In March 2002, then Illinois state Sen. Barack Obama and I engaged in an interesting exchange during my testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, of which he was a member.
I was speaking in favor of the Illinois Born Alive Infant Protection Act for the second time, which had failed the year before.
The previous year, I had told Obama and the committee of my experience holding a live aborted baby until he died in my capacity as a labor and delivery nurse at Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, Ill.
That year, I described Christ Hospital’s Comfort Room, unveiled in December 2000 to counter my public statements that personnel were shelving babies to die in the department’s soiled utility room next to dirty linens, bloody and biohazardous waste, and a urinal:
Four months ago, Christ Hospital unveiled its “Comfort Room.” So now I can no longer say that live aborted babies are left in our Soiled Utility Room to die. We now have this prettily wallpapered room complete with a First Foto machine, baptismal gowns, a footprinter and baby bracelets, so that we can offer keepsakes to parents of their aborted babies. There is even a nice wooden rocker in the room to rock live aborted babies to death.
I did not mention the Comfort Room when I testified again in 2002. But Barack Obama remembered.
Part of Christ Hospital Comfort Room
Of over 4,000 pieces of legislation introduced in the Illinois General Assembly in 2001, Obama apparently recalled my description of Christ Hospital’s Comfort Room. He stated, according to the State Net transcript:
Ms. Stanek, your initial testimony last year showed your dismay at the lack of regard for human life. I agreed with you last year, and we suggested that there be a Comfort Room or something of that nature be done. The hospital acknowledged that and changes were made and you are still unimpressed. It sounds to me like you are really not interested in how these fetuses are treated, but rather not providing absolutely any medical care or life to them.
Obama had actually not agreed with me the year before. He had agreed with ACLU attorney Colleen Connell that “living is not the same as viability” when he voted against Born Alive in committee and went on to be the sole senator speaking against it on the Senate floor.
And “we” suggested the Comfort Room? I was the one who told him about the Comfort Room four months after the fact, also providing photo evidence.
What was going on? Obama hadn’t been coached had he, perhaps by fellow Trinity United Church of Christ member Dr. Jane Fisler-Hoffman, who also happened to sit on the board of Christ Hospital’s parent company, Advocate Health Care?
Or by Rev. Dr. Ozzie Smith Jr., another Advocate board member and former associate pastor at TUCC under Rev. Jeremiah Wright?
Or by Wright himself, who sat on the board of Christ Hospital’s parent company from 1986-89?
Or by Christ Hospital CEO Carole Schneider, a UCC member?
Or by fellow state Rep. Renee Kosel, a Christ Hospital board member who opposed Born Alive on the House side?
I’d like Sen. Obama to tell us whether he received counsel from any of the aforementioned to oppose Born Alive.
Obama may have thought it impressive to wrap the baby one was killing in a blanket surrounded by silk flowers rather than leave him naked on a steel sink sideboard, but he was right – I was nonplussed. I responded:
What the hospital did was try to make things look better. What it really is, is that the baby is still dead.
I didn’t know it then, but I was describing future presidential candidate Barack Obama’s campaign: attempting to repackage liberal extremism to look comforting.
In this case, however, Obama was pleased with a neonatal Soylent Green killing room, taking American liberal extremism to a new place.
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