Throughout my years of Unleashed, I’ve generally tried to avoid writing about anything that could be perceived as controversial out of fear. But I can’t stay silent any longer. There are laws being passed in the country that are actively denying the rights of living, breathing people.

On Feb. 25, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act was brought to the U.S. Senate. With 53 senators voting in support of the act and 44 against, the act fell short on the 60 votes needed to move forward. So what does this mean, exactly?

The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act was drafted to address the medical actions required following an abortion. If a child is born alive, the act would have required that medical professionals would provide the child with the same level of care as any other child born alive. Somehow, this act failed to pass.

The practice of preventing abortion survivors born alive from getting the care they need has been practiced likely since the national legalization of abortion in 1973. Dr. Noreen Johnson of College Station, Texas, a former abortionist, has since turned away from this practice. She is among those cited in a LiveAction.org article titled “4 powerful quotes from abortionists who became pro-life” as saying: “Sometimes the babies were alive when they were born. ... We just left them to die.”

There’s no denying that this is a real issue. Due to the failure of the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Act, innocent lives will continue to be taken by infanticide.

Gianna Jessen is a prominent abortion survivor who often speaks of her experiences and advocates against abortion. Jessen was born with cerebral palsy, which she directly attributes to the lack of oxygen to her brain during a failed abortion her mother had with her. She has been active in the pro-life community since she was just 14 years old, but it hasn’t been easy. In an article published in the St. Cloud (Minn.) Times on April 17, 2017, she said: “I’m limping down the street in marches. And I’m limping because I survived an abortion and I wouldn’t be disabled otherwise.”

Jessen isn’t close to being the only abortion survivor. There are many just like her who were granted help after their own mothers’ attempted abortions failed. Without medical intervention, Jessen and the hundreds of others like her would not be here today to tell their stories.

This has gone far beyond abortion. The failure to provide health care to a living, breathing human being is effectively infanticide. With laws stating that any child born has rights, how does the fact that these children have already experienced attempted murder change that fact?

Does a living adult’s medical history limit their access to medical attention here and now? Rarely.

If someone survives being shot, are you going to refuse them care? Of course not.

Those are people. Refusing to grant them care would be inhumane.

How is this any different?

Mierabelle Brown is a senior at Naches Valley High School and is enrolled as a Running Start student at Yakima Valley College.