U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) today discussed the rights of unborn children and two commonsense measures being considered in the Senate that will help to defend those rights. Thune reflected on the Democrats’ extreme support of late-term abortions as well as their refusal to support basic protections for babies who have been born alive following a failed abortion attempt. Both the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act and the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act are expected to be voted on the floor later today.
Click here to watch Thune’s speech.
Thune’s remarks below (as prepared for delivery):
“Mr. President, today we will vote on two pro-life bills – the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act and the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.
“These bills should be completely uncontroversial.
“Every one of us in this chamber ought to be able to agree that infants who are born alive during an abortion procedure should receive the same care that a baby born alive in a hospital would receive.
“And every one of us ought to agree that, at the very least, we should not be aborting babies after the point that they can feel pain.
“But unfortunately, Mr. President, the abortion extremism in the Democratic Party is such that it’s unlikely that these two bills will even get a chance to be debated.
“Mr. President, we shouldn’t even need the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act.
“It should be obvious that any baby born alive, wherever he or she is born, ought to receive care.
“But with more than one leading Democrat over the past year refusing to rule out infanticide, it’s become clear that we need to underscore that being born alive in an abortion clinic instead of a hospital doesn’t eliminate a baby’s right to medical care.
“Mr. President, like the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act should be a no-brainer.
“This legislation would ban abortions beginning in the sixth month of pregnancy – a point at which science has clearly demonstrated that the unborn child is able to feel pain.
“And not only able to feel pain.
“By this point in a pregnancy – approximately 20 weeks – babies are almost able to survive outside their mothers.
“Babies have survived after being born at 25 weeks.
“At 24 weeks.
“At 23 weeks.
“And, like Ellie Schneider, who attended the State of the Union Address with her mom, at 21 weeks.
“Mr. President, it is unthinkable that we are killing babies who are so far advanced that it is possible for them to survive outside their mothers.
“But we are.
“In 2016, somewhere around 11,000 babies were aborted at or after the 21-week mark in pregnancy.
“In one year.
“Mr. President, Democrats like to point to European countries to support their push for government-run health care and other socialist policies.
“But they never mention that almost every European country has more limits on abortion than we have in the United States.
“In fact, the United States is one of just seven countries IN THE WORLD that allow elective abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
“Among the other countries are China and North Korea – not exactly the kind of company we want to be keeping when it comes to protecting human rights.
“Because make no mistake, Mr. President, that’s what we’re talking about with abortion – human rights.
“Abortion denies unique, individual human beings – with their own fingerprints and their own DNA – the most basic of human rights, the right to life.
“And it is happening on a massive scale.
“Every year, in the United States alone, hundreds of thousands of irreplaceable human beings are killed by abortion.
“That’s not some number the pro-life movement has cooked up.
“That’s straight from the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, formerly affiliated with Planned Parenthood, which reports, and I quote, “Approximately 862,320 abortions were performed in 2017.”
“Most of us can’t even fathom what a number that big looks like.
“But to put it in perspective, 862,000 is roughly equivalent to the population of the entire state of South Dakota.
“In 2017 alone, the number of babies killed by abortion was roughly equivalent to the population of the entire state of South Dakota.
“Mr. President, we can do better.
“Americans are better than this.
“Our country was founded to safeguard human rights, not to take them away.
“And while we haven’t always lived up to that promise, we’ve never stopped trying.
“It’s time for us as a country to stand up and start protecting the rights of unborn human beings.
“Mr. President, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act and the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act won’t stop all or even most abortions.
“But they are an important step – a chance for us as Americans to draw a line in the sand and start standing up for the rights of babies who are able, or nearly able, to survive outside their mothers.
“It’s time for us to join the vast majority of the global community in prohibiting elective abortions past 20 weeks.
“And it’s time for us to make it clear that no matter what some extreme Democrats may say, Americans believe that all children, whether born alive in a hospital or in an abortion clinic, deserve protection and basic medical care.
“I hope my colleagues across the aisle will take a stand for human rights and human decency and allow debate to move forward on these bills."