Rep. Martha Roby stokes pro-life fight as part of House minority

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- The abortion debate is once again front and center in Washington. An Alabama congresswoman is teaming up with pro-life advocates to push their agenda in a Democratically controlled House.

“It is very emotional. We’re talking about a child,” said Rep. Martha Roby (R-AL).

Roby touted her record of pushing pro-life legislation on Capitol Hill Tuesday in front of the Family Research Council. She is shocked that the Senate voted Monday to stop a bill that would ensure punishment for doctors who fail to give proper medical care to newborn babies that survive attempted abortions.

“If we don’t have the policy in place, how do we know...whether or not that baby is given the opportunity to live?” said Roby.

Roby, speaking to the Family Research Council (FRC) Tuesday, says the pro-life fight is more difficult now that she is in the minority in the House. David Christensen from the FRC says lawmakers need to help stop what he calls infanticide.

“We’ve seen babies that are born alive after an abortion be left to die…And it is illegal. But the problem is it’s not being enforced,” said Christensen.

Pro-choice advocates say Republicans are pushing unnecessary legislation because it is already illegal to kill a newborn. Jamalia Taylor from the Center for American Progress wants the abortion discussion focused elsewhere.

“Any sort of conversation around abortion should be centered around a woman’s health,” said Taylor.

Taylor says using words like infanticide creates a dangerous political atmosphere in Washington. She says Democrats opposed to the Senate bill are not in favor of killing newborns. Taylor wants more understanding about why women might be seeking abortions.

“(Infanticide) really has no place in the debate about access to a medical service that women need and deserve,” said Taylor.

The abortion debate is not going away in Washington. More legislation is being pushed on both sides.