In a vote that has genuinely stunned many Americans, Senate Democrats shot down a bill Monday brought by Republican Ben Sasse protecting born-alive babies who survive botched abortions.
The bill, the "Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act," would have amended the criminal 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." While all present Senate Republicans voted for it, all but three Democratic senators voted against the bill, causing it to fail, 53-44.
"If an abortion results in the live birth of an infant, the infant is a legal person for all purposes under the laws of the United States, and entitled to all the protections of such laws," reads the bill. "Any infant born alive after an abortion or within a hospital, clinic, or other facility has the same claim to the protection of the law that would arise for any newborn, or for any person who comes to a hospital, clinic, or other facility for screening and treatment or otherwise becomes a patient within its care."
In response, President Trump predicted that the Democrats' actions will go down as "one of the most shocking votes in the history of Congress." He also characterized the failure of doctors to save the born-alive babies as "executing" them.
"Senate Democrats just voted against legislation to prevent the killing of newborn infant children. The Democrat position on abortion is now so extreme that they don’t mind executing babies AFTER birth," he wrote in a pair of tweets after the vote Monday evening. "This will be remembered as one of the most shocking votes in the history of Congress. If there is one thing we should all agree on, it’s protecting the lives of innocent babies."
In response, the New York Times published its version of a "fact-check" on Trump's "misleading" tweet on Wednesday and provided the following summary of its central arguments: "Babies are rarely born alive after abortion procedures, and if they are, doctors do not kill them. These are the facts behind President Trump’s misleading tweet in the latest abortion battle."
That the Times would believe that the fact that babies are "rarely born alive" is a legitimate argument against voting for the bill, and its attempt to parse the concept of a doctor allowing a baby to die on the table as different from actually killing the child, didn't go over well online; in fact, response to the tweet of the article was overwhelmingly negative.
"First off, what does it matter if babies are 'rarely' born alive after abortion procedures?" noted Twitchy. "Mass shootings 'rarely' occur and yet we have an entire party trying to ban semi-automatic weapons. Transgender students 'rarely' are conflicted about which restroom to use. And for what it’s worth, Sen. Sasse’s bill was about those rare occurrences."
"So why vote against a bill protecting them?" one Twitter follower asked the Times in reference to the paper's "rarely" argument.
"Do you even hear yourself? 'Babies are rarely born alive...' BABIES! Yes, babies that were not allowed to be born alive. And if they somehow are alive, doctors do not have to provide them care and may let them die. May God have mercy on us!" one followerer wrote.
"How can you work for the NYTimes and not know what Northam said, which kicked all this off? He specifically talked about newborns being born and then a discussion on what to do with them. This is why you're fake news," wrote another, citing the infamous defense of infanticide by "moderate" Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam.
"8th paragraph of article. 'The bill would force doctors to resuscitate such an infant, even if the parents did not want those measures.' Sounds like u admit Trump was right and buried it as far down as u could," another pointed out. "If you stopped acting like #FakeNews , we'd stop calling you it."
"I could hardly believe this article was referring to a human being," wrote another.