That President Barack Obama was the only member of the Illinois legislature to not support a bill to provide medical care for newborns who survived failed late-term abortions is one of the key reasons pro-life voters will never support him.
Now, Weekly Standard reporter John McCormack has uncovered new audio of Obama, as a state legislator in Illinois in 2003, defending his position. Obama essentially argues that there is no need for the law because he trusts abortion practitioners to provide medical care for the baby they unsuccessfully tried to kill in an abortion.
The transcript of the video McCormack unearthed follows:
OBAMA: I just want to be clear because I think this was the source of the objections of the Medical Society. As I understand it, this puts the burden on the attending physician who has determined, since they were performing this procedure, that, in fact, this is a nonviable fetus; that if that fetus, or child – however way you want to describe it – is now outside the mother’s womb and the doctor continues to think that its nonviable but there’s, lets say, movement or some indication that, in fact, they’re not just out limp and dead, they would then have to call a second physician to monitor and check off and make sure that this is not a live child that could be saved. Is that correct?
OBAMA: Let me just go to the bill, very quickly. Essentially, I think, as — as this emerged during debate and during committee, the only plausible rationale, to my mind, for this legislation would be if you had a suspicion that a doctor, the attending physician, who has made an assessment that this is a nonviable fetus and that, lets say for the purposes of the mother’s health, is being — that — that labor is being induced, that that physician (a) is going to make the wrong assessment and (b) if the physician discovered, after the labor had been induced, that, in fact, he made an error, or she made an error, and, in fact, that that physician, of his own accord or her own accord, would not try to exercise the sort of medical measures and practices that would be involved in saving that child. Now, if — if you think that there are possibilities that doctors would not do that, then maybe this bill makes sense, but I — I suspect and my impression is, is that the Medical Society suspects as well that doctors feel that they would be under that obligation, that they would already be making these determinations and that, essentially, adding a — an additional doctor who then has to be called in an emergency situation to come in and make these assessments is really designed simply to burden the original decision of the woman and the physician to induce labor and perform an abortion. Now, if that’s the case – and –and I know that some of us feel very strongly one way or another on that issue – that’s fine, but I think it’s important to understand that this issue ultimately is about abortion and not live births. Because if these children are being born alive, I, at least, have confidence that a doctor who is in that room is going to make sure that they’re looked after. Thank you, Mr. President.”
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Yesterday, McCormack uncovered an old video from 2003, when President Barack Obama was running for the U.S. Senate from Illinois, in which he defends his position favoring late-term abortions.
As an Illinois state senator, Obama was so supportive of late-term abortions, he resisted efforts to protect unborn children born alive after failed abortion procedures.
When Obama opposed a bill to stop infanticide as a member of the Illinois legislature, he said he did so because it reportedly contained language that would have contravened the Roe v. Wade decision. However, documents uncovered during the 2008 election show Obama has misrepresented his position.
Obama, as a member of the Illinois Senate, opposed a state version of the federal Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, a measure that would make sure babies who survive abortions are given proper medical care.
It also protected babies who were “aborted” through a purposeful premature birth and left to die afterwards.
On the federal level, pro-abortion groups withdrew their opposition to the bill after a section was added making sure it did not affect the status of legal abortions in the United States. Ultimately, the bill was approved on a unanimous voice vote with even leading pro-abortion lawmakers like Hillary Clinton and John Kerry backing it.
When Obama was running for the U.S. Senate in 2004, his opponent criticized him for supporting infanticide by voting against the Illinois version of the bill. Obama countered this charge by claiming that he had opposed the state bill because it lacked the neutrality clause found in the federal version.
As the Chicago Tribune reported on October 4, 2004, “Obama said that had he been in the U.S. Senate two years ago, he would have voted for the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, even though he voted against a state version of the proposal.”
During Obama’s 2008 run for President, he repeated those claims.
Documents obtained by the National Right to Life Committee showed Obama’s claim that he would have voted for the bill had it been Roe-neutral is a false argument.
According to the documents from the Illinois legislature, Obama, as the chairman of the Illinois state Senate Health and Human Services Committee, presided over a committee meeting concerning neutrality language that was an exact duplicate of the clause in the federal bill.
During the March 2003 committee, Obama voted in support of adding the neutrality clause, but then led his colleagues on the panel in voting down the anti-infanticide bill on a 6-4 vote.
“Barack Obama, as chairman of an Illinois state Senate committee, voted down a bill to protect live-born survivors of abortion,” NRLC legislative director Douglas Johnson told LifeNews.com at the time.
Johnson said Obama did so “even after the panel had amended the bill to contain verbatim language, copied from a federal bill passed by Congress without objection in 2002, explicitly foreclosing any impact on abortion.”
“Obama’s legislative actions in 2003 — denying effective protection even to babies born alive during abortions — were contrary to the position taken on the same language by even the most liberal members of Congress,” Johnson continued.
“The bill Obama killed was virtually identical to the federal bill that even NARAL ultimately did not oppose,” he concluded.