THE NEWS-SENTINEL EDITORIAL: How can saving babies’ lives after botched abortions be a partisan issue?

Is the art of persuasion dead? It often seems that those who disagree on an issue will simply ignore any facts, logic, reason or conscience in any argument to maintain their stance regardless of truth.

That must surely have been Nebraska Republican Sen. Ben Sasse’s reaction after his heartfelt speech on the Senate floor Monday evening, when he beseeched his brethren to break a Democratic filibuster in order to vote on his Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act.

Sasse’s legislation would protect babies born alive after botched abortions, by requiring the same degree of care that would be provided to any other newborn in the same stage of development.

Indiana’s freshman senator Mike Braun supported Sasse’s bill in a column for The Hill prior to Monday’s vote, writing, “Americans who are as disturbed as I am by the Democratic Party’s turn to the extreme on abortion must speak up and demand that their elected officials defend the sanctity of life. Supporting this morally vital legislation to protect life outside the womb is a sadly necessary first step.”

The result of Braun’s persuasive column and Sasse’s passionate call for human decency was a roll call vote of 53-44 to invoke cloture, but it failed to receive the 60 votes necessary to end the filibuster.

The bill was supported by 50 of the Senate’s 53 Republicans, including Indiana’s Todd Young and Braun. Republicans Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Kevin Cramer of North Dakota and Tim Scott of South Carolina did not vote.

Joe Manchin (West Virginia), Bob Casey (Pennsylvania) and Doug Jones (Alabama) were the only Democrats to vote in favor of the bill.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said it was “unconscionable” that “protecting innocent, newborn abortion survivors is now a partisan issue.” Rubio said the vote “made it crystal clear” that Democratic senators “support the legalization of infanticide” and “openly embraced the growing extremism” within their party.

What is amazing is that anyone could have voted no after Sasse’s speech.

“I want to ask each and every one of my colleagues whether we’re OK with infanticide,” Sen. Sasse said prior to the vote Monday. “Infanticide is what the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act is actually about. Are we a country that protects babies that are alive, born outside the womb after having survived a botched abortion? That is what this is about.”

Don’t forget, Former Pennsylvania abortionist Kermit Gosnell is currently serving a life sentence after he was found to have murdered three infants who were born alive, after surviving attempted late-term abortions.

Sasse pointed out in his speech that several senators who are running for president in 2020 have made statements that seem to support the sentiments of the proposed bill.

We ought to “build a country where no one is forgotten and no one is left behind,” Sasse quoted one.

Another, he said, offered a promise to fight for other people’s kids “as hard as I fight for my own kids.”

“And just last week,” Sasse told the Senate, “our colleague from Vermont, announced his campaign by saying, ‘The mark of a great nation is how it treats its most vulnerable people.’ Bernie Sanders was right,” Sasse said. So wouldn’t he want to protect babies born alive after botched abortions?

But guess what? Sanders and the other five Democratic senators currently running for the 2020 presidential nomination voted against the bill: Cory Booker (New Jersey), Sherrod Brown (Ohio), Kirsten Gillibrand (New York), Kamala Harris (California), Amy Klobuchar (Minnesota) and Elizabeth Warren (Massachusetts).

GOP Rep. Ann Wagner and House Minority Whip Steve Scalise say they plan to file a discharge petition to force a vote on the bill in the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives.

And GOP Congressman Bob Latta, representative for Ohio’s 5th District since 2007, is ready.

“I can’t make my thoughts any clearer – blocking this legislation is shameful,” Latta declared. “While Republicans are now in the minority, I can promise you that we in the House will not stop pushing for a vote. There is no reason why this legislation should prove to be this controversial. Protecting the most vulnerable in our society shows who we are as a nation. We must stand up for what is right.”

Trouble is, what’s right doesn’t matter to a great many people in this country who won’t listen.