View Full Version : Obama debate on abortion-born children
10-08-2008, 04:35 PM
The Obama Debate Every American Should See
by Terence Jeffrey
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
The most telling debate Barack Obama ever had was not with John McCain but Patrick O'Malley, who served with Obama in the Illinois Senate and engaged Obama in a colloquy every American should read.
The Obama-O'Malley debate was a defining moment for Obama because it dealt with such a fundamental issue: The state's duty to protect the civil rights of the young and disabled.
Some background: Eight years ago, nurse Jill Stanek went public about the "induced-labor abortions" performed at the Illinois hospital where she worked. Often done on Down syndrome babies, the procedure involved medicating the mother to cause premature labor.
Babies who survived this, Stanek testified in the U.S. Congress, were brought to a soiled linen room and left alone to die without care or comforting.
Then-Illinois state Sen. Patrick O'Malley, whom I interviewed this week, contacted the state attorney general's office to see whether existing laws protected a newborn abortion-survivor's rights as a U.S. citizen. He was told they did not.
So, O'Malley -- a lawyer, veteran lawmaker and colleague of Obama on the Illinois Senate Judiciary Committee -- drafted legislation.
In 2001, he introduced three bills. SB1093 said if a doctor performing an abortion believed there was a likelihood the baby would survive, another physician must be present "to assess the child's viability and provide medical care." SB1094 gave the parents, or a state-appointed guardian, the right to sue to protect the child's rights. SB1095 simply said a baby alive after "complete expulsion or extraction from its mother" would be considered a "'person, 'human being,' 'child' and 'individual.'"
The bills dealt exclusively with born children. "This legislation was about preventing conduct that allowed infanticide to take place in the state of Illinois," O'Malley told me.
The Judiciary Committee approved the bills with Obama in opposition. On March 31, 2001, they came up on the Illinois senate floor. Only one member spoke against them: Obama.
"Nobody else said anything," O'Malley recalls. The official transcript validates this.
"Sen. O'Malley," Obama said near the beginning of the discussion, "the testimony during the committee indicated that one of the key concerns was -- is that there was a method of abortion, an induced abortion, where the -- the fetus or child, as -- as some might describe it, is still temporarily alive outside the womb."
Obama made three crucial concessions here: the legislation was about 1) a human being, who was 2) "alive" and 3) "outside the womb."
He also used an odd redundancy: "temporarily alive." Is there another type of human?
"And one of the concerns that came out in the testimony was the fact that they were not being properly cared for during that brief period of time that they were still living," Obama continued.
Here he made another crucial concession: The intention of the legislation was to make sure that 1) a human being, 2) alive and 3) outside the womb was 4) "properly cared for."
"Is that correct?" Obama asked O'Malley.
O'Malley tightened the logical knot. "(T)his bill suggests that appropriate steps be taken to treat that baby as a -- a citizen of the United States and afforded all the rights and protections it deserves under the Constitution of the United States," said O'Malley.
But to these specific temporarily-alive-outside-the-womb-human beings -- to these children who had survived a botched abortion, whose hearts were beating, whose muscles were moving, whose lungs were heaving -- to these specific children of God, Obama was not willing to concede any constitutional rights at all.
To explain his position, Obama came up with yet another term to describe the human being who would be protected by O'Malley's bills. The abortion survivor became a "pre-viable fetus."
By definition, however, a born baby cannot be a "fetus." Merriam-Webster Online defines "fetus" as an "unborn or unhatched vertebrate" or "a developing human from usually two months after conception to birth." Obama had already conceded these human beings were "alive outside the womb."
"No. 1," said Obama, "whenever we define a pre-viable fetus as a person that is protected by the equal protection clause or other elements of 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 -- a child, a nine-month-old -- child that was delivered to term."
Yes. In other words, a baby born alive at 37 weeks is just as much a human "person" as a baby born alive at 22 weeks.
Obama, however, saw a problem with calling abortion survivors "persons." "I mean, it -- it would essentially bar abortions," said Obama, "because the equal protection clause does not allow somebody to kill a child, and if this is a child, then this would be an antiabortion statute."
For Obama, whether or not a temporarily-alive-outside-the-womb little girl is a "person" entitled to constitutional rights is not determined by her humanity, her age or even her place in space relative to her mother's uterus. It is determined by a whether a doctor has been trying to kill her.
10-08-2008, 07:12 PM
Obama Cover-up Revealed On Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Bill
Commentary by NRLC
August 11, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - New documents just obtained by the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) prove that Senator Obama has for the past four years blatantly misrepresented his actions on the Illinois Born-Alive Infants Protection bill.
Douglas Johnson, NRLC spokesman, explains: "Newly obtained documents prove that in 2003, Barack Obama, as chairman of an Illinois state Senate committee, voted down a bill to protect live-born survivors of abortion - even after the panel had amended the bill to contain verbatim language…explicitly foreclosing any impact on abortion."
In 2000, the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act (BAIPA) was first introduced in Congress. This was a two-paragraph bill intended to clarify that any baby who is entirely expelled from his or her mother, and who shows any signs of life, is to be regarded as a legal "person" for all federal law purposes, whether or not the baby was born during an attempted abortion. (To view the original 2000 BAIPA, http://www.nrlc.org/ObamaBAIPA/OriginalFederalBAIPA2000HR429...)
In 2002, the bill was enacted, after a "neutrality clause" was added to explicitly state that the bill expressed no judgment, in either direction, about the legal status of a human prior to live birth. The bill passed without a dissenting vote in either house of Congress. (To view the final federal BAIPA as enacted, http://www.nrlc.org/ObamaBAIPA/BAIPAFederal.pdf)
Meanwhile, Barack Obama, as a member of the Illinois State Senate, actively opposed a state version of the BAIPA during three successive regular legislative sessions. His opposition to the state legislation continued into 2003 - even after NARAL had withdrawn its initial opposition to the federal bill, and after the final federal bill had been enacted in August 2002.
When Obama was running for the U.S. Senate in 2004, his Republican opponent criticized him for supporting "infanticide." Obama countered this charge by claiming that he had opposed the state BAIPA because it lacked the pre-birth neutrality clause that had been added to the federal bill. As the Chicago Tribune reported on October 4, 2004, "Obama said that had he been in the U.S. Senate two years ago, he would have voted for the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, even though he voted against a state version of the proposal....The difference between the state and federal versions, Obama explained, was that the state measure lacked the federal language clarifying that the act would not be used to undermine Roe vs. Wade, the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court opinion that legalized abortion."
During Obama's 2008 run for President, his campaign and his defenders have asserted repeatedly and forcefully that it is a distortion, or even a smear, to suggest that Obama opposed a state born-alive bill that was the same as the federal bill (See, http://www.nrlc.org/ObamaBAIPA/ObamaFactcheckOnBornAliveBill...). The Obama "cover story" has often been repeated as fact, or at least without challenge, in major organs of the news media. For instance, CNN reported on June 30, 2008, "Senator Obama says if he had been in the U.S. Senate in 2002, he, too, would have voted in favor of the Born Alive Infant Protection Act because unlike the Illinois bill, it included language protecting Roe v. Wade." The New York Times reported the same on August 7, 2008.
National Right to Life and other pro-life observers have always regarded Obama's "defense" as contrived, since the original two-paragraph BAIPA on its face applied only after a live birth; the "neutrality clause" added in 2001 merely made this explicit, and therefore the new clause did not change the substance of the original bill.
Moreover, the overwhelming majority of liberal, pro-abortion members of the U.S. House of Representatives did not embrace the initial NARAL position that the original bill was an attack on Roe v. Wade. The Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee, then as now, were a solidly liberal group, yet only one of them voted against the original BAIPA without the "neutrality clause," and he cited a different reason.
When the original bill - with no "neutrality clause" - came up on the House floor on September 26, 2000, it passed 380-15.
These facts should give pause to those who have unskeptically accepted Obama's claim that the Illinois BAIPA bills that he opposed in 2001 and 2002, which were modeled on the original federal BAIPA, were crafted to attack Roe v. Wade.
For the moment we can set that debate aside, however, for this reason: Documents obtained by NRLC now demonstrate conclusively that Obama's entire defense is based on a brazen factual misrepresentation.
The documents prove that in March 2003, state Senator Obama, then the chairman of the Illinois state Senate Health and Human Services Committee, presided over a committee meeting in which the "neutrality clause" (copied verbatim from the federal bill) was added to the state BAIPA, with Obama voting in support of adding the revision. Yet, immediately afterwards, Obama led the committee Democrats in voting against the amended bill, and it was killed, 6-4.
The bill that Chairman Obama killed, as amended, was virtually identical to the federal law; the only remaining differences were on minor points of bill-drafting style. (To see the language of the two bills side by side, see http://www.nrlc.org/ObamaBAIPA/2003AmendedILBAIPAandFedBAIPA...).
To see the official "Senate Committee Action Report" on this meeting, see http://www.nrlc.org/ObamaBAIPA/ObamaKills2003amendedBAIPA.ht...
In this report, the left-hand column shows the roll call vote on adoption of "Senate Amendment No. 1," which was verbatim the neutrality clause copied from the federal bill. The right hand column shows the roll call by which Obama and his Democratic colleagues then killed the amended bill - the bill that was virtually identical to the federal law that Obama, starting in 2004, claimed he would have supported if he'd had the opportunity.
Less than two years after this meeting, Obama began to publicly claim that he opposed the state BAIPA because it lacked the "neutrality" clause, and that he would have supported the federal version (had he been a member of Congress) because it contained the "neutrality" clause. His claim has been accepted on its face by various media outlets, producing stories that have in turn been quoted by the Obama campaign and Obama defenders in attacking anyone who asserts that Obama opposed born-alive legislation similar to the federal bill. It has also been forcefully repeated by advocacy groups such as NARAL.
It appears that as of August 7, 2008, only one writer - Terence Jeffrey, a contributing editor to HumanEvents.com - had correctly reported the essence of this story, in a column posted on January 16, 2008 (read it here: http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=24481), but his report was ignored by the Obama campaign and overlooked by others at the time.
Now, the uncovering of the Senate Committee Action Report sheds new light on Senator Obama's four-year effort to cover up his real record of refusing to protect live-born survivors of abortion.
"Index of Documents Regarding Obama Cover-up on Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Bill"
10-08-2008, 07:23 PM
Life with Obama
By David Freddoso
August 13, 2008 6:00 AM
The tiny newborn baby made very little noise as he struggled to breathe. He lacked the strength to cry. He had been born four months premature.
“At that age,” says nurse Jill Stanek, “their lungs haven’t matured.”
Stanek is the nurse who found herself cradling this baby in her hands for all of his 45-minute lifetime. He was close to ten inches long and weighed perhaps half a pound. It’s just a guess — no one had weighed or measured him at birth. No happy family had been there to welcome him into the world. No one was trying to save his life now, putting him into an incubator, giving him oxygen or nourishment. He had just been left to die.
Stanek had seen it all happen. That family had wanted a baby, but when they learned that theirs would be born with Down syndrome, they wanted an abortion. For that, they went to Hospital in the southwestern suburbs of Chicago, which is affiliated with the United Church of .
In “induced labor” or “prostaglandin” abortion — a common procedure at the hospital — the doctor administers drugs that dilate the mother’s cervix and induce contractions, forcing a small baby out of the mother’s uterus. Most of the time, the baby dies in utero, killed by the force of the violent contractions. But it does not always work. Such abortions sometimes result in a premature baby being born alive. Sometimes the survivors live for just a few minutes, but sometimes for several hours. No one tried to save or treat them — it is hard to save someone you just mauled trying to kill. But something had to be done with them for the minutes and hours during which they struggled for air.
Stanek says her friend had been told to take this baby and leave him in a soiled utility closet. She offered to take him instead. “I couldn’t let him die alone,” she says.
Stanek was horrified by this experience. This was not an abortion — it was something worse. Could it be legal to take a living and breathing person of any size, already born and outside his mother’s womb, and just leave him to die, without any thought of treatment?
Hospital officials dismissed Stanek’s concerns. She then approached the Republican attorney general of Illinois, Jim Ryan, who issued a finding several months later that Hospital was doing nothing illegal under the laws of Illinois. Doctors had no ethical or legal obligation to treat these premature babies. They had passed the bright line of birth that had effectively limited the right to life since the Roe v. Wade decision, but under the law they were non-persons.
Stanek’s effort to right this wrong would lead her to testify before various committees. It would lead her to a state senator, Patrick O’Malley, who would propose a bill to stop what was going on at the hospital.
Her attempt to change a corrupt medical practice and bring hope to defenseless infants would put her on a collision course with a state senator named Barack Obama.
On March 30, 2001, Obama was the only senator to speak in opposition to a bill that would have banned the practice of leaving premature abortion survivors to die. The bill, SB 1095, was carefully limited, its language unambiguous. It applied only to premature babies, already born alive. It stated simply that under Illinois law, “the words ‘person,’ ‘human being,’ ‘child,’ and ‘individual’ include every infant member of the species homo sapiens who is born alive at any stage of development.”
Two related bills introduced that day included slightly more controversial provisions about liability and medical procedure, but SB 1095 did not go nearly that far. This bill did not apply to those not born, nor did it grant born persons anything beyond recognition of their rights as persons.
Under this bill, SB 1095, babies born alive during an abortion would have to be treated just like every other baby that is born alive and prematurely — not left to die as at Hospital, but given treatment according to an acting physician’s medical judgment as to what is necessary and what is possible — the same standard that applies to any other human being.
There was no legal conflict between this bill and the right to legal abortion, but Barack Obama was still uneasy with the idea. He and 11 other senators would vote “present” in a strategy worked out with Planned Parenthood lobbyists (“present” votes in the Illinois senate essentially count as “no” votes). The bill would pass the Senate easily with a bipartisan majority, only to die in a House committee.
Here is what Obama said on the Senate floor that day in opposition to the bill:
There was some suggestion that we might be able to craft something that might meet constitutional muster with respect to caring for fetuses or children who were delivered in this fashion. Unfortunately, this bill goes a little bit further, and so … this is probably not going to survive constitutional scrutiny. Number one, whenever we define a pre-viable fetus as a person that is protected by the equal protection clause or 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 — a child, a nine-month-old — child that was delivered to term. That determination, then, essentially, if it was accepted by a court, would forbid abortions to take place. 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 antiabortion statute.
The absurd conclusion of Obama’s argument is hard to miss. He implies that “pre-viable” babies born prematurely, even without abortions, are somehow less “persons” than are babies who undergo nine months’ gestation before birth.
But even this is not the most important part of his argument. That would be his first sentence — the one about “caring for fetuses or children who were delivered in this fashion.” He seems open to this idea. And he does not state explicitly that a pre-viable, premature baby is not a “person.” Rather, he is arguing that the question of their personhood is a moot point. Even if the state should perhaps provide care for these babies, any recognition of their personhood might threaten someone’s right to an abortion somewhere down the road. That made the bill unacceptable to him.
Most people, whatever their view on abortion, agree that the Constitution at least guarantees the rights of born and living human beings. Barack Obama does not agree. For him, the Constitution exists primarily in order to guarantee the right to abortion, and other rights of human persons — born and alive — are secondary. Beginning with abortion rights as his premise, he draws as his conclusion the unfortunate but necessary legality of infanticide.
Given Obama’s position on babies born alive, it should come as no surprise that he opposes and denounces all restrictions on every kind of abortion, including partial-birth abortions. He promised at a Planned Parenthood event in July 2007 that “the first thing” he will do as president — his top priority for the nation — is sign the Freedom of Choice Act, which would erase every federal and state restriction on abortion, no matter how modest. His top priority, again, is to re-legalize partial birth abortion under all circumstances, abolish all laws on informed consent and parental notification, and eliminate all state restrictions on taxpayer funding of abortions.
No humanitarian impulse or consideration of bipartisanship has ever swayed Barack Obama’s legislative mind on the issue of abortion. Pro-life voters who try to convince themselves otherwise engage in willful self-deception.
Obama would speak against the born-alive protection bill once again when it was proposed in 2002, and he would kill the bill when it came before the committee he chaired in 2003, after Democrats had taken control of the Illinois General Assembly. His is a radical position that most abortion-choice advocates do not share.
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D., Calif.) does not share his position. In 2001, just three months after Obama inveighed against protecting premature babies in Illinois, the United States Senate voted on the language of the Born Alive Infants Protection Act. It contained no significant legal differences from the Illinois bill, but it did contain even more specific and redundant language stating that the bill did not apply to the unborn, only those already born.
But in case there is any ambiguity, the federal bill was identical, word for word, to the bill that Obama voted to kill two years later in the Illinois senate health committee, which he chaired. Obama’s work to kill the bill in 2003 has always been attested to by witnesses (committee records are poorly kept in Springfield), but yesterday the National Right to Life Committee found and revealed the document showing definitively that Obama had voted against it in committee — against the exact same bill he is now falsely claiming on his own campaign website that he would have supported.
On June 29, 2001, Boxer had spoken in favor of that same bill, the federal Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, on the floor of the U.S. Senate: “Of course, we believe everyone born should deserve the protections of this bill,” she said. “Who could be more vulnerable than a newborn baby? So, of course, we agree with that.…We join with an ‘aye’ vote on this. I hope it will, in fact, be unanimous.” It was unanimous: 98–0. Even Hillary Clinton voted for it.
At the time Boxer spoke enthusiastically in favor of protecting premature babies, she had a 100-percent lifetime voting score from NARAL and a 100 percent score from the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. She was also a leader on the abortion issue. She was the greatest ally that abortion-choice advocates had in the United States Senate.
At least she was until 2005, the year Barack Obama was sworn in.
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