He was just a first-year pediatric resident when a hospital housekeeper came to him, panicked. "There's a baby," she said, "crying on the garbage can of the treatment room." Wide-eyed, Dr. Rocco Pascucci opened the door and saw him -- wrapped in a hospital blanket, wailing. Without a second thought, he reached out for the newborn boy and rushed him to a warmer, starting oxygen and an artery line. Dr. Pascucci never stopped to think why the baby had been left there. He just did what anyone would. Anyone, it turns out, except 41 members of the U.S. Senate.
A full year after one of the most infamous votes in U.S. history, the party of infanticide wants America to know: nothing has changed. If they had been in that New Jersey hospital, watching a perfectly healthy baby struggle for life, their advice to Dr. Pascucci would have been the same as the on-call OB/GYN -- to walk away. The little boy, Rocco would find out later from an angry doctor, was a survivor. Thinking back on that OB/GYN yelling at him, Dr. Pascucci has no regrets. "He told me I had just saved an abortion. He got into a huff and walked out."
It was "standard procedure," nurses told him, "to leave these babies on the garbage can until they died." In telling his emotional story to Leslie Palma, Rocco remembers the moment when he found out just how routine it was. "The cleaning lady knew it," he said. "The nurses knew it." And now he knew it. Deciding he couldn't just sit back and let this go on, he went to the head of pediatrics and told him what happened. "After that, these tiny survivors were given the care they needed." Other newborns, because of the merciless extremists in Congress, won't be treated in the same civilized fashion. They look at this little infant and call his existence "offensive." They look at Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), like Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) did, and insist he's wasting their time.
To a young man, now somewhere in his 30s, it was not a waste. Although Dr. Pascucci never saw the little boy again, he didn't lose sight of his story. The baby that was hours away from being thrown away was adopted into a loving family and healthy throughout his childhood -- all because a doctor and housekeeper cared. "I'm not super-religious or even a big Republican," Rocco said, trying to deflect from the heroic thing he'd done. "But these are our brothers and sisters, and we're killing them. If they are born alive, we should try to save them. It's simple. It's humanity."
To everyone but these 41 Democrats, it's that simple. No, it is not rare -- a lie we hear from endless talking heads. And even if it were, who cares? These are human beings. If that one life were your life, wouldn't it matter? "Some will say that a bill to ensure medical care for babies born after failed abortions is unnecessary because it doesn't happen that often," Senator Mike Braun (R-Ind.) argued Monday. "It doesn't matter how common it is, it matters if it's right or wrong."
If only it were rare. At Jill Stanek's Christ Hospital, a spokesman actually told the Chicago Sun-Times that as many as "10 to 20 percent" of babies who are aborted "survive for short periods outside the womb." And that's just one hospital. Multiply that by an entire country, and we're talking about thousands and thousands of infants crying in rooms no one visits. Saving them isn't ending abortion in America or "curbing women's rights." If you think so, NRO's Alexandra DeSanctis retorts, "either you haven't read the bill, you're lying about what it says, or you sincerely think abortion rights include the right to deny standard medical care to a newborn infant who survived abortion."
For all but three Senate Democrats, no excuse is good enough. Opposing a bill that saves newborn lives is barbaric. "If there is a persuasive and principled case why America should remain on the radical international fringe on this subject, let us hear it," McConnell told his colleagues on the Senate floor. "The [people] I speak with cannot comprehend why this would be some hotly-debated proposition. It almost defies belief that an entire political party could find cause to object to this basic protection for babies. And yet today... even something this simple and this morally straightforward is a bridge too far for the Left."
To read more, check out "Why We Need the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act" in Townhall by FRC's Patrina Mosley.