Roland Burris Watered Down Abortion-Infanticide Law Barack Obama Refused to Fix
by Steven Ertelt
December 30, 2008
Springfield, IL (LifeNews.com) — Roland Burris has been named by embattled pro-abortion Gov. Rod Blagojevich to serve the remainder of Barack Obama’s term in the Senate. However, pro-life advocates are not happy with appointment in part because Burris watered down an anti-infanticide law that was contentious in the presidential campaign.
During the presidential debate, Obama came under fire for repeatedly voting against an Illinois version of the Born Alive Infants Protection Act while he was a state legislator.
Lawmakers put forward the bill because existing law had lost its effectiveness in making sure newborns who survive failed abortions or are purposefully born prematurely receive adequate medical care.
Chicago-area nurse Jill Stanek had exposed the practice at Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn where babies were left in soiled utility rooms to die instead of receiving treatment.
Burris rendered the state’s born alive law unenforceable by signing a consent decree.
The 1975 law protected only infants the abortion practitioner believed to be "viable." That subjective view could allow abortion practitioners to leave babies to die following botched abortions despite the medical possibility that they may live if given proper medical care.
The decree eviscerated the law further by nullifying the use of key definitions. Members of the Illinois legislature had to put forward a bill to strengthen the law in part because of actions Burris took.
During the presidential debate, Obama claimed the anti-infanticide bills he voted against weren’t necessary because of an existing state law.
However, those bills would never have been necessary had Burris not gutted the law a decade before, according to officials with National Right to Life.
"Obama’s defenders now insist that the Illinois Born-Alive Infants Protection Act was not needed because, they claim, Illinois already had a 1975 law," the group explained during the campaign.
"They fail to mention that the law covered only situations where an abortionist decided before the abortion that there was ‘a reasonable likelihood of sustained survival of the fetus outside the womb,’" NRLC added. "Humans are often born alive a month or more before they reach the point where such "sustained survival" — that is, long-term survival — is possible or likely (which is often called the point of ‘viability.)’"
"Moreover, this already-weak law was further weakened by a consent decree issued by a federal court in 1993, which among other things permanently prohibits state officials from enforcing the law’s definitions of ‘born alive,’ ‘live born,’ and ‘live birth,’" the group concluded.
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