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Will Obama's record on infanticide sink Democrats?

By Scott Tibbs, September 6, 2008

Democrats in Bloomington are still screeching about my letter to the editor that was published in the Herald-Times on August 11. They are very unhappy that Obama's extremism on "reproductive choice" has been exposed, and they are doing everything they can to discredit both the facts I presented and me personally.

Why are local Democrats so upset about this? They know that Obama's opposition to banning infanticide is a major political liability, both nationally and in Indiana. Closer to home, Baron Hill's endorsement of Obama in the Democratic Party's primary is also a major liability for Hill. Outside of hyper-partisan Democrats in City Hall and the County Courthouse, I would wager Obama's defense of infanticide is even a liability in a very liberal community like Bloomington - which is why local Democrats are throwing such a temper tantrum about it.

Monroe County Democrats are counting on an Obama tide lifting all of the local Democrats in November. As cracks appear in Obama's armor and his radical past is exposed, more and more people are having doubts about Obama's fitness to be President. If local Democrats do not see a major Obama tide, the results could be similar to 2000, when Republicans won two of the three at-large County Council seats and nearly won the third. Republicans also won the Surveyor's Office and the seat on the Planning Commission that goes with it. Two years later, Republicans won three of the four district seats and cruised to a 5-2 majority on the council, in addition to replacing an incumbent Democrat County Commissioner with a Republican.

It is not unusual for many people to identify themselves as "pro-choice" - in the first trimester. After that, support for abortion rights drops off. Once a baby is born, the thought of killing him/her or allowing him/her to die is virtually universally repugnant. That's why the federal Born Alive Infants Protection Act passed with such an overwhelming margin in both the House and the Senate. Even strong advocates of abortion rights like Barbara Boxer voted for "Born Alive". Hillary Clinton, a strong supporter of abortion rights herself, also supported "Born Alive" in the U.S. Senate. Obama is significantly to the left of Clinton and Boxer on this issue.

Baron Hill was facing another primary challenge from Gretchen Clearwater, who got 6,382 votes in Monroe County compared to 12,078 for Hill. Meanwhile, Obama dominated Hillary Clinton, 18,921 to 10,052. Did Baron Hill endorse Obama to gain political favor with Democrats in Bloomington? Bloomington is hardly representative of the 9th District, as the Hoosier Pundit reports that "Hillary Clinton carried the 9th District by better than 63%."

Let's take some time to again review the facts. See below, where 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.

Following is the Summary of SB1093, the bill that Obama opposed and spoke against:

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 opposed 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.

Following are screenshots from records of how each state senator voted on SB1093 and SB1095:

As the National Right to Life committee points out:

Voting "present" was a tactic recommended by the local Planned Parenthood lobbyist; under an Illinois constitutional provision a bill is deemed passed only if it receives an absolute majority of the sworn members of the House or Senate, so the operative effect of a "present" vote is the same as a "no" vote.

There is really no question that Barack Obama opposed legislation that would make it illegal to kill a baby that survives an abortion and is born. In other words, Obama defended infanticide.

Previous articles:

What is the most important issue in 2008? -- July 11, 2008

Baron Hill says killing newborns is just "one issue" -- August 8, 2008

Questioning Baron Hill's endorsement of Obama -- August 11, 2008

Fact: Barack Obama voted against banning infanticide -- August 24, 2008

More on the Leftist "bait and switch" regarding the Obama infanticide scandal -- August 25, 2008

Obama's supporters display hypocrisy on infanticide -- September 5, 2008