Agree; let’s get the subject matter correct.
‘Safe, legal and rare.”
The phrase, which President Clinton coined during his 1996 re-election campaign, was meant to make abortion sound reasonable and even compassionate. It implied that abortion is inherently regrettable, and that legality and safety go hand in hand.
A generation later, the party of “safe, legal and rare” has been captured by the loud voices and deep pockets of an extremist abortion industry that treats abortion as a moral good. Major Democratic politicians are even unwilling to protect the lives of babies who survive attempted abortions.
There are many complicated debates to be had about abortion, and as unapologetic pro-lifers we want to have those conversations based on compassion and science. But infanticide isn’t complicated. The current debate is about whether or not it’s OK to deprive newborns of appropriate medical care.
The abortion industry’s shift has been assisted by most mainstream media outlets, which have framed the issue with cheap euphemisms and a prefabricated narrative. They describe all pro-life policies, even ones backed by a majority of Americans, as “controversial.” But when pro-abortion politicians advance extreme policies, the headlines focus on pro-life “backlash.”
In reality, the abortion industry is playing offense, not defense. The extraordinary abortion law passed recently in New York is the most glaring example. Gov. Andrew Cuomo lit One World Trade Center pink to celebrate late-term abortion and the removal of protections for babies born alive during botched abortions. Meanwhile in Virginia, Gov. Ralph Northam endorsed infanticide outright, suggesting that a baby born during a botched abortion ought to be “made comfortable,” but then possibly left to die on the table.
These governors weren’t alone. Last month 44 Democratic senators voted to reject the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. The bill would have required health-care providers to give babies who survive abortions the same care they would give to any other baby at the same gestational age. The bill is necessary because current federal law neither affirmatively requires that these babies receive care nor criminalizes withholding care from them.
It shouldn’t be controversial. It shouldn’t be partisan. Three Democratic senators—Pennsylvania’s Bob Casey, Alabama’s Doug Jones and West Virginia’s Joe Manchin—read the bill and agreed. Yet under enormous pressure from an abortion industry that spends tens of millions in campaign contributions, Senate Democrats—including six seeking the presidency in 2020—filibustered the bill.
Most Americans don’t share these Democrats’ disregard for newborn life. A recent poll found that a majority of Americans oppose withholding medical care from a viable infant, including 77% who consider themselves pro-choice. If there is ever an opportunity to find common ground, surely this is it.
For more than 200 years, each generation of Americans has committed to protecting the dignity of more and more human beings. Following this tradition, our country now must condemn the lie that some newborn lives are worth less than others. Fundamental American principles demand that we protect babies from cruel mistreatment.
This debate is about infanticide. Planned Parenthood is defending that crime. Many in the national media are overlooking it. Democratic politicians are hiding from it. But the American people are repulsed by it. The recent vote was a missed opportunity to protect the most vulnerable among us. But it will not be the last.
Ms. McCain is a co-host of “The View.” Mr. Sasse, a Republican, is a U.S. senator from Nebraska.