CNN Claims Barack Obama’s Misleading Explanation of Abortion Vote is True

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 21, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

CNN Claims Barack Obama’s Misleading Explanation of Abortion Vote is True

by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 21
, 2008

Washington, DC ( — CNN is drawing heat from pro-life advocates for wrongly claiming that the reason Barack Obama gave for opposing a bill to provide medical care for newborns who survive abortion is true. Obama defended his vote on the anti-infanticide bills during last week’s presidential debate.

"Sen. Obama, as a member of the Illinois State Senate, voted in the Judiciary Committee against a law that would provide immediate medical attention to a child born of a failed abortion," McCain said during the debate.

Obama justified his vote against the bill with the false claim that it would have overturned Roe v. Wade, even though he voted for an amendment to prevent that. Obama also said "there was already a law on the books in Illinois that required providing life-saving treatment."

Later, CNN issued a "fact check" saying "a law passed in Illinois in 1975 does require life-saving treatment if a child is born alive during an abortion."

Under the law, if a child is delivered alive during an abortion, a doctor "shall exercise the same degree of professional skill, care and diligence to preserve the life and health of the child as would be required of a physician for any other newborn."

But the language of the 2003 bill Obama opposed went further because babies were still left to die after their purposeful premature birth or birth during a failed abortion.

The bill’s language said "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."

Responding to the CNN factcheck, National Review writer Ramesh Ponnuru says CNN was wrong to claim McCain was "misleading" on the born-alive bill.

"Obama wasn’t ‘vot[ing] against caring for the children’ because a law already on the books required such care. CNN has it badly wrong," he writes.

"CNN’s claims make well-known features of this story incomprehensible. For example, nobody disputes that Obama repeatedly claimed that the born-alive bill would threaten Roe," he explains. "How could that possibly be the case if it merely restated existing law?"

"Once again: Obama objected to the bill because it provided protections for infants that abortionists deemed pre-viable," he added.

"He objected in principle to providing legal protection to such infants. Existing law did not so protect them, as the attorney general of the state said in declining to bring prosecutions under it for the mistreatment of these infants," he concluded.

Jill Stanek, the nurse who exposed the infanticide practice in the Chicago-area hospital, also says existing law was not providing proper protection for the newborns.

Stanek says “Illinois abortion law to this day only protects abortion survivors their abortionist deems fit to live."

“The potential for subjective assessments in these cases is clear to all but Obama. In fact, Obama opposed closing this loophole by voting against legislation to mandate a second doctor be present at deliveries of all live abortion survivors to independently assess their viability,” she said.

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