This week, Sen. Lisa Murkowski skipped an important vote on the Senate floor on a bill that made the front page of every newspaper in America.
The Born Alive bill, sponsored by Sens. Ben Sasse and Pat Toomey was simple: If a baby is delivered alive during an abortion, it is entitled to protection like any other human. Doctors who failed to provide the newborn support after a botched abortion would face charges.
Three Democrat senators — Bob Casey, Doug Jones, and Joe Manchin — voted in favor of the bill, which failed 53 to 44. It needed 60 votes to pass.
Although Murkowski’s vote would not have changed the outcome, she was absent for the vote on infanticide, a vote that could have shored up her conservative credentials.
Murkowski, long struggling as a Catholic with her feelings about abortion and women’s right to choose, was tending to personal family matters, her staff said.
The vote occurred on the heels of a Marist Poll, sponsored by the Knights of Columbus, that shows Americans are less supportive of liberal abortion laws. Three in four Americans say abortion should be limited to – at most – the first three months of pregnancy.
“This includes most of those who identify as Republicans (92 percent), independents (78 percent) and Democrats (60 percent). It also includes more than six in 10 (61 percent) who identify as pro-choice,” the group said.
“There has been a significant increase in the proportion of Americans who see themselves as pro-life and an equally notable decline in those who describe themselves as pro-choice,” said Barbara Carvalho, director of Marist Polling.
All six Democrat senators who are running for president in 2020 voted against the bill: Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar, Sherrod Brown, Kirsten Gillibrand and Indie-Democrat Bernie Sanders.