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Fact: Barack Obama voted against banning infanticide

By Scott Tibbs, August 24, 2008

Leftists in Monroe County are screeching louder than ever about my letter to the editor in the Herald-Times criticizing Baron Hill for endorsing Barack Obama, based on Obama's vote against legislation in the Illinois State Senate that would have made it illegal to kill a baby that survives an abortion and is born. Realizing that they needed to shift attention away from Obama's voting record, some Leftists have intentionally tried to muddy the waters about the issue, trying to bait me into making false statements about Obama's voting record. This intellectual dishonesty is thoroughly despicable and represents the absolute worst of gutter politics.

First, when my letter was published, Michael Newton claimed in the comments section that Barack Obama actually voted against the Induced Birth Infant Liability Act. Greg Travis (husband of failed County Commissioner candidate Sophia Travis) picked this up and ran with it, screeching over and over that I "lied" about what the IBILA does. But the lie was committed by Greg Travis and Michael Newton, who both intentionally confused the IBILA (SB1661) with SB1093, which was an amendment to the Illinois Abortion Law of 1975. In the quoted text below, Obama explains his objection to SB1093:

Well, it turned out -- that during the testimony a number of members who are typically in favor of a woman's right to choose an abortion were actually sympathetic to some of the concerns that your -- you raised and that were raised by witnesses in the testimony. And there was some suggestion that we might be able to craft something that might meet constitutional muster with respect to caring for fetuses or children who were delivered in this fashion. Unfortunately, this bill goes a little bit further, and so I just want to suggest, not that I think it'll make too much difference with respect to how we vote, that this is probably not going to survive constitutional scrutiny.

Number one, whenever we define a previable fetus as a person that is protected by the equal protection clause or the other elements in the Constitution, what we're really saying is, in fact, that they are persons that are entitled to the kinds of protections that would be provided to a -- a child, a nine-month-old -- child that was delivered to term. That determination then, essentially, if it was accepted by a court, would forbid abortions to take place. I mean, it -- it would essentially bar abortions, because the equal protection clause does not allow somebody to kill a child, and if this is a child. Then this would be an antiabortion statute. For that purpose, I think it would probably be found unconstitutional.

The second reason that it would probably be found unconstitutional is that this essentially says that a doctor is required to provide treatment to a previable child, or fetus, however way you want to describe it. Viability is the line that has been drawn by the Supreme Court to determine whether or not an abortion can or cannot take place. And if we're placing a burden on the doctor that says you have to keep alive even a previable child as long as possible and give them as much medical attention as -- as is necessary to try to keep that child alive, then we're probably crossing the line in terms of unconstitutionality.

In previous articles about Obama's voting record, I incorrectly stated that he was speaking about the IBILA, not SB1093. I regret and apologize for this error. And while I may have been fooled into making that mistake by Leftists trying to play a "bait and switch" game with the IBILA and SB1093, the mistake is ultimately mine and I apologize for misleading my readers. Following is the Summary of SB1093, the bill that Obama opposed:

Deletes everything. Amends the Illinois Abortion Law of 1975. Provides that no abortion procedure that, in the medical judgment of the attending physician, has a reasonable likelihood of resulting in a live born child shall be undertaken unless there is in attendance a physician other than the physician performing or inducing the abortion who shall address the child's viability and provide medical care for the child. Provides that a physician inducing an abortion that results in a live born child shall provide for the soonest practicable attendance of a physician other than the physician performing or inducing the abortion to immediately assess the child's viability and provide medical care for the child. Provides that a live child born as a result of an abortion shall be fully recognized as a human person and that all reasonable measures consistent with good medical practice shall be taken to preserve the life and health of the child. Effective immediately.

In addition, Obama also voted against SB1095. See the summary of the bill below:

Amends the Statute on Statutes. Defines "born-alive infant" to include every infant member of the species homo sapiens who is born alive at any stage of development. Defines "born alive" to mean the complete expulsion or extraction from the mother of an infant, at any stage of development, who after that expulsion or extraction breathes or has a beating heart, pulsation of the umbilical cord, or definite movement of voluntary muscles, regardless of whether the umbilical cord has been cut and regardless of whether the expulsion or extraction occurs as a result of natural or induced labor, cesarean section, or induced abortion. Effective immediately.


Provides that 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.

Basically, Michael Newton and Greg Travis (husband of failed County Commissioner candidate Sophia Travis) intentionally ignored SB1093 and SB1095, both of which made it illegal to kill a baby that survives an abortion and is born. Instead, they brought up an entirely separate piece of legislation, the Induced Birth Infant Liability Act, and claimed that my LTTE was about that one. The bait-and-switch worked, just as Newton and Travis planned: I got confused about SB1093 and SB1095 and incorrectly attributed Obama's speech to the IBILA. Then, another Leftist played the trump card in the HTO comments section: Obama was speaking about SB1093, not the IBILA. But "SJ" unintentionally exposed the shell game Travis and Newton were playing.

Local Democrats know that Obama's vote against a bill that prohibited infanticide is a major political liability nationwide. This is especially true in a conservative state like Indiana. Democrats also know that Baron Hill's endorsement of a candidate who has defended infanticide is a also major political liability. So, Democrats have taken great pains to confuse the issues, accusing opponents talking about SB1093 and SB1095 of "lying" by dishonestly pointing out that statements about SB1093 and SB1095 do not apply to the IBILA.

This goes to a basic theme of this year's election, a theme that Obama himself has made a cornerstone of his campaign. Obama has publicly stated he wishes to move past the divisive rhetoric and hyper-partisanship that has paralyzed Washington. His theme is similar to the one used by Ross Perot in 1992 - just "get under the hood" and get things done. (This leaves out the question of how to fix it, but that is a separate issue.)

By attempting to play a dishonest "bait and switch" game, Michael Newton and Greg Travis (husband of failed County Commissioner candidate Sophia Travis) have desecrated everything that Obama claims to stand for. If Obama truly believes his rhetoric about post-partisan healing, reaching across the isle and reducing the divisive rhetoric in politics, Obama would be ashamed to see what Newton and Travis are doing in his name.

Previous articles on Barack Obama, Baron Hill, and infanticide:

Of course, I had it right in the first three articles, going astray only after I was deceived by the highly dishonest "bait and switch" game played by Leftists determined to cover up Obama's infanticide scandal.

It is not at all surprising that Leftists are unable to honestly discuss the issues surrounding Obama's vote against a bill that would ban infanticide. It is not surprising they try to claim I am "lying" about Obama's defense of infanticide by playing a bait-and-switch game. When faced with an inconvenient truth, Leftists lie. Worse, Leftists self-righteously pretend they are defending the truth by spreading those despicable lies.

For a short time, it worked. But there is far too much information available on the Internet for these types of dishonest games to succeed in the long run. My high school principal used to tell the class that "when you tell the truth, you never have to remember what you say." That a fellow Leftist unintentionally brought down the whole house of cards is a perfect reminder of that.

Note: When I first posted this, I had the wrong bill number for the IBILA. That has been corrected.