Barack Obama’s Aides Change Story on Opposition to Parental Notice on Abortion

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 31, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Barack Obama’s Aides Change Story on Opposition to Parental Notice on Abortion Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 31
, 2008

Washington, DC ( — A new report indicates Barack Obama had a greater role in a survey showing him opposed to parental involvement on abortion than his aides previously indicated. The controversy concerns a 1996 political survey he completed as a candidate for the Illinois State Senate.

Obama’s campaign submitted a completed survey on his behalf responding with a simple "No" when asked if he would support parental notification or consent on abortion.

A second version of the survey Obama’s state Senate campaign submitted included a longer answer that made him appear more open to the idea.

“Depends on how young — possibly for extremely young teens, i.e., 12- or 13-year-olds," the web site Politico reported it saying.

The controversy comes as Obama’s campaign tries to play down his pro-abortion views.

Last year, a campaign spokesman told Politico that Obama “never saw or approved” the questionnaire and that a campaign aide, “unintentionally mischaracterize[d] his position.”

However, Politico learned Obama was interviewed by the group that conducted the questionnaire and that Obama wrote notes on the amended version his campaign submitted making it clear he must have known about and saw the survey.

Now, Obama aides are changing their story slightly and they tell Politico his handwriting doesn’t mean he approved of the answers or ever saw the answers in the survey.

“Sen. Obama didn’t fill out these state Senate questionnaires — a staffer did — and there are several answers that didn’t reflect his views then or now,” says Tommy Vietor, a spokesman for Obama’s campaign.

“He may have jotted some notes on the front page of the questionnaire at the meeting, but that doesn’t change the fact that some answers didn’t reflect his views. His 11 years in public office do," Vietor added.

In fact, Obama’s record shows that, as recently as 2006, Obama voted twice to oppose bills that would have affirmed the parental notification and consent laws of a majority of states.

Obama voted against the Child Custody Protection Act in July 2006 and against the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act in September 2006.

The similar bills would have made sure a teen girl can’t be taken to another state by someone other than her parents for an abortion that violates the parental involvement laws of the girl’s home state.

Instead of supporting parental involvement, pro-life groups say Obama voted to keep parents in the dark about secret abortions their daughters may have.

Hillary Clinton voted against both bills as well, while John McCain voted for both.