Smucker Signs Discharge Petition Protecting Abortion Survivors

April 2, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R-PA) joined more than 150 of his Republican colleagues on Tuesday in the fight for the right to life by signing a discharge petition for the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act (H.R. 962).

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Ann Wagner (R-Mo.) protects the sanctity of life by requiring health care practitioners exercise the same degree of care, skill and diligence to born-alive abortion survivors as they would to any other prematurely-born child.

House Democrats have blocked this bill’s consideration 25 times on the House floor since the 116th Congress began in January.

“Protecting innocent lives shouldn’t be a partisan issue,” Smucker said. “Unfortunately, we’ve seen many Democrats all over the country endorsing late-term abortions and infanticide. Now they are refusing to take a stand for these children. It’s time we put this legislation to a vote and end this barbaric practice once and for all.”

The Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act penalizes the intentional killing of a born-alive child with up to five years imprisonment and also reduces the number of unreported born-alive abortions by requiring health care practitioners and hospital employees report violations to law enforcement.

The bill also recognizes women as the second victims of abortion and protects mothers of abortion survivors from prosecution.

Recent polling data showed more than three-quarters (77 percent) of U.S. adults support legislation giving equal medical treatment to abortion survivors. According to a 2018 Gallup poll, 87 percent of U.S. adults oppose third-trimester abortions. Opposition to third-trimester abortions held strong regardless of age, education and party identification.

Twenty-nine states have laws offering some explicit protection for babies who survive abortions but many states – including those with the most extreme abortion laws – offer no protection.

The legislation is supported by several pro-life groups like Susan B. Anthony List, the National Right to Life and the Family Research Council.

The discharge petition requires an absolute majority – 218 signatures – to force consideration of the bill.