House votes next week on abortion bill

House votes next week on abortion bill

The House will vote next week on a bill imposing criminal penalties on doctors who don't administer proper medical care to infants who survive abortions.

Under the bill, sponsored by Rep. Marsha BlackburnMarsha BlackburnBiden officials pledge to confront cybersecurity challenges head-on Biden's misinformation crackdown spotlights partisan divide on content reform White House looks to cool battle with Facebook MORE (R-Tenn.), any doctor who fails to provide appropriate care to an infant who survives abortion can be sentenced to up to five years in prison. 

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"This bill states simply that if a baby is born after a failed abortion attempt, he or she should be given the same medical care as a baby born any other way," said House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyAfter police rip Trump for Jan. 6, McCarthy again blames Pelosi Capitol Police asked to arrest the maskless 228 Republican lawmakers urge Supreme Court to overrule Roe v. Wade MORE (R-Calif.) 

A similar bill passed the House in 2015.

Republicans and anti-abortion advocates argue that current federal law doesn't adequately protect infants born during abortions. 

Abortions rights supporters and Democrats argue such incidences are rare and the bill is duplicative of current law.

While the Born Alive Infants Protection Act of 2002 requires that an infant who survives an abortion be provided emergency medical care, it doesn't include criminal penalties. 

The House planned the vote for Jan. 19 to coincide with the March for Life, an annual rally protesting abortion that draws tens of thousands to D.C. 

Blackburn reintroduced the bill last month after its original sponsor, former Rep. Trent FranksHarold (Trent) Trent FranksOn The Trail: Arizona is microcosm of battle for the GOP Arizona New Members 2019 Cook shifts 8 House races toward Dems MORE (R-Ariz.), resigned from Congress after discussing surrogacy with staffers in a way that made them uncomfortable.