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Thune: ‘Horrified’ by Democrats’ Objection to Protecting Babies Born Alive

“[Y]esterday, Mr. President, my Democrat colleagues objected to a bill that would do nothing more than declare that any infant who is born alive during an abortion is entitled to be protected. To be given the basic medical care that would be afforded any other baby.”

February 5, 2019


U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) today discussed Senate Democrats’ objection to a bill that would protect infants who are born alive during abortions. The bill was brought to the floor following comments from Gov. Ralph Northam (D-Va.) who endorsed late-term abortions and left the door open to infanticide.

Thune also discussed the strong economy and Republicans’ policies, including tax reform, that have helped benefit the American people.

Thune’s remarks below (as prepared for delivery):

“Mr. President, last night, my colleague from Nebraska, Senator Ben Sasse, brought a bill to the floor to protect infants who are born alive during abortions.

“The legislation is simple, Mr. President.

“In the words of the bill, it finds, and I quote, “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.  Any infant born alive after an abortion … has the same claim to the protection of the law that would arise for any newborn.”

“In other words, Mr. President, any living, breathing baby outside its mother’s body should be protected.

“That’s a pretty basic standard of decency.

“One would assume that there is no human being alive who would object to such a bill.

“That even my colleagues across the aisle, who don’t think that living, breathing unborn babies should be protected, could get behind this bill.

“But you’d be wrong.

“Because last night, Senate Democrats objected to the consideration of this bill.

“They objected to the consideration of legislation to protect babies who are born alive.

“Let’s take a step back and remember why Senator Sasse brought this bill up in the first place.

“Last week, the Democrat governor of Virginia was asked about an extreme proposal from a Virginia Democrat to remove restrictions on late-term abortions.

“In his comments on the bill, the Virginia governor had this to say: “If a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen. The infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.”

“In other words, the Democrat governor of Virginia not only endorsed late-term abortions – abortions performed on babies old enough to survive outside the mother – he left open the door to infanticide.

“He left open the possibility of killing a baby born alive.

“Now, Mr. President, I would think those would be comments that my Democrat colleagues would be recoiling from in horror.

“I would think they would be rushing to make it very clear that they absolutely do not support the killing of a baby born alive. 

“But yesterday, Mr. President, my Democrat colleagues objected to a bill that would do nothing more than declare that any infant who is born alive during an abortion is entitled to be protected.  To be given the basic medical care that would be afforded any other baby.

“Mr. President, most Americans think there should be at least some limits on abortion.

“Most countries in the world think there should be some limits on abortion.

“Only China, North Korea, the United States, and two other countries allow elective abortion through all nine months of pregnancy.

“At least some of my Democrat colleagues used to be at least a bit more moderate on the issue of abortion – “safe, legal, and rare” was their claim.

“But yesterday my Democrat colleagues made it very clear that they have decided to dispense with moderation and espouse the most radical and extreme position possible: no restrictions at all on abortion, ever, up to – and apparently now after – the moment of birth.

“Mr. President, Chuck Colson, the founder of Prison Fellowship, once noted, “A government cannot be truly just without affirming the intrinsic value of human life.”

“I think it’s fair to say that pretty much every great injustice in human history sprang from a failure to affirm the intrinsic value of every human life – from a decision that certain individuals’ rights were not equal to those of others, or that their life or liberty could be sacrificed for the greater good.

“Today we unfortunately see another great injustice with the failure to affirm the value of the lives of the most vulnerable among us.

“I am horrified by my Democrat colleagues’ decision to object to legislation to protect babies born alive.

“And I will continue to fight to ensure that the right to life of every human being, born and unborn, is protected.

“Mr. President, here are just some of the news stories we saw at the end of last week.

“From the Guardian: “U.S. Jobs Growth Smashes Expectations”

“From CNBC: “Worker Wage Gains Just Broke 3% For The First Time In More Than 10 Years”

“From Fox Business: “U.S. employers added 304,000 jobs in January, soaring past expectations”

“From the Wall Street Journal: “U.S. Stocks Post Best January in 30 Years”

“From USA Today: “Employers add booming 304,000 jobs in January, marking 100th straight month of employment gains”

“From the Washington Examiner: “10-Year Economic Optimism Jumps: More Hiring, Investing, Seeing Fundamentals ‘Strong’”

“From the Associated Press: “A robust job gain in January shows US economy’s durability”

“And the list goes on.

“Mr. President, the U.S. economy is flourishing.

“After years of stagnation under the Obama administration, the economy has come roaring back.

“Job creation is strong, and unemployment is low.

“January marked the 11th straight month that unemployment has been at or below 4 percent.

“That’s the longest streak in nearly five decades.

“The economy grew at a robust 3.4 percent in the third quarter of 2018.

“In 2018, for the first time ever, the number of job openings outnumbered the number of job seekers.

“The Department of Labor reports that for nine straight months, there have been more job openings than people looking for work. 

“Wage growth is accelerating.

“Wages have now been growing at a rate of 3 percent or greater for six straight months.

“The last time wage growth reached this level was in 2009.

“Median household income is at an all-time inflation-adjusted record of $61,372.

“Small business optimism hit record highs in 2018.

“2018 saw the most impressive job growth in the manufacturing industry since 1997.

“And the list goes on.

“Mr. President, Republican economic policies are working.

“When Republicans took office two years ago, the economy had been underperforming for years, and American families had been feeling the effects.

“We were determined to remove the obstacles that were holding the economy back – like burdensome regulations and an outdated tax code that was acting as a drag on economic growth.

“And so along with the president, we got right to work lifting excessive regulations.

“And in December 2017, we passed a historic, comprehensive reform of our tax code.

“We cut tax rates for American families, doubled the child tax credit, and nearly doubled the standard deduction.

“We lowered tax rates across the board for owners of small and medium-sized businesses, farms, and ranches.

“We lowered our nation’s massive corporate tax rate, which previously was the highest corporate tax rate in the developed world.

“We expanded business owners’ ability to recover the cost of investments they make in their businesses, which frees up cash that they can reinvest in their operations and their workers.

“And we brought the U.S. international tax system into the 21st century so that American businesses are not operating at a competitive disadvantage next to their foreign counterparts.

“And now we’re seeing the effects:

“A thriving economy.

“Good jobs.

“Higher wages.

“Low unemployment.

“And more.

“So, Mr. President, what’s the Democrat response to all of this economic growth?

“Continue the policies that are creating prosperity for American families?

“Look for ways to grow these policies to expand the economic benefits even further?

“No, Mr. President.

“Democrats want to reverse the policies that are producing economic growth.

“They want to undo the tax cuts that are creating jobs and opportunities for American workers.

“And they want to increase American families’ tax burden.

“That’s right.

“Democrats are currently advocating various proposals that would not only reverse the gains the economy has made but would severely damage economic growth for the long term.

“For example, proposals to impose a government-run health care system like the so-called “Medicare for All” plan, whose price tag is so staggeringly large – by one estimate more than $32 TRILLION – that no one has even come close to figuring out how to pay for it. 

“Doubling the amount of individual and corporate income tax collected would still not be enough to pay for the mammoth costs of this plan.

“And the Democrat promise that if you like your health care plan, you can keep it – broken again.   

“More than 175 million Americans get their health insurance through their jobs.  No more under this proposal.

“The Vermont senator’s government-run Medicare for All plan, which many of our colleagues on the other side of the aisle have co-sponsored, would eliminate private-sector insurance for millions of families who like the coverage they have.

“Then there’s the so-called “Green New Deal,” which could raise families’ energy bills by more than $3,000 – each year. 

“When I travel my state of South Dakota, I hear a lot about the high cost of living and how it is still difficult for families to make ends meet. 

“The last thing my constituents or any hardworking family needs is to have their energy costs go up by more than $3,000 per year.

“Then there are the plain old tax bills, like some Democrats’ proposal to raise the top marginal tax rate to 70 percent – or higher.

“House Democrats are also proposing to substantially increase business tax rates.

“Mr. President, prior to the passage of tax reform, America’s global companies faced the highest corporate tax rate in the developed world.

“That put American businesses at a serious disadvantage on the global stage – which in turn put American workers at a disadvantage.

“Part of the economic growth we’re experiencing now – and all the benefits for workers that come along with it – is a direct result of the lower corporate tax rate we passed as part of tax reform.

“It is staggering that Democrats can look at all the benefits lowering the corporate rate is having for the economy and for workers and then turn around and propose a rate hike.

“In short, Mr. President, here is what our country would look like if the Democrats’ far-left agenda is forced upon the American people.

“Government-run “Medicare for All” would eliminate employer-sponsored insurance for 175 million people, increase government spending by $32 trillion, jeopardize Medicare for today’s seniors, and raise taxes on just about everyone under the sun.

“The Green New Deal would increase energy costs up to $3,000 or more per year for all families.

“And Democrats’ new taxes would slow economic growth, destroy jobs, and reduce economic opportunity for hardworking Americans.

“Mr. President, our economy is thriving.

“And that is bringing real benefits to American families and American workers.

“We want to continue heading in the right direction with more policies to grow the economy, reduce the cost of living, and help Americans save for retirement.

“And we will strongly oppose Democrats’ attempts to undo the progress our economy has made and burden Americans with higher taxes, fewer jobs, and fewer opportunities.”