New Group Enters “Born-Alive” Fray with Anti-Obama Video


| 9/17/2008 3:18:52 PM


Tags: Politics, Election 2008, abortion, legislation, campaign ads, video, FactCheck.org, PrezVid,

“My name is Gianna Jessen, born 31 years ago after a failed abortion. But if Barack Obama had his way, I wouldn’t be here." So goes the ad from a nonprofit 527 group called BornAliveTruth.org, which produced the 30-second spot (via PrezVid) amidst a swirl of confusion and controversy surrounding Barack Obama’s voting record on “born-alive” legislation before the Illinois State Senate.

The history of Obama’s actual stance, available via FactCheck.org, requires careful parsing. Essentially, Obama opposed “born-alive” bills at the state level in 2001, 2002, and 2003 that he says would have weakened Roe v. Wade. But he says he would have supported a federal version of the legislation signed by George W. Bush in 2002 because it contained protections for Roe v. Wade.

Jess Henig’s article for FactCheck notes inconsistencies in the reasoning behind Obama's votes: The Obama camp contended that there were differences in language between the state and federal versions of the bills, even after the 2003 state bill's language was revised so as to be identical to that of the federal one. The 2005 version of the state bill, which passed, included a protective clause stating that “Nothing in this Section shall be construed to affect existing federal or State law regarding abortion,” and Obama spokesperson Tommy Vietor says Obama would have voted for that bill, had he still been in state office at that point.

Henig goes on to suggest that Obama's stance on these bills may hinge on fine semantic distinctions:

The main bills under discussion, State Bill 1082 and the federal BAIPA [Born Alive Infant Protection Acts], are both definition bills. They are not about what can and should be done to babies; they are about how one defines “baby” in the first place. Those who believe that human life begins at conception or soon after can argue that even a fetus with no chance of surviving outside the womb is an “infant.” We won't try to settle that one. What we can say is that many other people – perhaps most – think of “infanticide” as the killing of an infant that would otherwise live. And there are already laws in Illinois, which Obama has said he supports, that protect these children even when they are born as the result of an abortion.

While there may be discrepancies in the reasoning behind Obama's votes, his support of abortion rights has never been in question. “Obama's critics are free to speculate on his motives for voting against the bills, and postulate a lack of concern for babies’ welfare,” Henig concludes. “But his stated reasons for opposing 'born-alive’ bills have to do with preserving abortion rights, a position he is known to support and has never hidden.”

Emily_5
1/2/2009 7:29:59 AM

We women are still so backward in our approach to safe sex, -- and unfortunately have let men direct us mostly with regard to this. Having bought up 2 healthy sons, now in their 40's, and suffering an ectopic pregnancy-- ( this child was lost at 11 weeks), -- I tried several methods of contraception, and eventually settled on sterilisation. Now divorced after 25 years of marriage to a man who quite frankly had total disregard for my sexual welfare, I now have learned that both genders need ' CONSTANT' EDUCATION, on safe sex-- abortion should NOT be an option, I am appalled at the amount of abortions being performed. a child's life is precious. Women suffer great psychological damage from loosing a child.


Emily_4
12/26/2008 9:04:37 AM

We women are still so backward in our approach to safe sex, -- and unfortunately have let men direct us mostly with regard to this. Having bought up 2 healthy sons, now in their 40's, and suffering an ectopic pregnancy-- ( this child was lost at 11 weeks), -- I tried several methods of contraception, and eventually settled on sterilisation. Now divorced after 25 years of marriage to a man who quite frankly had total disregard for my sexual welfare, I now have learned that both genders need ' CONSTANT' EDUCATION, on safe sex-- abortion should NOT be an option, I am appalled at the amount of abortions being performed. a child's life is precious. Women suffer great psychological damage from loosing a child.


Christina_1
9/27/2008 6:09:39 PM

How odd! It posted the beginning a third time and still cut off the end, even after I carefully cut and pasted only the end. Technology run amok. Here is the end of the post, which I tried to post before: The hospital never conducted an internal review of how a live-born infant was treated like a pathology specimen on their premises, in violation of the law forbidding anyone to abandon or expose a child under the age of ten "so that its life is or is likely to be endangered or its health is or is likely to be permanently injured." Under Canadian law, having been born alive, Ximena was a living human being entitled to full protection under the law. Prolife activists hold that charges of attempted murder might be more appropriate, since nurse Wood's intent in putting the child in the bedpan aside in a room for dead fetuses was to allow the baby to die and be sent to the pathology lab with the other results of recent abortions. The law, it seems, doesn't matter if it "burdens" the "reproductive choice" of a woman who elects abortion, even if it means leaving a baby, cold and alone, to suffer in a closet. Parse it with all the nuances you want. The kind of dedication to "choice" at any cost displayed by Obama is the same kind of dedication to "choice" at any cost displayed by Canadian authorities in Ximena's case. And if you're at ease with putting a live, shivering, whimpering, gasping baby in a closet and leaving her to die lest you hamper her mother's choice, by all means parse Obama's stand with great nuance. Just please stay away from babies like Ximena.


Christina_1
9/27/2008 6:08:12 PM

For some reason the browser posted the comment twice but truncated it. Here is the rest: The hospital never conducted an internal review of how a live-born infant was treated like a pathology specimen on their premises, in violation of the law forbidding anyone to abandon or expose a child under the age of ten "so that its life is or is likely to be endangered or its health is or is likely to be permanently injured." Under Canadian law, having been born alive, Ximena was a living human being entitled to full protection under the law. Prolife activists hold that charges of attempted murder might be more appropriate, since nurse Wood's intent in putting the child in the bedpan aside in a room for dead fetuses was to allow the baby to die and be sent to the pathology lab with the other results of recent abortions. The law, it seems, doesn't matter if it "burdens" the "reproductive choice" of a woman who elects abortion, even if it means leaving a baby, cold and alone, to suffer in a closet. Parse it with all the nuances you want. Shy away from "freighted terms" like "born alive". But the kind of dedication to "choice" at any cost displayed by Obama is the same kind of dedication to "choice" at any cost displayed by Canadian authorities in Ximena's case. And if you're at ease with putting a live, shivering, whimpering, gasping baby in a closet and leaving her to die lest you hamper her mother's choice, by all means parse Obama's stand with great nuance. Just please stay away from babies like Ximena.


Christina_1
9/27/2008 5:49:18 PM

Obama's main concern seems to be protecting abortion rights. If anybody wants to see how this plays out in practice, they need only look at the case of Ximena Renearts, who was born alive in a Canadian hospital after her mother had undergone an abortion earlier in an American facility. Hospital staff treated Ximena like an expelled fetus, not like a live-born infant. They put her in a bedpan in a utility room and waited for her to die. After she'd been left for over an hour to suffer from hypothermia and lack of oxygen, a nurse finally sent her to a children's hospital for care. But the damage had already been done. Ximena was left quadriplegic, with the mental capacity of a three-year-old. BC police made two abortive investigations of the case, with spokesman Sergeant Bob Cooper calling the case "bullshit", dismissing what was done to Ximena as beneath his notice. Part of the reason for the callous attitude of the police may be that the spokesman for the BC Minister of Health's Office, Michelle Stewart, is dismissive of the issue of infants born live during abortions, commenting, "As you know, this Ministry is very much in favor of giving women choices about their reproductive health." And, presumably, providing care to babies like Ximena would, as Obama so clearly put it, "burden" the choice of abortion for those women whose babies had the audacity to survive. British Columbia's Chief Coroner Larry Campbell included a letter in a report on such live births, and dismissed them as to be expected in abortion and therefore outside the purview of BC coroners, who only get involved if a death is "unexpected". Since Ximena was expected to die, had she been left in that closet until she died, the death would have been expected, and no big deal, not worth getting all in a tizzy about. The hospital never conducted an internal review of how a live-born infant was treated like a pathology specimen on t