Pro-Life Org Says Watchdog Group Vindicates Criticism of Obama on Abortion
by Steven Ertelt
August 27, 2008
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A leading pro-life organization that has been holding Barack Obama accountable for his votes against a bill that would provide medical care for newborns who survive failed abortions says it has been vindicated. The nonpartisan watchdog FactCheck said National Right to Life was right about Obama’s record.
The FactCheck web site of the University of Pennsylvania reviewed the debate over the Illinois Born Alive Infants Protection Act.
It confirmed NRLC’s claims that Obama has been misleading when he’s said he voted against the bill because it didn’t mirror a national version that had language making it neutral on Roe v. Wade.
Responding to the conclusions, NRLC legislative director Douglas Johnson told LifeNews.com, "The most important finding by FactCheck.org is their statement that NRLC is correct and that ‘Obama is misrepresenting the contents of SB 1083."
"FactCheck.org’s investigation validated the documents that NRLC uncovered and released on August 11, documents that prove that in March, 2003, Obama killed a bill in his state Senate committee that was virtually identical to the bill that passed without a dissenting vote in Congress," he explained.
Obama had responded to those documents claiming National Right to Life was "lying" about his record.
FactCheck examined the documents from the Illinois legislature NRLC produced. It confirmed Obama voted for the neutralization language in committee to make the state legislation conform to the federal language yet still voted against the bill after his objection was satisfied.
"We find that, as the NRLC said in a recent statement, Obama voted in committee against the 2003 state bill that was nearly identical to the federal act he says he would have supported," FactCheck indicated after reviewing the documents.
"Both contained identical clauses saying that nothing in the bills could be construed to affect legal rights of an unborn fetus, according to an undisputed summary written immediately after the committee’s 2003 mark-up session," it continued.
Johnson did dispute one FactCheck claim attributing to NRLC the view that Obama did not really believe that the bill would interfere with abortion, but was using this claim as a "smokescreen" for some other agenda.
"Rather, careful reading of our materials demonstrates that our indictment of Sen. Obama is that his pro-abortion commitment runs deep, and that his vision of ‘abortion rights’ is more extreme than that embraced by any member of Congress in 2002, extending even beyond the womb under certain circumstances," Johnson told LifeNews.com.
Johnson said the ‘smokescreens’ Obama’s campaign has used ‘"have been generated precisely to attempt to conceal the extreme position that he took in the Illinois Senate regarding born-alive infants, and from actions that were apparently taken on the basis of a deeply held pro-abortion ideological commitment from which he has never wavered."
Johnson also faulted the FactCheck report for going beyond fact-checking by asserting as factual the highly debatable proposition that "many other people — perhaps most" believe that a living, fully born human could not possibly be a victim of "infanticide" unless that infant’s lungs had reached the point that would allow long-term survival.
"The FactCheck assertion echoes the position that Obama himself took in the Illinois Senate — that what Obama called a ‘previable fetus’ should not be regarded as a legal person, even when fully born," Johnson said.
"However, the U.S. Congress rejected that dangerous doctrine without a dissenting vote in 2002, when it enacted the federal Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, which declares babies ‘at any stage of development’ to be legal persons once they are fully outside the mother," Johnson noted.
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