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NRLC addresses Obama’s distortions on "born alive" law

By Scott Tibbs, September 13, 2008

The National Right to Life Committee addresses the spin from the Obama campaign regarding Barack Obama's well-documented opposition to legislation banning infanticide:

Assertion: The BAIPA was unnecessary, because "Illinois law already stated that in the unlikely case that an abortion would cause a live birth, a doctor should 'provide immediate medical care for any child born alive as a result of the abortion.'" (August 19, 2008, Obama campaign document)

Response: Obama explained in 2001, and has never recanted, that he opposed the Illinois BAIPA because it declared a "previable fetus" to be a legal person – even though the bill only did so if the baby had achieved "complete expulsion or extraction from its mother." (Obama’s statements are quoted verbatim further on in this white paper.) The old Illinois law in question (720 ILCS 510.6) covered only situations where an abortionist declares before the abortion that there was "a reasonable likelihood of sustained survival of the fetus outside the womb." Humans are often born alive a month or more before they reach the point where such "sustained survival" - that is, long-term survival - is likely or possible (which is often called the point of "viability"). The old Illinois law has no bearing on many of the induced-labor abortions about which the nurses testified before the committees in Congress and the Illinois state legislature, because many of them were performed on unborn humans who were capable of being born alive, and who often were born alive, but who were not old enough to have a "reasonable likelihood of sustained survival... outside the womb."

The relevant portion of law in question follows:

6 (720 ILCS 510/6) (from Ch. 38, par. 81-26)
7 Sec. 6. (1) (a) Any physician who intentionally performs
8 an abortion when, in his medical judgment based on the
9 particular facts of the case before him, there is a
10 reasonable likelihood of sustained survival of the fetus
11 outside the womb, with or without artificial support, shall
12 utilize that method of abortion which, of those he knows to
13 be available, is in his medical judgment most likely to
14 preserve the life and health of the fetus.

Why did Baron Hill endorse a candidate who defended infanticide?