GOP House leader ignores grieving mother pleading with him to stop attacking doctors


Kevin McCarthy and his fellow Republicans are pushing for a bill that could turn doctors into criminals just for doing their jobs.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is ignoring a warning him that pursuing a radical anti-abortion bill in Congress could lead to criminalizing medical care.

On Monday, HuffPost reporter Jennifer Bendery noted the radio silence from McCarthy, even after she sent him a request for comment.

"Never did get a response from @GOPLeader on this. On here or in response to my two emails," she wrote.

The warning came from Meredith Shiner, a former congressional reporter, who wrote an open letter to McCarthy on Sept. 10, to oppose the "Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act." Shiner noted that the legislation, which House Republicans have tried to bring to a vote dozens of times this year, is "anti-science, anti-women, and anti-family."

Shiner described in detail how she went into premature labor with at just over 22 weeks into her pregnancy, and that she and her husband were informed at the hospital that "this child we wanted would never develop healthy organs, never lead the normal healthy life we imagined for him."

They had to make a decision — one McCarthy and his fellow Republicans are trying to take away from women like Shiner with this legislation.

"We opted for palliative care of our child, meaning that our medical team would focus on keeping him comfortable for the hours he was with us," Shiner wrote. "We chose not to commit our son to an indefinite lifetime of suffering."

Shiner said she was compelled to "defend the incredible medical professionals who support women like me and families like ours on their most difficult days—the medical professionals who would be criminalized by the legislation you support."

The legislation, which is unnecessary, would expose doctors to criminal charges and up to five years in prison. Republicans have falsely claimed that doctors around the country are murdering infants "born alive." There is no basis for this claim, as Democratic leaders, medical professionals, and women's health care advocates have repeatedly notes.

As Shiner noted, "'born-alive abortion' is not a clinic term." Further, "The language of this bill makes clear that its authors either are confused by or deliberately misconstruing the circumstances under which a woman would deliver or have a child surgically removed from her in the second or third trimester."

The bill's "mere existence threatens doctors who entered their profession because of the desire to bring new life into the world by vilifying them and criminalizing their most difficult work," Shiner wrote.

If McCarthy had his way, doctors would be enmeshed in a confusing maze of uncertainty instead of being allowed to provide medical care at a critical moment.

McCarthy, along with his second-in-command, Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), have sought to use the legislation to attack Democrats and rally support behind efforts to take back control of the House.

McCarthy's non-responsiveness to Shiner and Bendery demonstrates that when it comes to directly refuting the legislation he backs or dealing with criticism, he simply has chosen to ignore outside voices.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.