Presumptive Democrat presidential nominee Barack Obama again has changed his story about his opposition as a state lawmaker to protecting infants who survive abortion procedures, this time saying he had "concerns" the Illinois plan could have affected abortion "rights."
WND reported last week when the National Right to Life Committee revealed documents that showed Obama advocated for abortions when even the National Abortion Rights Action League expressed a neutral position.
But now the New York Sun is reporting Obama appeared to misstate his position about abortion, and his campaign has acknowledged that the state and federal provisions were identical.
Obama, who advocates for abortion at just about any time and for any reason, has been facing criticism during this 2008 presidential campaign over his dedication to even the most horrific of abortion procedures. He was accused as a state lawmaker of supporting infanticide for his refusal to back a measure to protect infants who survive abortions.
He's argued, however, that the state and federal Born Alive Infants Protection acts were different. He would have supported the federal plan, he said, but had to oppose the state plan because the state law could have been used to undermine the abortion industry.
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But WND's earlier report showed that the two laws, were, in fact, almost identical, and Obama had voted to include in the state law the type of "neutrality" clause found in the federal law in the state law. Such clauses state that the definitions are not intended to impose restrictions on abortion. He, nevertheless, later voted against the law.
State committee hearing report showing Obama voted to amend state plan with neutrality clause, but then opposed the final project
A campaign spokesman, Hari Sevugan, said the senator and other lawmakers had concerns that even as worded, the legislation could have undermined existing Illinois abortion law, according to the Sun.
Douglas Johnson, the legislative director of the National Right to Life Committee, which uncovered the documents verifying the similarities of the two laws, told the Sun it was a "manufactured" and "highly implausible" excuse.
"There is no way that the [state] bill would have had any effect on any method of abortion," he told the Sun.
He also challenged Obama to prove his statements, after the senator told the Christian Broadcasting Network people were "lying" about his support for what would amount to infanticide: that is the rejection of protections for infants who survive a procedure intended to result in their death.
Obama also tripped over the issue of abortion at the weekend's joint appearance with presumptive GOP candidate Sen. John McCain at a megachurch in California.
The video here shows his comments:
Asked at what point does a baby get human rights, he declined to admit even that individuals are vested with such rights when they are born.
"Well, I think that whether you are looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective, answering that question with specificity, you know, is above my pay grade," he said.
"Above my pay grade? And this man wants to be president?" wrote
WND columnist Jill Stanek, who also blogs at JillStanek.com. She led the campaign for a federal law that does protect infants who survive abortions.
"That was an amazing statement. But Obama couldn't commit to saying even newborns have human rights, you see, because he knew that would give [Pastor Rick] Warren the opening to ask about Obama's opposition to the [Illinois] Born Alive Infants Protection Act," she wrote.
Stanek urged Obama to reread his own book, "The Audacity of Hope," to find a good answer to Warren's question.
"[T]he essential idea behind the Declaration – that we are born into this world free, all of us; that each of us arrives with a bundle of rights that can't be taken away by any person or any state without just cause; that through our own agency we can, and must, make of our lives what we will – is one that every American understands," Obama wrote.
"No," Stanek wrote in reply to Obama, "there is one American who doesn't understand that, incredibly the writer of that statement."
Stanek is a former nurse who spearheaded the effort to protect infants after witnessing a live infant discarded and left to die at the hospital where she worked. She was at the White House ceremony in 2002 when President Bush signed the federal bill into law.
Obama had told CBN critics of his pro-abortion advocacy "have not been telling the truth. And I hate to say that people are lying, but here's a situation where folks are lying."
The records posted online by the National Right to Life Committee, however, documented that Obama, as chairman of a state Senate committee in 2003, voted against a bill "that contained nearly identical language to the federal bill."
It was then his campaign alleged Obama had "concerns" about the plan to protect abortion survivors.
"Little did Obama know his own words would so quickly condemn him," Stanek wrote. "He admitted what he did 'defies common sense and it defies imagination.' In fact, it was heinous."
Johnson had reported that documents he found showed Obama "voted down a bill to protect live-born survivors of abortion … even after the panel had amended the bill to contain verbatim language, copied from a federal bill passed by Congress without objection in 2002, explicitly foreclosing any impact on abortion."