Outgoing Representative and former Democratic presidential nominee Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) has introduced two pro-life bills in the House of Representatives that aim to protect babies born alive after botched abortions and pain-capable preborn babies.
According to Live Action, the first bill, H.R. 8939, would ban late-term abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, the point at which the baby can feel pain. The second bill, H.R. 8923, would alter Title 18 of the United States Code “to ensure a health care practitioner exercises the proper degree of care in the case of a child who survives an abortion or attempted abortion.”
So far, H.R. 8923 has been referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary.
Although Gabbard has previously opposed similar pro-life bills to these, her presidential run in 2020 was largely shot down over her more moderate stance and support of certain restrictions on abortion compared to her more radically pro-abortion fellow candidates.
“The first bill is the ‘Late Term Abortion Ban’ bill, banning late-term abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, unless the mother is at risk of losing her life or faces severe, irreversible health consequences if an abortion is not performed,” Gabbard explained in a statement to The Blaze. “There was a bill previously introduced entitled the Pain Capable Unborn Child Act that I felt that I needed to oppose because it did not include an exception for severe irreversible health consequences. My legislation includes that exception.”
“The second is the ‘Born Alive Abortion Survivors Act, which would prohibit what essentially is infanticide,” the congresswoman continued. “If a late-term abortion is attempted and the baby is born alive, physicians must follow the same procedures that they would in any case of premature birth. The genesis of this bill came from seeing the infanticide bills introduced in Virginia and New York, how they would make it easier to get a late-term abortion, and if the baby is born alive, they would make the baby comfortable and then allow the baby to die.”
Gabbard, who did not seek reelection this year and will retire from Congress at the end of her current term, was praised by pro-life groups and activists for the bills.
In a Facebook post on Monday, Democrats for Life of America thanked Gabbard for introducing the legislation.
“Former Democratic Presidential Candidate Tulsi Gabbard introduced her SECOND Pro-Life bill this week, which would amend Title 18 of the U.S. code to give pain-capable fetuses rights under the law,” the post reads. “Tulsi has previously voted against this bill three times, but is now the SPONSOR of the new bill. […] thank you Tulsi!”
“Democratic House Rep and former Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard has introduced two crucial bills, one to protect pain-capable fetuses and another to ensure the provision of healthcare for abortion survivors,” Pro-Life San Francisco declared. “Both are fundamental to ensuring justice for UCSF’s most vulnerable victims of fetal organ harvesting, and we are inspired to see them originate from a left-leaning national legislator. The future of California, the Democratic Party, and all of America is pro-life!”
Unsurprisingly, Fox News reports, Gabbard’s fellows on the left lashed out at her for breaking rank.
“Tulsi Gabbard also introduced a redundant bill that claims to protect infants in the infinitesimally rare cases they are born after attempted abortions,” feminist Jill Filipovic said, claiming that “infants are already legally protected.”
Rewire editor Imani Gandy lobbed confusing criticism at Gabbard, claiming that there is no such thing as “born alive.”
“You seem to be under the impression that born alive is a thing. It is not. Shame on you,” Gandy said according to Fox.
An unlikely defender came to Gabbard’s aid in the face of the backlash, however.
“Democratic Congresswoman @TulsiGabbard is getting attacked by the left for being bold enough to do the right thing,” said Samaritan’s Purse head Franklin Graham. “She introduced a bill to protect babies who survive abortions & are born alive. How could any sane person be against that?”
Gabbard thanked Graham for his support.
— Tulsi Gabbard 🌺 (@TulsiGabbard) December 14, 2020
In addition to these two abortion restrictions, Gabbard’s final work in Congress includes a bill to ban biological males from competing in women’s sports, as well as the introduction of a bill with staunch Conservative Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) to repeal the Patriot Act.
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