“Obama chose to defend the widest possible scope for legal abortion by building a fence around it, even if that meant permitting a child who survives an abortion to be left to die without even being afforded basic comfort care.”
Two of the greatest ethics minds today explain the controversy surrounding Senator Barack Obama’s blatant misrepresentation of his pro-abortion and pro-infanticide legislative and public policy. Professor Robert B. George is joined by Yuval Levin at the Witherspoon Institute as he follows up on his earlier discussion about the pro-abortion views of Democratic Presidential candidate, Barack Obama.
During the last Presidential Candidate debate, Obama stated,
”There was a bill that was put forward before the Illinois Senate that said you have to provide lifesaving treatment and that would have helped to undermine Roe v. Wade. The fact is that there was already a law on the books in Illinois that required providing lifesaving treatment, which is why not only myself but pro-choice Republicans and Democrats voted against it.”
George and Levin respond:
A few years ago, after it became clear that some infants who were born alive in the course of an attempted induced abortion at Christ Hospital in Chicago and elsewhere were being left to die without even comfort care, Republicans and Democrats around the country united in an effort to make the practice illegal and declare that any child outside the womb, even if she was an abortion survivor whose prospects for long-term survival might be in doubt, was entitled to basic medical care. Even the most ardent advocates of the pro-choice position agreed that a child born alive, even after an attempted abortion, deserves humane treatment.
The tragic stories of infants being left to die moved legislators to act at both the state and federal levels. In Washington, D.C., consensus can be a rare commodity, and never more so than on the issue of abortion. But the Born-Alive Infant Protection Act of 2002 was just such a rarity. The bill passed both houses of Congress without a single dissenting vote-it was 98-0 in the Senate-and numerous states then proceeded to enact similar measures. In Illinois, however, a series of efforts to pass ”Born-Alive” legislation from 2001 to 2003 met with stiff resistance from legislators concerned the measure would constrain the right to abortion in the state. Prominent among these opponents, and the only one to actually speak in opposition to the bill when it was debated in 2002, was state Senator Barack Obama.
Obama’s case against the bill did not revolve around existing state law, as he seemed to suggest last night. The law Obama referred to in the debate was the Illinois abortion statute enacted in 1975. But at the time of the debate about the Born Alive Act, the Illinois Attorney General had publicly stated that he could not prosecute incidents such as those reported by nurses at Christ Hospital in Chicago and elsewhere (including a baby left to die in a soiled linen closet) because the 1975 law was inadequate.
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