En route to Vietnam for a summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, President Donald Trump killed some time on the long flight by tweeting his rage against Democrats over the defeat of a late-term abortion bill, according to The Daily Mail. The bill would have punished doctors who don’t “exercise the proper degree of care in the case of a child who survives an abortion or attempted abortion.”
As horrific as that imagery is, most experts acknowledge that circumstances involving third-trimester abortions are extremely rare, amounting to less than 1 percent of all abortions. And when they are considered at all, it is only in cases involving severely deformed fetuses that would have little chance of survival outside the womb, and in cases where the mother’s life is in imminent danger should she deliver.
That didn’t stop Trump from appealing to the extreme right among his base and fanning the flames of partisan discord, however.
Trump went on to call the vote one of the “most shocking” in the history of Congress and said that Democrats who voted against it will be remembered.
“If there is one thing we should all agree on, it’s protecting the lives of innocent babies,” he added.
Democrats have accused Republicans of using the bill to play politics with the lives of expectant mothers and threaten their access to life-saving procedures and portrayed the bill as a cynical political ploy to score points with the party’s base. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Virginia) said the bill was unnecessary and that there is “no need for additional federal legislation” because Congress already passed a bill called the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act back in 2002. Sen. Kaine also said that Republican statements about the new bill were “misleading.”
Senate Democrats just voted against legislation to prevent the killing of newborn infant children. The Democrat position on abortion is now so extreme that they don’t mind executing babies AFTER birth….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 26, 2019
Sen. Charles Schumer of New York also had some sharp words for his colleagues on the other side of the aisle.
“This vote does not occur in a vacuum. Pay attention to the facts and not false rhetoric. This bill is Washington politics at its worst.”
Indeed, many Washington observers noted that given the razor-thin Republican majority in the Senate and the Democrats’ control of the House, the bill was doomed anyway. It appeared that Republicans were using debate over the bill to put red-state Democrats on the defensive.
“I want to ask each and every one of my colleagues whether or not we’re OK with infanticide,” said bill sponsor Sen. Ben Sasse, a Republican from Nebraska.
The Senate ended up voting 53-44 in favor of the bill, effectively killing it since Republicans don’t have the 60 votes required to end Democrats’ ability to derail it.