Colorado’s Republican Senator Cory Gardner is once again promoting the idea that babies born alive after failed abortions don’t always receive medical care, an event which doctors say doesn’t occur.
In an interview last week, conservative radio host Dan Caplis asked Gardner, “If a baby is born alive following a failed abortion attempt, should the law require the baby be given the same medical care as any other baby born alive?”
Gardner replied, “Without — without a doubt. Absolutely. To do anything else is infanticide. It’s abhorrent. It’s inhumane. It’s wrong.”
He then added that “it’s sickening to think that people would even contemplate such a practice to exist.”
Caplis then admonished Colorado’s former Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper, who recently dropped out of the presidential raise to join the ranks of Democrats challenging Gardner for his Senate seat, for refusing to answer the same question on his show.
That’s generally been the Democratic response to questions from conservatives about the small percentage of abortions that occur later in pregnancy and so-called “abortion survivors.”
Inflammatory rhetoric and misinformation around abortions later in pregnancy have recently escalated after New York passed a law this year allowing abortions after 24 weeks if a health care professional determines the health or life of the mother is at risk, or the fetus is not viable.
This prompted Gardner and other congressional Republicans to push the “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act,” which would have instituted penalties and jail time for doctors who don’t provide certain medical care in the extremely rare case that a child is born alive after a failed abortion attempt.
Following the bill’s failure, President Trump tweeted, “The Democrat position on abortion is now so extreme that they don’t mind executing babies AFTER birth.”
No Democrats are advocating for such a practice.
Infanticide, as Gardner puts it, is already illegal in every state, a fact which reproductive rights advocates are quick to point to as evidence that this legislation is simply a way of demonizing abortion care in general. Furthermore, the problem that the legislation purports to solve is one that doesn’t actually exist, doctors say.
“A fetus quote unquote born alive that wouldn’t receive medical care is essentially an event that never happens,” said Dr. Rebecca Cohen, a Denver-area OBGYN, in an interview with the Colorado Times Recorder back in April. “They’re taking an event that is essentially imaginary, presenting it as normal, and using it as a way to limit access to abortion.”
“They’re just putting these horrific images in people’s minds of things that don’t happen,” Cohen added.