A Pastor’s Response to The Politics of Infanticide

Just when you think the world cannot get any crazier it does. Yesterday (Feb 4, 2019), Senate Bill 130 which outlaws infanticide was blocked by Senator Patty Murray of Washington State. She objected to bill because she thought it was redundant. Senator Murray said,

We have laws against infanticide in this country. This is a gross misinterpretation of the actually language of the bill that is being asked to considered and therefore I object.

Indeed in 2002, the Federal government did enact the Born-Alive Infant Protection Act expanding the United States Government’s definition of human persons to include, “every infant member of the species of homo sapiens who is born alive at any stage of development.” As of 2002, all U.S. born babies have been legally entitled to the same care as adults. But the nature of that care has not been clearly defined. Last night, Ben Sasse attempted to define that care.

His legislation states:

(1) If an abortion results in the live birth of an infant, the infant is a legal person for all purposes under the laws of the United States, and entitled to all the protections of such laws.

(2) Any infant born alive after an abortion or within a hospital, clinic, or other facility has the same claim to the protection of the law that would arise for any newborn, or for any person who comes to a hospital, clinic, or other facility for screening and treatment or otherwise becomes a patient within its care.

In short, Sasse and the other 39 sponsors of the bill had simply tried to clarify that all ‘fourth term’ abortions were illegal. The Bill does not change any abortion law. It simply says all life outside the womb deserves care and protection. As the senator said,

There are only two sides of the debate on the floor tonight: You’re either for babies or your for defending infanticide.

Sadly, many U.S. Senators including Virginia’s two senators appear to be on the side of infanticide. All but one of the Democratic senators missed last night’s vote. And the one Democrat Senator who did appear, Senator Murray, appeared for the purpose of defeating the legislation.  Senator Feinstein from California who also was absent during the vote claimed the bill was an attack on women. But her comments reveal the opposite to be true. She said,

Imagine being pregnant and learning that your baby has a terminal condition…This bill would limit the mother’s decisions and require her doctor to administer unwanted care that could prolong her pain and suffering – even putting her health and safety at risk.

Notice who is sick? It is not the mother but the infant. But who is harmed by the infant’s care and life? It is the mother. The senator from California has said that a mother should be allowed to deny her child treatment to preserve her quality of life. Senator Feinstein has defended infanticide.

And she is not alone. Governor Northam of Virginia sparked this debate last week when he seemingly endorsed infanticide during a radio station interview. The defense of infanticide which seemed to be a ridiculously extreme position only days ago now appears to be a politically acceptable.

And few main stream media outlets have ignored this seismic moral and political shift.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel accurately noted that, “Frankly, it is harrowing that this legislation is necessary.” The debate over infanticide which seems better fit for Nazi Germany has now arrived in 21 century America. This is our debate.

Christians and Virginians must speak clearly against infanticide. We must use our voices and the democratic process to encourage our state and federal politicians to defend all of life. We must daily and repeatedly remind our neighbors, our communities, and our nation that every human life – the terminally ill, the sick, the young  and the old – is valuable.  I hope and pray that Sasse’s bill will be reintroduced soon and that all 100 senators will support it. But regardless of what the future hold, Christians must never tier of defending life.

We cannot be silent on this issue.

May God be merciful to us!