The senator’s excuses for opposing the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act don’t withstand scrutiny.
by Kevin Vance The Daily Standard 08/13/2008 12:00:00 AM
IN MARCH 2003, registered nurse Jill Stanek submitted a statement to the Illinois Senate Health and Human Services committee in which she reported that infants who survived abortions at her Oak Lawn hospital were sometimes “taken to the Soiled Utility Room and left alone to die.” Stanek was lobbying the committee to approve the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act of 2002, which would have recognized any infant born alive after an abortion as a human being deserving legal protection. Barack Obama, then the committee chairman, defeated the bill with his fellow Democrats in a 6-4 party-line vote.
Obama’s campaign website offers two reasons why the senator opposed the bill in 2003. First, the website claims that Obama did not support the state legislation because it lacked language “clarifying that the act would not be used to undermine Roe vs. Wade.” The website cites Obama’s assertion that he would have supported the similar federal born-alive bill, which included language clarifying that it would not undermine Roe v. Wade when it unanimously passed the Senate in 2001.
In fact, the federal legislation and the final version of the Illinois senate bill were essentially the same. On Monday, the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) released documents that showed that the Illinois senate committee unanimously approved an amendment that made the state legislation almost identical to the federal legislation. The amendment provided that the act should not be “construed to affirm, deny, expand, or contract any legal status or legal right applicable to any…