The longtime readers of this column have heard the installments, played over the years, of “the most modest first step in legislating on abortion,” the bill that barred the killing of a child who survived an abortion. That proposal sprung from a draft I had written for G.H.W. Bush in 1988. But it took until 2002 until that bill was passed into law and signed by George W. Bush. The bill was called, in that awful legislative language, the “Born-Alive Infants’ Protection Act.”
But the penalties were stripped from that original bill for the sake of averting a veto from President Clinton in 2000. The Act would serve as a “teaching bill” – its purpose would be to plant premises in the law: namely, that even the child marked for abortion may have a claim to the protections of the law at some point. Still, without penalties, the bill was virtually unenforceable. And in recent years, we discovered that there was far more of this killing than my allies and I had known at the time. Then came the news of the abattoir run by “Dr.” Kermit Gosnell in Philadelphia.
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