John McCain Criticizes Barack Obama on Abortion, Opposing Infanticide Bill

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 24, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

John McCain Criticizes Barack Obama on Abortion, Opposing Infanticide Bill

by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 24
, 2008

Washington, DC ( — Barack Obama may have captured the headlines over the weekend with his pick of pro-abortion running mate Joe Biden. But, presidential hopeful John McCain made news of his own with a weekly radio address containing his most extensive criticism yet of Obama on abortion issues.

McCain also waded into the heated debate over a bill that Obama opposed in the Illinois legislature that would offer medical care for newborns who survive botched abortions.

Obama has come under fire from pro-life groups for saying he would have supported the bill had it been abortion-neutral and opposing it even with an amendment he supported added to do that.

McCain talked about the evangelical forum held the previous weekend and said Pastor Rick Warren asked Obama a "serious question" about when human life begins. He cited Obama’s infamous answer saying it is "above my pay grade."

During the interview, McCain said there is no question that human life begins at conception.

"Here was a candidate for the presidency of the United States, asked for his position on one of the central moral and legal questions of our time, and this was the best he could offer," McCain complained. "Americans expect more of their leaders."

"There seems to be a pattern here in my opponent’s approach to many hard issues," McCain continued.

"Senator Obama’s speeches can be impressive. But when it’s time for straight answers, clear conviction, and decisive action, suddenly all of these responsibilities are — well, as he puts it, ‘above my pay grade,’" he said in the radio address.

McCain said Obama cleverly disguised his pro-abortion views during his interview.

"Senator Obama’s carefully hedged answers obscure more than they explain, and this was the case in his conversation with Rick Warren," he said. "Listening to my opponent at Saddleback, you would never know that this is a politician who long since left behind any middle ground on the abortion issue."

"He is against parental notification laws, and against restrictions on taxpayer funding for abortions," McCain pointed out. "In the Illinois Senate, a bipartisan majority passed legislation to prevent the horrific practice of partial-birth abortion. Senator Obama opposed that bill, voting against it in committee and voting ‘present’ on the Senate floor."

Then, he brought up the Illinois bills and Obama’s position putting him out of step with virtually all Americans.

"In 2002, Congress unanimously passed a federal law to require medical care for babies who survive abortions — living, breathing babies whom Senator Obama described as, quote ‘previable,’" McCain said. "This merciful law was called the Born Alive Infants Protection Act. Illinois had a version of the same law, and Barack Obama voted against it."

"At Saddleback, he assured a reporter that he’d have voted ‘yes’ on that bill if it had contained language similar to the federal version of the Born Alive Infants Protection Act," he explained. "Even though the language of both the state and federal bills was identical, Senator Obama said people were, quote, ‘lying’ about his record."

"When that record was later produced, he dropped the subject but didn’t withdraw the slander. And now even Senator Obama’s campaign has conceded that his claims and accusations were false," McCain said.

McCain then used a play on words concerning Obama’s campaign theme to drive his point home.

"For a man who talks so often about ‘hope,’ Senator Obama doesn’t offer much of it in meeting this great challenge to the conscience of America," he said. "His extreme advocacy in favor of partial birth abortion and his refusal to provide medical care for babies surviving abortion should be of grave concern to reasonable people of goodwill on both sides of this issue."

The Arizona senator said he would provide the kind of leadership needed to make a significant impact on the abortion landscape.

"There is a growing consensus in America that we need to overcome narrow partisanship on this issue for both women in need and the unborn," he said.

"We need more of the compassion and moral idealism that my opponent’s own party, at its best, once stood for. No one is above the law, and no one is beneath its protection," McCain added.

"Upholding these principles, and bringing Americans together on the side of life, is the work of leadership. And I can assure you that if I am president, advancing the cause of life will not be above my pay grade."

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Listen to the radio address –


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