by Steven Ertelt
February 9, 2007
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Illinois Sen. Barack Obama plans to make his Democratic presidential bid official on Saturday, but his announcement will be greeted by pro-life advocates and protesters who say he’s not fit to become president because he favors legalized abortion.
Members of the Pro-Life Action League and other pro-life organizations in Illinois will be present to protest because they oppose Obama’s ardent support for abortion on demand.
"Barack Obama is on record calling abortion a ‘personal tragedy’ that he deeply regrets," says Joseph Scheidler, director of the Chicago-based pro-life group. "Yet he was one of the staunchest supporters of abortion in the Illinois Senate."
Scheidler said Obama went further than some abortion advocates by voting against the Illinois Born Alive Infants Protection Act, which requires proper medical care and treatment for babies who are born alive after a botched abortion.
"Such extraordinary disregard for the lives of the most helpless members of our society disqualifies Obama from serving as our President," Scheidler said in a statement sent to LifeNews.com.
Obama has spent a scant two years in the Senate but served eight years at the Illinois capitol in Springfield.
Before the vote on the born alive bill, Jill Stanek, a Chicago-area nurse discovered that staff at the hospital where she worked were leaving newborn babies to die if they were not successfully killed during an abortion.
Aghast at the practice, state lawmakers proposed a bill to make sure babies received proper medical care and treatment following failed abortions.
As a lawmaker from the Windy City, Obama voted against the modest measure, claiming it would pose problems for the status of legalized abortion in general.
"It would essentially bar abortions because the equal protection clause does not allow somebody to kill a child, and if this was a child then this would be an anti-abortion statute," Obama said during a state Senate debate in 2001, according to an AP report.
Obama eventually tried to counter the criticism of his vote on his own in 2004 when running for the Senate seat he currently occupies. He said he would have voted for a federal bill that accomplished similar goals as the Illinois legislation.
Scheidler said his group will "show exactly why abortion is such a tragedy: because every abortion mercilessly kills an unborn human being."
"We hope that seeing exactly what abortion is may cause Barack Obama to rethink his support for it," he said about the planned protest.