law from taking effect. Using tortured 
reasoning, Justice Kavanaugh essentially argued that the Supreme Court 
should disregard its own precedent from only 2 years ago--that is the 
Whole Women's case I referred to--to allow the Louisiana law to take 
effect. His dissent signaled his strong antipathy to a woman's right to 
choose, just as his dissent in Garza v. Hargan did when he was on the 
DC Circuit. His dissent as a Justice this time demonstrated the 
emptiness of his promises to uphold Supreme Court precedent during his 
confirmation hearing.
  Justice Kavanaugh's promises then to follow precedent is like that of 
other Federalist Society-picked Trump nominees now packing our courts, 
offering little reassurance that nominees in fact will set aside their 
strongly held ideological views to be objective and fair as judges.
  Another case likely to make its way through Federal courts in the 
months and years ahead is a challenge to the Trump administration's new 
gag rule. This rule prohibits doctors and other clinicians 
participating in title X family planning programs from referring 
patients for, or even speaking about, abortions, even if their patients 
request such information.
  Nearly 20,000 Hawaii residents receive reproductive healthcare 
through title X. That is roughly the population of the city of Kapolei 
on Oahu. This attack on title X-funded agencies like Planned Parenthood 
is an end-run around Congress after Republicans have tried and failed 
dozens of times to end funding for Planned Parenthood.
  Planned Parenthood provides healthcare for millions--millions--of 
low-income women, men, and young people under title X. Why then do 
Republicans persist in trying to cut funding for Planned Parenthood?
  The constitutional rights of millions of women across the country are 
under serious and sustained attack, but even in these not normal times, 
I do see some hope. As State after State passes laws to limit access 
for a woman's right to choose, communities like Hawaii's are coming 
together to protect such access.
  Last week, I joined activists and staff from Planned Parenthood of 
the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands as they opened their new 
medical center and administrative hub in downtown Honolulu. I was 
particularly energized to see how many young people, women and men, 
were there and engaged in the fight to protect our right to choice.
  I have learned over the years that battles we fought so hard to win 
never stay won. It is up to all of us to stay engaged and keep fighting 
for our constitutionally protected rights.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Montana.
  Mr. DAINES. Mr. President, I want to be very clear about the matter 
that is before the U.S. Senate today. We are not here to debate 
abortion. That is not what this bill is about that Senator Sasse has 
introduced. We are here to decide whether it should be legal in the 
United States of America to kill or neglect an infant who has been born 
alive after a botched abortion.
  This was made very real for me just minutes ago. In fact, Melissa 
Odom is standing just off the floor of the U.S. Senate, just outside 
here probably 50 feet from where I am standing. She survived a botched 
saline-infused abortion in 1977. She was left to die, literally put in 
the medical waste heap, but thanks to the grace of God and a nurse who 
saw Melissa, they were able to revive her, and she is a beautiful 41-
year-old mom with two children, one being Olivia who was born in the 
same hospital where the botched abortion took place. She is from Kansas 
City, married to Ryan.
  We are here to vote on the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection 
Act. By now, we have all heard the disturbing defense of infanticide 
offered by the disgraced Governor Northam of Virginia. These babies' 
only crime was to survive the abortionists' attempts to poison, starve, 
or tear them apart limb from limb while in utero.
  What this bill is about is when the abortionist wants to ``finish the 
job'' as the baby lies helpless on the table of an abortion clinic. 
Currently, children born alive who survive an abortion attempt are 
recognized as persons under the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act of 
2002, but that law is merely definitional because not one person to 
date has been charged or convicted under it. There is no nationwide 
Federal law criminalizing the actions of killers, like Dr. Kermit 
Gosnell, who kill or deny care to babies who survive abortions. Current 
Federal murder statutes have limited jurisdiction, and the States have 
a patchwork of different laws for born-alive infants.
  The bill we are voting on today would give Federal enforcement teeth 
nationwide to the 2002 Born-Alive law, so that whether an infant is 
born alive in Montana or in Massachusetts, whether in a hospital or an 
abortion clinic, they would be guaranteed the same protection and level 
of care. Is that asking too much?
  By contrast, consider that Federal law provides criminal penalties of 
thousands of dollars in fines and even imprisonment if you ``harass, 
harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect'' any 
baby marine turtle, baby bald eagle, or any other baby of an endangered 
  It is absolutely absurd that we are having to decide whether we give 
human babies the level of protection under Federal law that we give to 
animals. This is truly an absurd moment on the floor of the U.S. 
Senate. Have we become so numb as a nation that we cannot realize we 
are talking about a baby?
  Cindy and I became grandparents for the first time on January 23, 
little Emma Rae Daines, born in Denver. She is now a living, breathing 
member of the human family. That is what we are talking about here, a 
living, breathing member of the human family. Is it the position of the 
Democratic Party that a border wall is immoral but not infanticide?
  The phenomenon of infants surviving attempted abortions is very real. 
These infants are not just statistics. Their lives matter, and their 
stories deserve to be told, just like the story of Melissa Odom. That 
is why I am proud of

[[Page S1420]]

and grateful to my Senate colleague Ben Sasse, who has introduced the 
Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act.
  Infanticide is not and should not be a partisan issue. It is an issue 
in which there should be no middle ground or compromise. A ``yes'' vote 
today is to uphold the bare minimum of any civilized society. A ``no'' 
vote is to deny protection from barbaric violence to the most 
vulnerable among us, an innocent, little baby.
  You can either stand with Governor Northam for infanticide or you can 
protect the most vulnerable among us.
  I yield back my time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from South Dakota.
  Mr. ROUNDS. Mr. President, I first thank my colleague from Montana 
for his powerful message. I can assure him that I believe strongly in 
the same approach as he does with regard to life.
  I rise to discuss an issue of vital importance to our society, and 
that is the intrinsic value of human life. Very shortly, every Senator 
will have an opportunity to stand up for human dignity and condemn 
infanticide when we vote on the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors 
Protection Act. This should not be a difficult vote for any of us.
  I believe in the value of every innocent human life, beginning at the 
moment of conception to natural death. Life is a gift from God that 
should be respected and treated with dignity from the very beginning to 
the very end.
  I have worked to enact pro-life policies throughout my time in public 
service based upon this principle. While working as Governor, I signed 
legislation to ban abortions in South Dakota, except when necessary to 
save a mother's life.
  ``Humanae Vitae,'' written by Pope Paul IV and later expanded upon in 
``Evangelium Vitae,'' written by Saint Pope John Paul II the Great, 
teaches that there can be no true democracy without a recognition of 
the dignity of every person. It goes on to teach that respect and 
dignity must be given to each human life for true peace and freedom to 
  We must demand respect for the rights of all. This includes those in 
the womb, as well as mothers carrying a child who are facing difficult 
challenges. Both deserve our utmost compassion and care. While this 
should be common sense to everyone, we recognize that in this country 
there are individuals who are pro-life and individuals who are pro-
  While I and millions of other pro-life Americans continue to work to 
end all abortions and support measures that strengthen the dignity of 
life, recent actions at the State level have been deeply troubling. 
Pro-choice individuals are actually now supporting measures that will 
allow doctors to commit infanticide even after a baby has been born 
alive. For example, last month, the State of New York repealed section 
4164 of the State's public health law which provided protections for an 
infant born alive after a failed abortion. Subsequently, in Virginia, 
legislation has been introduced that would legalize abortion up to term 
and even after the birth has begun. In Rhode Island, the Governor has 
vowed to sign legislation legalizing abortion even after the child is 
  These examples of abortion extremism at its worst--radical, abhorrent 
acts of infanticide--should horrify all of us. While I am troubled by 
the thought of any baby being killed at any stage, at a bare minimum 
every one of us should be able to agree that infanticide--or the 
killing of a baby after it has been born alive--is unacceptable. This 
is a separate issue from abortion, which is abhorrent in itself.
  In the history of the world, the true test of a society is how well 
we treat the most vulnerable among us. That is why we must pass this 
legislation, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, of which 
I am an original cosponsor, and I would like to thank Senator Sasse for 
bringing this legislation forward.
  The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act simply protects 
newborns who survive abortions by requiring appropriate care and 
admission to a hospital. When a failed abortion results in the live 
birth of an infant, our legislation makes clear that healthcare 
providers must exercise the same degree of professional skill to 
protect the newborn child as would be offered to any other child born 
alive at the same gestational age. A baby who survives an abortion 
deserves the same rights under the law as any other newborn baby and 
should receive proper medical care, not to be left to die or be killed.
  It is also worth mentioning that President Trump stood up for life 
during the State of the Union Address earlier this month, calling on 
Congress to pass legislation to prohibit late-term abortions of 
children who feel pain in the mother's womb. President Trump urged:

       Let us work together to build a culture that cherishes 
     innocent life. And let us reaffirm a fundamental truth: All 
     children--born and unborn--are made in the holy image of God.

  I couldn't agree more. All life is sacred. We must seek to protect 
and save lives whenever possible, however possible. I urge my 
colleagues to support the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Illinois is recognized.
  Ms. DUCKWORTH. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to address the 
floor for 5 minutes.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Ms. DUCKWORTH. Mr. President, imagine the joy, the emotion, and the 
anticipation that comes with being in the third trimester of your 
pregnancy. Imagine choosing the crib and the mobiles that will hang 
above it. Imagine telling your toddler that he was getting a little 
sister to play with. Then, imagine the heartbreak of going to the 
doctor one day and learning that there is no chance your baby will 
survive, that there is no hope your baby girl will ever speak her first 
word or take her first step, or that delivering her would put your own 
life at risk, leaving your firstborn to grow up without a mother. These 
are the types of scenarios that lead to the heart-wrenching decision to 
terminate a pregnancy later on.
  As the mom of two little girls--one, age 4, and one, 10 months old--I 
can't begin to fathom that kind of pain. Yet today some on the other 
side of the aisle are trying to use those parents' suffering for 
political advantage, making worst-case scenarios like these all the 
more difficult by pushing a bill aimed to criminalize reproductive care 
no matter the cost.
  If it becomes law, this bill would force doctors to perform 
ineffective, invasive procedures on fetuses born with fatal 
abnormalities, even if it is against the best interests of the child, 
even if it goes against recommended standards of care and they know 
that it wouldn't extend or improve the baby's life, and even if it 
would prolong the suffering of the families, forcing women to endure 
added lasting trauma, making one of the worst moments of their lives 
somehow even more painful. If physicians refuse, they would be punished 
and could be sentenced up to 5 years in prison.
  We have seen this kind of political stunt before. We know the 
partisan extremist playbook it comes out of--one based not in fact but 
in fiction, steeped in ignorance and misogyny. The goal here is 
obvious: to bully doctors out of giving reproductive care, to scare 
them out of business--one potential lawsuit or jail sentence at a 
time--making it even harder for women to get the care they need when 
they need it most, as the number of physicians available shrinks.
  This is just the latest step in the far right's long march to strip 
away women's rights--a march whose pace has now quickened under our 
current President, a man who once argued that women should be punished 
for taking up their right to choose, who has taken pride in trying to 
put the government between women and their doctors, and who just 72 
hours ago issued a gag rule that could gut family planning clinics.
  I have said this a thousand times before, and I will keep saying it 
until I go hoarse: A woman's medical decisions should be between her 
and her physician and her family and not dictated by some politician in 
Washington, DC. When lives are on the line, the folks with MDs are the 
ones who should be deciding what care is appropriate, not those with 
partisan agendas.
  Mothers and doctors know that every pregnancy is different--both of 

[[Page S1421]]

certainly were--and physicians are trained with exactly this in mind.
  It is offensive and just plain ignorant for my colleagues to claim 
they know better than a doctor or an expectant mom. It shows an 
alarming disrespect for a woman's moral compass and her ability to make 
sound decisions.
  I can't begin to conceive of the pain of the mom-to-be who learns 
that the baby she already loves isn't viable and that the child whose 
name she has already chosen and whose life she has already imagined 
will never open their eyes. All this bill would do is to sharpen that 
family's suffering. All it would do is to make it harder for the next 
woman to get the care that could save her life. How dare we think of 
passing legislation like that. How dare we put extremist politics over 
empathy, over science, and over women's health and families' pain.
  I strongly urge my colleagues to vote against S. 311--a bill that is 
as heartless as it is dangerous.
  Thank you.
  With that, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oklahoma is recognized.
  Mr. LANKFORD. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to speak on the 
floor for up to 5 minutes.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. LANKFORD. Mr. President, it has been interesting to hear the 
debate today about how heartless it would be to protect the life of a 
child. The debate from the other side has come out fast and furious, 
saying that S. 311 is about a child who is not viable and that somehow 
we are going to put a mom through more torment with a child that is not 
  The plain text of this bill could not be clearer. This is not about 
abortion. This is about a child who has been born alive and who is a 
viable child.
  Here is the interesting conversation. Many people in this country 
argue about abortion--rightfully so. We are talking about the life of a 
child. This, in particular, though, has a clear argument. What if an 
abortion is botched, and instead of the child being killed in the womb, 
they are actually delivered? Now a child is on the table who is crying, 
with pink skin, 10 fingers and toes wiggling, and is reaching out. What 
happens now? That is the question with this bill.
  Interestingly enough, it is not the first time it has come before the 
Senate. In 2002, this same issue came before the Senate. The Senate, 
the House, and the President all agreed that if an abortion was botched 
and the child was delivered, that child is a child. By definition, that 
is a child. In 2002, what that bill did not do is define what happens 
next if the life of that child is then taken after they are born.
  This wouldn't be an issue because it is clearly defined in law except 
for the fact that a few weeks ago, the Governor of Virginia made a 
public statement saying that we need to have a law to say that we could 
deliver a child, make it comfortable, and then decide what to do with 
that baby. Suddenly, this becomes a national conversation.
  We thought this was a resolved issue in 2002, but it is not. There is 
still debate from the other side saying: Deliver the child and then 
decide what to do with the life of that child.
  This is not just an issue that has no consequence as well. After that 
bill was passed in 2002, the CDC started analyzing birth certificates 
to determine if this happens and how often it happens.
  It doesn't happen often, but in a few number of States where the CDC 
gathered information from, it determined there were 143 babies who were 
born alive after an attempted abortion and who then died with no record 
of how it happened.
  Just in 5 months in 2017, the State of Arizona reported that 10 
babies were born alive after an attempted abortion. This doesn't happen 
often, but it does happen, and the question is, Who are we as a nation 
and what are we going to do with a child who is in front of us who is 
  Medical professionals are called to do no harm--the Hippocratic Oath. 
It is interesting to see medical professionals provide care to every 
person everywhere they go. If there is a car accident, it doesn't 
matter if it is their patient. They pull over and help. Interestingly 
enough, at the State of the Union Address, just a couple of weeks ago, 
we had a staff member in the back who passed out, and Members of 
Congress who are also physicians, who were in their seats, jumped out 
of their seats to go provide care because that is what physicians do. 
But in the case of a botched abortion, the child is delivered and then 
everyone who is a medical professional just steps back and watches the 
child die and doesn't provide care. It is the reverse of the 
Hippocratic Oath. We need to resolve this in our law.
  If I can even make a comparison. We as people, and even soldiers in 
the field, honor life. Soldiers who were trained to take life still are 
also trained to honor life.
  Article 12 of the Geneva Convention, which we support, says this: 
``Members of the armed forces and other persons . . . who were wounded, 
sick . . . shall be respected and protected in all circumstances.'' 
Literally, if you are in the fight of your life on the field, as our 
Armed Forces are, and you run across a wounded individual in that fight 
from the other side, we give care to that person, even though they are 
our enemy on the battlefield. But in an abortion clinic, that child is 
not given the same care that we are demanded to give on the 
  This is a fascinating dialogue that I have had with a lot of my 
colleagues. For a lot of my colleagues who are pro-abortion and who 
don't see that as a life, I will often ask this simple question: When 
is a life a life? What is your redline? I think that is a fair 
  For myself, it is conception. When that child is conceived and they 
are developing, they have unique DNA. That is a different person. For 
others, they will say it is when the child is viable. For others, they 
will say when the child is born.
  I just ask a simple question. When the child is born, is that a 
child? Is your redline birth? This bill affirms that when a child is 
born, we should at least acknowledge that that is a person.
  I am a dad who has cut the umbilical cord of my own daughter before. 
I would be terrified to say that the child was not a child until I, as 
the dad, cut the cord--that I could take that life at any moment before 
that. That is not who we are as Americans.
  Let's pass this. Let's protect living children.
  With that, I yield the floor.
  Ms. CANTWELL. Mr. President, I rise in strong opposition to tonight's 
vote to advance S. 311. This legislation would reduce families' access 
to reproductive healthcare, interfere in personal medical decisions 
that should be left between families and doctors, and criminalize 
doctors and health professionals.
  Tonight's vote is part of a broader strategy by this administration 
and some in Congress to take away women's access to reproductive 
healthcare, including the constitutional right to an abortion affirmed 
in Roe v. Wade.
  For instance, the administration has already installed two Supreme 
Court Justices who threaten Roe v. Wade, repeatedly tried to de-fund 
Planned Parenthood and cut off family planning grants, and given 
employers the green light to take away birth control coverage from 
their employees. In the last Congress alone there were 14 anti-women's 
health votes and 34 anti-women's health bills introduced.
  Reproductive health choices are highly personal and deeply sensitive, 
and they should be left between families and their doctor. S. 311 would 
effectively overrule these personal decisions by imposing arbitrary 
standards--based on political ideology, not medical appropriateness--on 
health professionals.
  This bill would effectively criminalize doctors and healthcare 
clinicians for providing the best plan of care to their patients. It 
would impose civil and criminal penalties including up to 5 years in 
prison onto providers if they don't comply with the bill's mandates. 
These mandates could scare medical professionals away from helping 
women and families obtain reproductive care, including an abortion, 
further reducing families' access to care.
  More than 17 of the Nation's leading medical, public health, and 
civil rights organizations oppose this bill. The American College of 
Nurse-Midwives, the American College of Obstetricians

[[Page S1422]]

and Gynecologists, and the American Public Health Association state 
that the bill ``. . . injects politicians into the patient-provider 
relationship, disregarding providers' training and clinical judgement 
and undermining their ability to determine the best course of action 
with their patients.'' The American Civil Liberties Union states that 
the bill ``. . . shows a callous disregard for patients in need of 
compassionate, evidence-based care when they face difficult 
  The majority of Americans want more access to reproductive 
healthcare, not less. More than 7 in 10 Americans do not want women to 
lose access to safe, legal abortion. In 1991, a majority of voters in 
the State of Washington passed the Washington Abortion Rights 
Initiative, declaring that a woman has a right to an abortion.
  S. 311 is another misguided attempt to reduce women and families' 
access to reproductive healthcare. I strongly oppose S. 311 and urge my 
colleagues to vote no.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Nebraska.
  Mr. SASSE. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to speak for less 
than 1 minute.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. SASSE. Mr. President, over the course of this afternoon, we have 
heard a whole bunch of things about what is supposedly in this bill. I 
know that a lot of people who are opposed to this bill, the Born-Alive 
Abortion Survivors Protection Act, sincerely believe the talking points 
that they read from their staffs, but, humbly, we have heard speech 
after speech after speech about things that have absolutely nothing to 
do with what is actually in this bill.
  So as you get ready to cast this vote, I urge my colleagues to 
picture a baby who has already been born, who is outside the womb, and 
who is gasping for air. That is the only thing that today's vote is 
actually about. We are talking about babies who have already been born. 
Nothing in this bill touches abortion access.
  Thank you.

                             Cloture Motion

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Pursuant to rule XXII, the Chair lays before 
the Senate the pending cloture motion, which the clerk will state.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

                             Cloture Motion

       We, the undersigned Senators, in accordance with the 
     provisions of rule XXII of the Standing Rules of the Senate, 
     do hereby move to bring to a close debate on the motion to 
     proceed to Calendar No. 17, S. 311, a bill to amend title 18, 
     United States Code, to prohibit a health care practitioner 
     from failing to exercise the proper degree of care in the 
     case of a child who survives an abortion or attempted 
         Mitch McConnell, David Perdue, Mike Crapo, Pat Roberts, 
           John Cornyn, Johnny Isakson, James M. Inhofe, Thom 
           Tillis, Roger F. Wicker, Lindsey Graham, Ben Sasse, Roy 
           Blunt, John Thune, John Boozman, John Barrasso, Joni 
           Ernst, James E. Risch.

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. By unanimous consent, the mandatory quorum 
calls have been waived.
  The question is, Is it the sense of the Senate that debate on the 
motion to proceed to S. 311, a bill to amend title 18, United States 
Code, to prohibit a health care practitioner from failing to exercise 
the proper degree of care in the case of a child who survives an 
abortion or attempted abortion, shall be brought to a close?
  The yeas and nays are mandatory under the rule.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk called the roll.
  Mr. THUNE. The following Senators are necessarily absent: the Senator 
from North Dakota (Mr. Cramer), the Senator from Alaska (Ms. 
Murkowski), and the Senator from South Carolina (Mr. Scott).
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Are there any other Senators in the Chamber 
desiring to vote?
  The yeas and nays resulted--yeas 53, nays 44, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 27 Leg.]


     Scott (FL)


     Cortez Masto
     Van Hollen

                             NOT VOTING--3

     Scott (SC)
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. As a reminder, expressions of approval or 
disapproval are not in order.
  On this vote, the yeas are 53, the nays are 44.
  Three-fifths of the Senators duly chosen and sworn not having voted 
in the affirmative, the motion is rejected.