Drew Zahn is a WND news editor who cut his journalist teeth as a member of the award-winning staff of Leadership, Christianity Today's professional journal for church leaders. A former pastor, he is the editor of seven books, including Movie-Based Illustrations for Preaching & Teaching, which sparked his ongoing love affair with film and his weekly WND column, "Popcorn and a (world)view."More ↓Less ↑
In the increasing flurry of this election season’s negative political ads, the Barack Obama campaign produced a TV commercial that not only attacks Republican rival John McCain, but also takes aim at an unusual target: a 31-year-old woman who was born alive after her mother’s botched abortion.
Obama’s commercial predictably takes shots at the GOP campaign, calling McCain’s ads “the sleaziest ever, truly vile.” But when the screen shows clips of abortion survivor Gianna Jessen and the ad she made asking Obama to reverse his stance on born alive infant protection legislation, the Obama ad calls Jessen’s appeal “a despicable lie.”
The Obama advertisement can be seen below:
The attack on Jessen has angered pro-life advocates.
“It is despicable, repulsive and beneath contempt that Barack Obama would attack Gianna Jessen,” says Jill Stanek, a pro-life columnist who testified before Congress in support of the federal Born Alive Infants Protection Act, in a statement on Jessen’s website. “She is a courageous abortion survivor and living miracle who would not be with us today if Obama’s policies had been in place when she was born.”
Jessen herself released a statement saying, “Mr. Obama is clearly blinded by political ambition given his attack on me this week. All I asked of him was to do the right thing: support medical care and protection for babies who survive abortion – as I did.”
Jessen was born in a Los Angeles abortion clinic 31 years ago after her birth mother’s saline solution abortion failed.
“The abortionist was not on duty the moment I came into this world,” Jessen said in a recent Fox News Channel “Hannity & Colmes” interview. “Had he been there, he would have ended my life.”
“He wasn’t there, so a nurse called an ambulance, had me transferred to a hospital where I was placed in an incubator, weighing two pounds,” she said.
Lack of oxygen to Jessen’s brain resulted in cerebral palsy, and her doctor said she’d never be able to hold her head up, sit, walk or talk.
She has since, “by the grace of God” according to her testimony, been able to run marathons.
She has also been an eloquent advocate for babies like her – who are born following failed abortions – through her organization, BornAliveTruth.org.
Jessen first drew the Obama campaign’s ire for producing an advertisement that points to the senator’s record of voting against born alive infant protection laws as an Illinois state legislator.
Her advertisement can be seen below:
In the response ad from the Obama campaign, the video shows clips of Jessen’s advertisement with a female voice saying, “Now, votes taken out of context accusing Obama of letting infants die. It’s a despicable lie.”
Obama did, however, vote against Illinois born-alive infant-protection bills four times, as Jessen’s ad claims.
Obama has often said, and his own website repeats, that he would have supported the Illinois state law protecting those born-alive infants if it had had a “neutrality” clause like the federal version, which states the law specifically is not intended to impact the status of babies before birth.