Obama, Gosnell, Planned Parenthood, and the Born Alive Infant Protection Acts 2001-2003

ObamaSenAs the Dr. Kermit Gosnell case really hit the news last week, I kept hearing bits and pieces about President Obama's votes against the Born Alive Infant Protection Acts when he was an Illinois state senator a decade ago. Obama voted against these acts four times because he feared that they would somehow erode abortion rights. Obama's political opponents stated that he was in favor of infanticide, and like so many other partisan attacks of recent years, I dismissed these attacks as over-the-top. But, with the Gosnell allegations of perhaps at least over 100 babies "born-alive" who were then killed, I started wondering if we had a situation where Obama had, in fact, voted against a bill in Illinois that would have been applicable to the Gosnell case. 

As I looked into the situation further, I decided to go to Left-leaning sources to find out what they said. I was shocked. Even Left-leaning news sources like the Washington Post FactChecker and Factcheck.org agreed that Obama had voted four times against legislation that would beef up protections for babies who were born alive after surviving abortion attempts. They disagreed with the charge that he was PRO infanticide, understandably, but they did agree that he did not support legislation that virtually every Democrat and Republican in the country said was reasonable. 

The synopsis from the Washington Post FactChecker:

The 2001 and 2002 measures included a controversial line that proved to be a sticking point. It said, “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.”

Obama took issue with that part of the bill, saying it could interfere with a woman’s right to an abortion, as established through the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision. Here is an excerpt of his remarks from the 2001 floor debate:

“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 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 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.”

Notice that Obama referred to “previable fetuses,” or those that do not have a reasonable chance of survival outside the mother’s body. Obama’s primary concern seems to be that the born-alive act would prohibit aborting a fetus still inside the womb.Critics contend that this interpretation is not necessarily true because some previable fetuses survive after delivery from an unsuccessful abortion. They argue that Obama essentially opposed protecting the survivors.

Illinois lawmakers voted down identical versions of the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act in 2001 and 2002 before a new iteration of the bill came before the Senate’s Health and Human Services Committee, headed by Obama. This new legislation removed the controversial line about recognizing live-born children as humans and giving them immediate protection under the law. It also addressed Obama’s concern about previable fetuses, adding a “neutrality clause” that said the measure would not affect the legal status of fetuses prior to delivery.

Nonetheless, Obama voted against the new bill, which happened to be an almost exact replica — almost to the word — of a federal Born-Alive Infants Protection Act that passed in 2002 without opposition in either politial party. (Updated: The vote in the House was by voice vote and the vote in the Senate was by unanimous consent.)


The liberal-leaning Factcheck.org tells the same story.

So, what do we make of this? The facts are that Obama voted FOUR times against a bill that would have better protected babies born alive after abortions because of an assertion that it would have weakened abortion rights. Obama weighed the survival of live babies against the possibility of weakening the ability to abort babies in utero. While this might fall short of advocating for infanticide, it most definitely shifts priority from a live baby to the desire of the mother to have that baby killed. That is the philosophical jump necessary for Infanticide to be accepted in our society and our president made that jump and voted for it officially FOUR times.

Dr. Kermit Gosnell in his "House of Horrors," according to testimony, killed over 100 "born-alive" babies who survived the initial abortion attempt under the philosophy that the intent of the mother was to abort the child so that made it acceptable. This perspective is gaining steam as Marc A. Theissen wrote for The Washington Post on April 8th:

"Testifying against a Florida bill that would require abortionists to provide emergency medical care to an infant who survives an abortion, Planned Parenthood lobbyist Alisa LaPolt Snow was asked point blank: “If a baby is born on a table as a result of a botched abortion, what would Planned Parenthood want to have happen to that child that is struggling for life?” She replied: “We believe that any decision that’s made should be left up to the woman, her family, and the physician.”

No, Alisa. It is murder to kill a child that is born and is struggling for life. How is this even up for debate?

Kermit Gosnell. Planned Parenthood. President Obama. All have the same philosophy that Abortion "Rights" trump the Human Rights of a baby born alive at the result of a botched abortion. While maybe they are not going around and advocating for Infanticide, what they have all done is exalt the desire of the mother past birth when the baby is outside of her body and have decided that that desire of the woman is greater than the right of the defenseless baby to live. The ramifications of this are horrifying and the fact that our president, not some fringe political outlier, supports this view, should be of grave concern to every American. Is the Abortion battle now headed outside the womb? Is the Gosnell situation not as rare as we would like to believe? How far will America go in supporting a woman's "right to choose?" With a national health care system emerging, will decisions be made regarding viability for babies already born to not treat them or try to help them survive if they have difficult illnesses or if the parent decides they do not want them?

How far does this philosophy go?

And, please do not tell me that I am employing the slippery-slope fallacy. American politics tells us that the "slippery slope" is alive and well, as does an abortion clinic in West Philadelphia.

Oh, and one other question: Is this why the media might not be eager to run with the Gosnell story? 

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