22 members vote against infants already born
Late Tuesday afternoon, the SC House took up two bills related to the Life issue.
The second of the two received the most attention. It could be considered “controversial” because it would opt South Carolina out of abortion coverage in the new Exchanges mandated by the new health insurance law. It would also allow health care workers to refuse to participate in procedures that violate their consciences. Abortion = controversial. We get it.
But the first bill wasn’t about abortion and shouldn’t have been controversial. It was about infants who are already born.
Known as the “Born Alive Infant Protection Act,” the federal version of the law was passed in 2002 on a voice vote in US House, and a 98-0 roll call vote in the US Senate. In the Senate, Senator Edward Kennedy and Senator Barbara Boxer supported it and voted for it. The last time it was taken up in South Carolina, it passed by a whopping 105-5.
But, according to the new online vote system of the SC House, at 4:24 p.m. on Tuesday, the vote on H.3403 was 91-22.
There is only one way to read the roll call sheet: 22 elected members of the South Carolina General Assembly voted against protecting children who are already born.
This is a shocking result. It is one thing to be “pro-choice” or even “pro-abortion,” but how could any elected official, when presented with the opportunity to protect a child who has already left her mother’s body, vote “No”? That’s like being “pro-death.”
At the bottom of this message, I have reproduced the text of the BAIPA bill for you. As you can see, there is no legislative sleight of hand. There are no words that could be misinterpreted. In fact, the bill even states that the rights of an unborn child can’t be expanded by the law!
Here is the list of legislators (including three pastors) who voted against the Born Alive Infant Protection Act. If you know any of these officials, or if you notice a member from your county, you can use this page to find contact information. You may wish to respectfully express your concern about his or her vote.
Karl B. Allen
Carl L. Anderson
Jimmy C. Bales
Robert L. Brown
Mia Butler Garrick
Chandra E. Dillard
community relations, Greenville
Wendell G. Gilliard
Christopher R. Hart
Kenneth F. Hodges
pastor, Green Pond
Joseph H. Jefferson
John Richard C. King
mortician, Rock Hill
David J. Mack III
businessman, North Charleston
Harold Mitchell Jr.
executive director, Spartanburg
Elizabeth R. Munnerlyn
J. Todd Rutherford
Ronnie A. Sabb
Robert Q. Williams
Text of the Born Alive Infant Protection Act (H.3403)
“In determining the meaning of any act or joint resolution of the General Assembly or in a regulation promulgated pursuant to Article 1, Chapter 23, Title 1, the words ‘person’, ‘human being’, ‘child’, and ‘individual’, must include every infant member of the species homo sapiens who is born alive at any stage of development.
As used in this subsection, the term ‘born alive’, with respect to a member of the species homo sapiens, means the complete expulsion or extraction from the mother of that member, at any stage of development, who after the expulsion or extraction breathes or has a beating heart, pulsation of the umbilical cord, or definite movement of voluntary muscles, regardless of whether the umbilical cord has been cut, and regardless of whether the expulsion or extraction occurs as a result of natural or induced labor, cesarean section, or induced abortion.
Nothing in this subsection may be construed to affirm, deny, expand, or contract any legal status or legal right applicable to any member of the species homo sapiens at any point before being ‘born alive’, as defined in this subsection.”