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Stupid Changes, Obama Style - Abortion

A vote for infanticide.

By Will Offensicht  |  March 5, 2008

Under the headline "Obama More Pro-Choice Than NARAL", Amanda Carpenter reported:

In 2002, as an Illinois legislator, Obama voted against the Induced Infant Liability Act, which would have protected babies that survived late-term abortions. That same year a similar federal law, the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, was signed by President Bush. Only 15 members of the U.S. House opposed it, and it passed the Senate unanimously on a voice vote.

The Illinois and the federal bills sought equal treatment for babies who survived premature inducement for the purpose of abortion and wanted babies who were born prematurely and given live-saving medical attention.

The pro-life crowd and the pro-abortion crowd appear to be in broad agreement that killing an infant that's been born is out of bounds.  The Born-Alive Infants Protection Act prevents doctors from killing babies who are born alive after a botched abortion and requires that they be given medical attention instead of being abandoned to die.

This law was so non-controversial that NARAL Pro-Choice America (that is, the National Abortion Rights Action League) released a statement that said, "Consistent with our position last year, NARAL does not oppose passage of the Born Alive Infants Protection Act ... floor debate served to clarify the bill's intent and assure us that it is not targeted at Roe v. Wade or a woman's right to choose."  The US Senate voted for it unanimously - including both Hillary and Ted Kennedy.

At the time the federal law was passed, Mr. Obama was an Illinois state senator.  Similar legislation was introduced in the state legislature, and he voted against it.

This article describes the Illinois bill in detail and gives its legislative history.  The record shows that Sen. Obama voted against the bill on March 6, 2002 and on April 4, 2002.  In testifying against the bill, he said:

I think it's important to understand that this issue ultimately is about abortion and not about live births.  Because if these are children who are being born alive, I, at last, have confidence that a doctor who is in that room is going to make sure that they're looked after.

Mr. Obama misstated the issue - the intent of the bill was to deal with botched abortions, not with ordinary abortions.  The issue was what to do when a child was born alive in spite of the doctor's efforts to abort it - that is, the kids who are too tough for them to kill.

The Democrats took over the Illinois senate with the 2002 elections.  They sent the Born Alive bill to the Health & Human Services Committee, chaired by Mr. Barack Obama.  The Actions docket shows that on March 6, 2003, Mr. Obama kept the bill from even being voted on by his committee.

Jill Stanek, who was the primary force behind getting the Federal law passed, testified in favor of the bill before Mr. Obama's committee.  Stanek said:

I brought pictures in and presented them to the committee of very premature babies from my neonatal resuscitation book from the American Pediatric Association, trying to show them unwanted babies were being cast aside. Babies the same age were being treated if they were wanted!

Despite her testimony, Mr. Obama remained convinced that any abortionist who found that he'd goofed and that a child had been born alive would of course try to save the child.  Not even Ted Kennedy made that assumption.

Strictly speaking, this isn't a change Mr. Obama made, it's a change he refused to make.  His stated reason was, "What we are doing here is to create one more burden on a woman and I can't support that."

Taking care of a child which survived an abortion attempt would burden a woman only if she decided to keep it rather than giving it up for adoption.  NARAL justifies its support by vigorously watching out for attempts to burden women; they didn't see the requirement to keep a baby alive as a burden.

Does Mr. Obama really believe that abortionists are going to be eager to admit their mistakes and keep babies alive?  Does he believe that Jill Stanek was lying when she said she had witnessed aborted babies' being born alive and left to die?

If he expects us to elect him president, he'd better be a bit more open about how he thinks.