by Jill Stanek
Here are the top 10 reasons Barack Obama has variously stated why he voted against Illinois' Born Alive Infant Protection Act when state senator.
10. Babies who survive their abortions are not protected by the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution. Speaking against the Born Alive Infant Protection Act on the IL Senate floor on March 30, 2001, Obama, the sole verbal opponent to the bill stated:
... 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 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. 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 their mothers. She alone should decide whether her baby lives or dies. Before voting "no" for a 2nd 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.
During a speech at Benedictine University in October 2004, Obama said, according to the Illinois Leader, that "the decision concerning a baby should be left to a woman, but that he does not see himself as supportive of abortion."
8. Wanting to stop live aborted babies from being shelved to die was all about politics. During that same speech at Benedictine University, Obama said, according to the Illinois Leader, "the bill was unnecessary in Illinois and was introduced for political reasons."
7. There was no proof. Also during the Benedictine University speech, Obama said, according to the Illinois Leader, that "there was no documentation that hospitals were actually doing what was alleged in testimony presented before him in committee."
6. 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 Born Alive because it included provisions that "would have taken away from doctors their professional judgment when a fetus is viable."
5. Anyway, doctors don't do that. Obama told the Chicago Sun-Times in October 2004 he opposed Born Alive because "physicians are already required to use life-saving measures when fetuses are born alive during abortions."
4. Aborting babies alive and letting them die is a religious issue. During their U.S. Senate competition 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' rationale for condemning Obama by implying Keyes was simply making a statement against Obama's pro-abortion position, which is untrue. Keyes pointedly stated he was condemning Obama for his support of infanticide.
Nevertheless, live birth abortion must be included in the list of procedures Obama condones. Obama responded first to Keyes by saying, as quoted in his July 10, 2006, USA Today op ed:
... [W]e live in a pluralistic society, and that I can't impose my religious views on another.
3. Aborting babies alive and letting them die violates no universal principle. In the same 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.
2. Sinking Born Alive was simply about political oneupsmanship. Obama has this quote on his website:
Pam Sutherland, the president and CEO of the Illinois Planned Parenthood Council, 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 #1 reason Obama voted against the Born Alive Infant Protection Act was:
1. The IL Born Alive Infant Protection Act was a ploy to undercut 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 an out-and-out lie. The definition of "born alive" in the federal and Illinois versions were identical. The only difference came in paragraph (c), which was originally identical in both versions but changed on the federal level.
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.
When the senator sponsoring the IL bill tried to amend IL's paragraph (c), Amendment 1 below, to be the same as the federal paragraph (c), Barack Obama himself, as chairman of the committee hearing the bill, refused, and he then also killed the bill (click to enlarge).