RedState.com reported last week they had uncovered the transcript of Barack Obama’s 2002 floor speech in opposition to the Born Alive Infant Protection Act (“BAIPA”). The transcript makes clear Barack Obama opposed the BAIPA not because, as he claimed, it would encroach on abortion rights, but because the law would “burden the original decision of the woman and the physician.” It was too much of a burden, according to Obama, to ensure that a child, born alive, get medical care to sustain the child’s life.
Understanding both the timeline of Obama’s votes against the BAIPA and the language of the legislation makes it very clear that, regardless of what Obama and his defenders say, he did, in fact, support infanticide. Those are the facts, however unpleasant they may be.
Barack Obama first encountered the BAIPA in 2001. The law, pushed by Jill Stanek, a nurse who had been told to leave a live baby in a utility closet to die after an abortion, required life-sustaining treatment for a child in the event the child survived an abortion.
The law had three parts divided into three bills. S.B. 1093 provided that no abortion procedure which had the reasonable likelihood of producing a live-born child should be undertaken unless a second doctor was present to provide medical treatment for the child. S.B. 1094 created a cause of action if a child was born alive after an abortion and the abortionist harmed or neglected the child or failed to provide life-sustaining medical treatment. S.B. 1095 defined what a “born alive” infant was.
On March 30, 2001, prior to the vote, Obama spoke against the legislation. He was the only state senator to do so. Obama’s concern, in 2001, was that by defining what a “born alive” child was and giving that child equal protection, the law would be unconstitutional and, if not unconstitutional, in Obama’s words, “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 anti-abortion statute.”
“If this is a child,” Obama pondered. Despite his concerns, instead of voting no, Obama voted present on all three pieces of legislation.
On April 4, 2002, the three pieces of legislation came back to the Senate. This time, S.B. 1661 provided the cause of action, S.B. 1662 defined life, and S.B. 1663 was the substantive legislation requiring life sustaining treatment. S.B. 1663 had been modified to not require a second doctor be present for the abortion but, if a child were born alive, to get the child to a second doctor who could administer life sustaining treatment as soon as possible.
Barack Obama did not speak out on the floor of the Senate about S.B. 1661, the legislation that created a cause of action against a doctor. This is one of the few, if only, instances in Barack Obama’s short legislative record where he opposed creating a cause of action for litigation. Barack Obama, instead, spoke out against S.B. 1663, which required life-sustaining treatment for an infant born alive after an abortion. The legislation also prohibited abortions if the desire for an abortion was based solely on the child being of an undesired gender.
Rising on the floor, Obama said, “As I understand it, this puts the burden on the attending physician who has determined, since they were performing this procedure, that, in fact, this is a nonviable fetus; that if that fetus, or child — however way you want to describe it — is now outside the mother’s womb and the doctor continues to think that it’s nonviable but there’s, let’s say, movement or some indication that, in fact, they’re not just coming out limp and dead, that, in fact, they would then have to call a second physician to monitor and check off and make sure that this is not a live child that could be saved.”
In effect, Obama made clear he believed the legislature should trust the abortionist who had botched the abortion to determine whether or not the baby would survive.
In 2002, unlike 2001, Barack Obama took the rare — for him — step of voting “no” against all three pieces of legislation instead of voting “present.”
No doubt, like in 2001, Obama still pondered the implication of what would happen “if this were a child.” So how was a “born alive” infant defined? Barack Obama, in his own words, noted the legislation would define a “born alive” child and “if this is a child, then this would be an antiabortion statute.”
Knowing how the legislation defined a child makes clear that Obama did support infanticide. The legislation, in 2002 pushed as S.B. 1662, defined a child as follows:
the term "born alive", with respect to a member of the species homo sapiens, means the complete expulsion or extraction from its mother of that member, 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.
In other words, a child who is breathing, has a beating heart, or shows voluntary muscle movement and who is fully outside the mother shall be considered a “born alive” child. That was too much for Barack Obama. He did not think that a child who was alive and outside the mother’s womb should be considered a child for purposes of giving the child equal protection rights if it was the mother and doctor’s intention that the child be killed.
That is not a stretch or inference of Barack Obama’s record. That is Barack Obama’s record. The facts make that uncomfortably clear.
In 2003, the BAIPA made its way through the Illinois General Assembly again, having died in 2001 and 2002 in the Illinois House of Representatives. Between 2002 and 2003, the Democrats took over the Illinois Senate. Barack Obama then chaired the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.
Despite the BAIPA having passed the United States Congress with the support of Hillary Clinton, Ted Kenedy, Jerrold Nadler, and Barbara Boxer, and despite abortion groups likes Planned Parenthood and NARAL no longer opposing the legislation, Barack Obama still opposed it.
The law, contrary to Obama’s assertions, included abortion rights protections. Barack Obama himself voted in his committee to include those protections. But after voting to include abortion rights protections, Obama voted against the legislation in his committee. The BAIPA died in Obama’s committee in 2003, by a vote of 6-4.
Supporters of Barack Obama, such as Alan Colmes, say it is heinous and offensive to accuse Obama of supporting infanticide. David Brody of CBN, in denying Obama supports infanticide, writes, “Obama is a father of two young girls. You can bet that attacks like that will get him or any father riled up. That language seems to be way over the top. His critics can paint him as a pro-choice liberal. That’s fair but to go any further is really beyond the pale. Is Obama really sinister, a monster?” That is the gist of the Obama defense and is echoed by David Brody, Alan Colmes, and others. Barack Obama had children, therefore there is no way he could support infanticide.
Margaret Sanger and Josef Mengele both had children too. And somewhere in hell, Margaret Sanger is filling out her absentee ballot. Whether she casts it in New Orleans or Chicago won’t matter much in the final tally.
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