April 8 was the last day that a member of the U.S. House of Representatives signed the discharge petition to bring to the floor for a vote the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act
The petition needs 19 more signatures in order for the House to be able to vote to protect born children — a matter that most Americans would be shocked even needs a vote.
Since that date there have been positive developments in some states regarding the protection of vulnerable newborns: The Texas House has approved a born-alive bill, and a similar bill passed both houses in North Carolina.
But there also have been two tragic incidents that illustrate our national collective disconnect about who deserves to live and who deserves to die.
In Neptune, N.J., a young couple described by a defense attorney as “madly in love,” are charged in the death of their newborn son on March 29.
Jada M. McClain, 18, is charged with suffocating the baby she had named Legend. His father, Quaimere Mohammed, is charged with dumping his tiny son’s body in a trash bin.
In her texts to the baby’s father, which were read in court, McClain allegedly wrote: "I was the one who took his last breath. I had to do it alone, and that's what hurts me the most."
And: “I'm the one who heard him struggling to breathe when I was killing him."
Just days later, on April 6, police in Wisconsin found the body of a newborn baby boy in a hospital trash bin. His mother, Marylinn A. Feher, 22, told investigators that after she gave birth in a toilet, she put her hands around her baby’s neck and squeezed, then hit his head on the toilet. Both she and the baby’s father, Allen L. Rice, 19, remain in custody.
There are very few among us who would condone the alleged actions of these two young couples. Nor would anyone, I hope, try to argue that these babies, both inconveniently conceived, had no right to live.
They were born, they were breathing, and they were killed.
But what some states are now insisting with their radical abortion laws, is that babies born alive after abortion — living, breathing human beings — have less of a right to life, no right to life in fact, than the infants born in New Jersey and Wisconsin.
At a recent speaking engagement at Boston College, Kristan Hawkins of Students for Life of America asked a college student if a child who survives an abortion is a baby. The student’s reply? No.
What we have done in our nation since 1973, and more recently with radical abortion laws under consideration in a number of states, is to create two groups of people: Those who deserve to live because their parents wanted them, and those who don’t because their lives would prove disruptive to the people who conceived them.
That leads to a troubling question, doesn’t it? Why are two sets of parents awaiting trial for killing their babies, while lawmakers in New York cheered for infanticide and a governor in Virginia calmly explained that a baby born alive after abortion should be made comfortable while his mother decides if he should be able to continue living?
Make no mistake about it: If we do not resist and repeal these extreme laws like the one passed in New York and those under consideration in Illinois, Vermont, and Massachusetts, we are not far from the day when couples like the two described above might find themselves charged only with improperly disposing of a corpse. The situation really is this dire.
And fortunately, more and more people are waking up. At the White House this past Friday night, the movie "Gosnell" was screened. This movie is about the Philadelphia abortionist who is currently serving life in prison precisely because he killed babies born alive. We currently have a president who, with his administration, understands that many other “Gosnells” are doing the same thing with impunity, and is calling on Congress to do something about it.
Meanwhile, citizens are taking action. This past Saturday, at hundreds of locations around the country, people gathered for candlelight vigils in front of abortion facilities, calling for the protection of both the unborn and the newborn.
Yet in Congress, Democrats are moving in the opposite direction. One Republican among the GOP’s 197-member minority has not been on Capitol Hill since the discharge petition was introduced, and he is expected to sign it when he arrives. Out of 235 Democrats, only three members have signed. Dare we hope that another 18 Democrats with a conscience and a heart will decide that newborn babies deserve protection?
Fr. Frank Pavone is one of the most prominent pro-life leaders in the world. He became a Catholic priest in 1988 under Cardinal John O’Connor in New York. In 1993 he became National Director of Priests for Life. He is also the President of the National Pro-life Religious Council, and the National Pastoral Director of the Silent No More Campaign and of Rachel’s Vineyard, the world’s largest ministry of healing after abortion. He travels to about four states every week, preaching and teaching against abortion. He broadcasts regularly on television, radio, and internet. He was asked by Mother Teresa to speak in India on abortion, and was asked by then-candidate Donald Trump to serve on his Pro-life and Catholic advisory councils. He has served at the Vatican as an official of the Pontifical Council for the Family, which coordinates the pro-life activities of the Catholic Church. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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