Scalise says Republicans will take up Born-Alive Act on ‘day one’ if GOP wins House majority
House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (La.) on Wednesday said the GOP will take up the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act on “day one” if the party takes control of the lower chamber this November.
The bill, which was introduced in the House by Rep. Ann Wagner (R-Mo.) last January, would require that health care practitioners provide care to babies that survive an attempted abortion.
The entire House GOP conference supported a discharge petition last April that sought to force a vote on the legislation, but it fell short of the 218 signatures needed.
Scalise made the vow to take up the legislation in response to a question on whether he would support a federal nationwide ban on abortion should Roe v. Wade be overturned by the Supreme Court and if his party takes control of the House. The conversation comes just over a week after Politico published a draft majority opinion last week that showed the court poised to roll back the nearly 50-year precedent.
The minority whip dodged the question but condemned the leak from the court — which has become a popular response among Republicans.
“I hope that the ruling comes out soon and I hope it’s the ruling that was leaked. I’m disappointed that there was a leak,” he said at a press conference.
“We’re a party who defends life and we would celebrate a ruling that allows elected leaders to defend life and debate in open public what those laws should be in every state and in Washington. Clearly, we will move day one if we get the majority on the Born-Alive Act,” he later added.
Republicans are expected to take control of the House following November’s midterm elections. The party needs to flip five seats red to secure the majority.
Scalise also knocked Democrats in the Senate for the upcoming vote on the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would codify abortion rights, emphasizing that the GOP is “a party of life.”
The Senate is set to vote on the legislation on Wednesday, though it is expected to fall short of the 60 votes needed to pass.
House GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) also endorsed the Born-Alive Act on Wednesday when asked if she would back a national abortion ban.
“My specific position is what House Republicans, we support the Born-Alive bill. Every House Republican has stood strongly. We’ve worked with outside organizations and that’s where we believe the American people are,” she said at the same press conference.