I was intimately involved in the five-year process to pass the Illinois Born Alive Infant Protection Act, testifying before committees twice that then-state Sen. Barack Obama sat on.
Following are 10 excuses Obama has given through the years for voting “present” and “no” on the Illinois Born Alive Infant Protection Act, or BAIPA.
10. Babies who survive abortions are not protected by the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution.
Obama, the sole opponent ever to speak against BAIPA, stated on the Illinois Senate floor on March 30, 2001:
I just want to suggest … that this is probably not going to survive constitutional scrutiny.
Number one, whenever we define a previable fetus as a person that is protected by the equal protection clause or the other elements in the Constitution, what we’re really saying is, in fact, that they are persons that are entitled to the kinds of protections that would be provided to a – child, a 9-month-old – child that was delivered to term. …
I mean, it – it would essentially bar abortions, because the equal protection clause does not allow somebody to kill a child, and if this is a child, then this would be an anti-abortion statute. For that purpose, I think it would probably be found unconstitutional.
9. A ban to stop aborted babies from being shelved to die would be burdensome to mothers.
Before voting “no” for a second time in the Senate Judiciary Committee on March 5, 2002, Obama stated:
What we are doing here is to create one more burden on women, and I can’t support that.
8. Aborting babies alive and letting them die is a doctor’s prerogative.
An Obama spokesman told the Chicago Tribune in August 2004 that Obama voted against BAIPA because it included provisions that “would have taken away from doctors their professional judgment when a fetus is viable.”
7. Anyway, doctors don’t do that.
Obama told the Chicago Sun-Times in October 2004 he opposed BAIPA because “physicians are already required to use life-saving measures when fetuses are born alive during abortions.”
6. Obama apparently read medical charts and saw no proof.
Also, during a speech at Benedictine University in October 2004, Obama said “there was no documentation that hospitals were actually doing what was alleged in testimony presented before him in committee,” according to the Illinois Leader.
5. Aborting babies alive and letting them die is a religious issue.
During his U.S. Senate contest against Obama, Alan Keyes famously said:
Christ would not stand idly by while an infant child in that situation died. … Christ would not vote for Barack Obama, because Barack Obama has voted to behave in a way that it is inconceivable for Christ to have behaved.
Obama has always mischaracterized Keyes’ condemnation as a blanket statement against Obama’s pro-abortion position, which is untrue. Keyes was pointedly discussing infanticide.
Nevertheless, induced labor abortion, the procedure that sometimes results in babies being aborted alive, must be included as one Obama condones. Obama responded first to Keyes as he recounted in a July 10, 2006, USA Today op ed:
… [W]e live in a pluralistic society, and … I can’t impose my religious views on another.
4. Aborting babies alive and letting them die violates no universal principle.
In that USA Today piece, Obama said he reflected on that first answer, decided it was a “typically liberal response,” and revised it:
But my opponent’s accusations nagged at me. … If I am opposed to abortion for religious reasons but seek to pass a law banning the practice, I cannot simply point to the teachings of my church. I have to explain why abortion violates some principle that is accessible to people of all faiths, including those with no faith at all.
3. Introducing legislation to stop live aborted babies from being shelved to die was a political maneuver.
During the Benedictine University speech, Obama said, “The bill was unnecessary in Illinois and was introduced for political reasons,” according to the Illinois Leader.
2. Sinking Born Alive was about outmaneuvering that political maneuver.
Obama has this quote on his website:
Pam Sutherland … of … Illinois Planned Parenthood … told ABC News, “We worked with him specifically on his strategy. The Republicans were in control of the Illinois Senate at the time. They loved to hold votes on ‘partial birth’ and ‘born alive.’ They put these bills out all the time … because they wanted to pigeonhole Democrats. …”
And the No. 1 reason Obama voted against the Born Alive Infant Protection Act was:
1. Introducing Born Alive was a ploy to overturn Roe v. Wade.
During a debate against Keyes in October 2004, Obama stated:
Now, the bill that was put forward was essentially a way of getting around Roe vs. Wade. … At the federal level, there was a similar bill that passed because it had an amendment saying this does not encroach on Roe vs. Wade. I would have voted for that bill.
This was a lie on two points.
First, there was no such amendment.
Second, both definitions of “born alive” were always identical. The concluding paragraph changed in the federal version. But Obama, as chairman of the committee that vetted Illinois’ version in 2003, refused to allow an amendment rendering both concluding paragraphs identical. He also refused to call the bill and killed it.
The federal paragraph (c) actually weakened the pro-abortion position by opening the possibility of giving legal status to preborn children, the opposite of Obama’s contention:
Illinois’ paragraph (c): A live child born as a result of an abortion shall be fully recognized as a human person and accorded immediate protection under the law.
Federal paragraph (c): Nothing in this section shall be construed to affirm, deny, expand, or contract any legal status or legal right applicable to any member of the species homo sapiens at any point prior to being “born alive” as defined in this section.
At any rate, so what if stopping hospitals and abortion clinics from aborting babies alive and leaving them to die did theoretically “encroach on Roe v. Wade”?
Obama was admitting he supported infanticide if that were true.
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