Alan Keyes Enters Illinois Senate Race to Advance Pro-Life Values

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 9, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Alan Keyes Enters Illinois Senate Race to Advance Pro-Life Values

by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 9, 2004

Arlington Heights, IL ( — Though he faces an uphill battle by entering the race late in the game and facing an opponent fresh from the national stage and flush with $10 million in campaign cash, Alan Keyes, over the weekend, entered the race for Illinois’ open Senate seat.

Keyes, a longtime pro-life champion and former presidential candidate, will face Democratic nominee Barack Obama, a pro-abortion state Senator.

"If you are willing to join me in that fight, to join me with your money, to join me with your work, to join me especially with your prayers, I will promise you a battle like this nation has never seen," Keyes told several hundred supporters who attended to hear his announcement.

Keyes joined the race after Jack Ryan pulled out amid scandal. The state GOP had considerable difficulty finding a last-minute replacement candidate.

One of the biggest reasons Keyes said he entered the race was the divide over the issue of abortion.

Keyes said he was upset by a vote Obama cast against what Keyes described as live-birth abortion" legislation.

That was a bill in the Illinois legislature that would require medical staff to make sure babies who survive botched abortion attempts are provided with the standard medical care that would be given to any recently-born infant.

The bill is a response to revelations brought forward by Jill Stanek, a Chicago-area nurse who witnessed babies purposefully killed or left to die at an area hospital following failed abortions.

An Obama spokesman told the Chicago Tribune that Obama voted against the pro-life legislation because it included provisions that "would have taken away from doctors their professional judgment when a fetus is viable."

Keyes is seeking the Senate seat of retiring U.S. Senator Peter Fitzgerald, who is pro-life. Should Obama win the election, it will give abortion advocates in the Senate another vote and make it more difficult for pro-life leaders to control the bills and topics up for debate.

Keyes, a former Republican presidential candidate, served as Ronald Reagan’s ambassador to the United Nations Economic and Social Council, where he represented the interests of the United States in the U.N.

He was president of Citizens Against Government Waste, a conservative economic group, in the late 1980s and then served as interim president of Alabama A&M university in 1991.

Keyes has a Ph.D. in government from Harvard. He hosted his own syndicated radio show throughout the 1990s, America’s Wake-Up Call, and a television commentary show, Alan Keyes is Making Sense, during 2002 on MSNBC.