Pro-Life Republicans Vote Against Bill Aimed At Reducing Infant Mortality

September 23, 2010 12:45 pm ET — Walid Zafar

Earlier today, House Republicans unveiled their "Pledge to America," a set of policy proposals meant to convey the principles of the conference as they prepare to play a greater role in governing after the midterm elections.  A big section of the Pledge is devoted to the Affordable Care Act, which Republicans hope to dismantle in the next Congress.   

The section on health care quite predictably includes a reference to abortion.  Say what you will about Republican objections to a woman's right to choose, but clearly, right or wrong, they have a firm moral belief and vote their conscience.  Their position on life is sacrosanct.  Rep. Michele Bachmann (MN), one of the most conservative members of the party has said that the protection of unborn life speaks of the "foundational nature of this country and yet of all humanity."

Yesterday afternoon, Republicans were given a perfect opportunity to display their commitment to life when the House took up the Newborn Act.  Authored by Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN), the legislation aims to prevent infant mortality, principally by encouraging the establishment of state-based pilot programs.  Sadly, despite being one of the wealthiest countries in the world, the United States still ranks 30th in the world in infant mortality.  Most striking, according to the Centers for Disease Control, infant mortality among African Americans is "more than twice the national average."  In Cohen's district of Memphis, for instance, the rate is five times the national average.     


But oddly enough, 64 House Republicans, including Bachmann and other outspoken opponents of abortion, such as Reps. Eric Cantor (VA), Cynthia Lummis (WY) and Virginia Foxx (NC), voted against the legislation.  To put it another way, some of the biggest anti-abortion grandstanders voted against legislation aimed at helping to preserve and protect actual human life.