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WASHINGTON, D.C., October 4, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – As lawmakers debate Republican legislation to crack down on infanticide, the Democrats’ chief talking point against it has been the claim that babies are virtually never born alive during abortions anyway. This week, a group of Republican senators introduced legislation aimed at answering the question once and for all.

Sponsored by Sens. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, and Tom Cotton, R-Arkansas, the Ensuring Accurate and Complete Abortion Data Reporting Act of 2019 requires states to report any occurences of a child being delivered alive after an attempted abortion, and would make this data publicly available, National Review reported. It is the companion to a House bill introduced in June.

“America’s main source of abortion data comes from a biased think tank (the Guttmacher Institute) that only collects information on a voluntary basis,” Ernst told National Review. “That’s unacceptable. Why wouldn’t we want the most reliable and complete data possible surrounding such an important issue?”

“The American people deserve to know how many babies are born alive during abortion attempts in our country,” Cotton added. “This is life-or-death information, yet most states don’t collect it. Our bill would require states to report accurate and complete data about abortion, including instances where babies are born alive during abortions.”

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) acknowledges that it only collects abortion data voluntarily submitted by states, whose reporting requirements (if they have any) vary significantly. California, Maryland, and New Hampshire – three states that are populous as well as relatively abortion-friendly – submit no data whatsoever, further limiting the public’s and policymakers’ understanding of just how common late-term abortions and abortion complications really are.

According to the pro-life Charlotte Lozier Institute, for example, only 43 states “report gestational age with enough granularity to allow for a count of late-term abortions.”

The problem has taken on particular significance in the debate over the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which would require abortionists to transfer infants who survive abortions to hospitals, where they would be given the same degree of care as any wanted newborn. Democrats have justified repeatedly blocking the measure by claiming infanticide isn’t a real problem.

“There have been many cases and multiple witnesses who have come forward and admitted that they saw babies either actively or passively killed after they survived an abortion,” retired OB/GYN and former abortionist Dr. Kathi Aultman testified last month. “In Florida, a woman who had laminaria placed in her cervix to dilate it returned for her procedure, but the doctor was late, and she delivered a live baby girl at 23 weeks. A clinic owner with no medical experience sniped the cord and placed the still living baby and the placenta in a biohazard bag. The remains were found by police a week later after several calls from an informer.”

Tessa Longbons, a Lozier research associate, also testified that CDC data found 143 infant deaths from 2003 to 2014 that had been coded as induced abortion or spontaneous miscarriage, which “may be a considerable undercount” as just seven states (Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Oklahoma, and Texas) have provided data on at least 160 babies to survive abortions.

Readers can click here to read, sign, and share the LifeSiteNews petition urging the House to vote on the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. At the time of this writing, the petition has amassed more than 21,000 signatures.