Republican Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse defended a born-alive bill Tuesday and told lawmakers the legislation deals with babies born alive and not abortion access.

The senator spoke Tuesday morning at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing titled “The Infant Patient: Ensuring Appropriate Medical Care for Children Born Alive.” He emphasized the hearing is not about overturning Roe v. Wade but instead about babies who are “born alive, surviving a botched abortion attempt.”


“Let’s not lose sight of what we’re talking about today. We’re talking about babies,” Sasse said.

Sasse is the lead co-sponsor of the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which he reintroduced in 2019 after Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam suggested that a mother and doctor can decide, after a baby is born, to let the baby die, National Review reported.

Abortion proponents say the bill would negatively impact women’s ability to access abortion. It would “tie the hands of health care providers providing compassionate care,” National Women’s Law Center President and CEO Fatima Goss Graves said Tuesday at the hearing.

Sasse said: “Before senators and journalists write this hearing off as another messy and long-standing fight about abortion policy, I want to humbly ask that we not retreat into the fortified and familiar trenches our parties have occupied for the past 47 years.”

“This hearing is not about overturning Roe v. Wade. In fact, this hearing is not about limiting access to abortion at all,” the Nebraska senator said.

“This hearing isn’t a debate about first-, second- or third-trimester abortions. This hearing is about making sure that every newborn has a fighting chance—whether she’s born in a labor and delivery ward or whether she’s born in an abortion clinic,” he continued.

Sasse added that the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act ensures that “a baby born alive during a botched abortion would be given the same level of medical care that would be provided to any other baby born at that same gestational stage.”

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