What is your reaction when you hear that someone has been “left to die”? Does it matter what the circumstances of the person being left to die are? Is it worse to be left alone to die, or is the presence of another person during the dying process a form of comfort, a sign of compassion?
When I hear the words “left to die,” I immediately think of the elderly who have died from COVID-19 alone in hospitals or nursing home rooms. At least I did—until I read this headline: Babies are Being Left to Die in America, President Trump Just Helped More of Them Live (The Federalist website).
The article discusses President Trump’s latest Executive Order (EO), “Protecting Vulnerable Newborn and Infant Children.” But it was Jill Stanek’s testimony that ignited a visceral response in me:
In 1999, Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, Illinois, became the epicenter of a scandal that rocked the nation. The hospital, operated jointly by the United Church of Christ and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, was placed under formal investigation by the Illinois Department of Health after nurse Jill Stanek testified before Congress that babies who survived abortions there were left to die unattended in a “utility room.” [Emphasis mine.]
What kind of barbaric person would or could do that to an innocent baby? Even if the baby couldn’t survive, shouldn’t some level of comfort be provided, simply from a humanitarian point of view? I wonder if the mother, even if she did seek the abortion to begin with, would try to find care and comfort for the baby, if she knew her child survived?
While it is tempting to think this is a rare occurrence, the CDC has documentation from Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Michigan, and Minnesota (states which are now reporting this data) that says otherwise. A total of at least 179 cases in which an infant survived an abortion has been reported in the last three years. However, knowing that abortion data reporting is not mandatory for every state, that number is likely far higher.
But what we as God-fearing, life-supporting people must acknowledge is that each of the 179 aborted babies were made in the image of God, left to die, and then discarded as biohazardous waste.
As heinous as this is, I am disappointed that President Trump had to sign an Executive Order, which can be overturned by the next president, to mandate that hospitals provide basic care to these babies. The EO was signed because federal legislators could not get enough bipartisan support to pass the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act (H.R. 962 & S.311). The Federalist article explains what happened to this effort:
On the federal level, H.R. 962 Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act was introduced with 193 cosponsors in February 2019. Since then, it has been buried in a sub-committee. In an effort to get it to the floor, 205 Republicans have petitioned House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., to bring it up for a vote. They have brought the ‘discharge petition’ on 80 separate occasions, and on 80 occasions Democrats blocked the bill from receiving a vote. A similar bill has been introduced in the Senate. S.311 has 50 cosponsors but has failed two cloture votes.
It is appalling to me that liberal politicians would not support a bill which did not in any way affect the legal status of abortion but simply sought to protect babies born alive during an abortion procedure.
It makes me ask this question: should we vote for political candidates seeking to govern and protect the living when they also seek to protect the abortion industry and allow the most vulnerable among us to be left to die alone?
Anglicans for Life is a para-church ministry in the Anglican Communion, and we recognize that our role is to equip the Church to uphold the sanctity of life through ministry, education, and biblical advocacy. We work very hard to steer clear of political partisanship, so I acknowledge that this blog is out of character for AFL to publish. But as the election looms upon us in less than 30 days, I felt my silence was an injustice to our tiny brothers and sisters who have been left to die alone.
I acknowledge that my desire in writing this blog is to prevent certain politicians, who care more about abortion than babies born alive during an abortion, from being elected or re-elected. But I recognize I cannot tell anyone for whom they should vote. What I can do is ask you to do is this: research the candidates you are planning to vote for and, if they withheld their vote from protecting babies born alive or supported withholding protection, please withhold your vote from them.
Anglicans for Life encourages everyone to do something every day to uphold the value of life–on Election Day, that one thing must be casting your vote for candidates who will work to end abortion and protect life, so that no person of any age made in the Image of God is left to die alone.