Obama: Bill unnecessarily burdened doctors with … babies; Update: AOL Hot Seat poll added

posted at 7:43 am on August 21, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Yesterday, a YouTubed audio snippet of Barack Obama’s defense of his vote against the Illinois state legislation that required medical providers to give normal life-supporting medical care to infants born alive during an abortion appeared on several blogs. Neither Allahpundit nor I could determine the legitimacy of the clip at the time.  After all, AP had just inveighed against Think Progress for Dowdifying John McCain on the draft, and it hardly seemed fair to propagate a potentially similar edit job on Obama.  Guy Benson did some research on the quote and discovered that not only did the audio come from the Chicago Tribune, Obama had made similar remarks in the Illinois legislature.

Here’s the audio alone, without the musical overlay:

I suspect that doctors feel that they would be under that obligation, that they would already be making these determinations, and that essentially adding an additional doctor, who then has to be called in an emergency situation to come in and make these assessments, is really designed simply to burden the original decision of the woman and the physician to induce labor and perform an abortion.

Guy also found a similar passage in the transcripts of the Illinois legislature. On pages 32-34 of the April 4, 2002 session, Obama debates the bill on the floor of the state Senate. He says essentially the exact same thing as he did in this audio passage above, but with a little more detail:

[T]he only plausible rationale, to my mind, for this legislation would be if you had a suspicion that a doctor, the attending physician, who has made the assessment that this is a nonviable fetus and that, let’s say for the purposes of the mother’s health, is being — that — that labor is being induced, that that physician (a) is going to make the wrong assessment and (b) if the physician discovered, after the labor had been induced, that, in fact, he made an error, and in fact this was not a nonviable fetus but, in fact, a live child, that the physician, of his own accord or her own accord, would not try to exercise the sort of medical procedures and practices that would be involved in saving that child.

Now, if — if you think that there are possibilities that doctors would not do that, then maybe this bill makes sense, but I — I suspect and my impression is, is that the Medical Society suspects that doctors feel that they would already be under that obligation, that they would already be making these determinations, and that essentially adding a — an additional doctor who the has to be called in an emergency situation to come in and make these assessments is really designed simply to burden the original decision of the woman and the physician to induce labor and perform an abortion.

Now, if that’s the case –and — and I know some of us feel very strongly one way or the other on that issue — that’s fine, but I think it’s important to understand that this issue ultimately is about abortion and not live births. Because if these children are being born alive, I, at least, have confidence that a doctor who is in that room is going to make sure they’re looked after.

This passage is really remarkable for the willfully obtuse nature of Obama’s arguments. By the time this debate took place, Jill Stanek had already revealed that doctors weren’t providing medical care to infants born alive during abortions, at Christ Hospital, and a subsequent investigation proved that other abortion providers also abandoned such infants to die.  That was the entire reason for the debate.  Obama acts as if this is some curious academic hypothesis.

Instead of addressing the actual issue of infanticide, Obama twists it into a protection for abortion.  He frames his own hypothetical as an abortion “for the health of the mother”, but the circumstances of the mother’s health has no bearing at all on whether a live infant should receive medical care.  How would treating a live infant threaten the health of the mother?

And finally, as the original audio notes, the remainder of Obama’s opposition rests on the “burden” of calling in a second physician to make an independent determination of the birth.  The bill created that “burden”, a procedure which would take very little time at all, precisely because the doctors at Christ Hospital and elsewhere threw live infants away with no oversight at all.

Nowhere in this argument does Obama say, “I oppose this bill because of its companion bill,” the lame argument that has surfaced over the last 48 hours from Team Obama.  He doesn’t talk about the bill’s supposed unconstitutionality.  Moreover, during the presidential campaign, he said he would have supported the federal bill even though it had all of the same supposed flaws Obama argued against in this passage.

Obama protected infanticide in order to protect abortion on demand.  There simply is no other explanation except abject stupidity, and this passage proves it.

Update: Did Obama protect infanticide? Take the AOL Hot Seat poll:



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Apropos of the topic, Obama looks like he’s being eviscerated. Shouldn’t we wait until after their convention? With Hillary’s name being put into nomination, you never know what could happen. What are the chances of a democrat palace coup?

JiangxiDad on August 21, 2008 at 7:50 AM

I heard one of the pundits say yesterday, don’t remember which one or what FOX show, that he voted no because the bill was attached to other bills or vice versa, that he opposed and was voting no on them. That’s a new spin.

atxcowgirl on August 21, 2008 at 7:57 AM

JiangxiDad on August 21, 2008 at 7:50 AM

A palace coup is unlikely, but possible.

Of course, if it does happen, McCain just won the election. There’s no way the African-American voter would pull the lever for Hillary after she “rules lawyered” Barack out of his “rightful” spot.

Somehow, I don’t think Republicans, for whom the specter of a Hillary candidacy was a great fundraising motivator, would be a problem. McCain, maybe. Not sure how he’d react to yet another “colleague” going for his throat.

Mew

acat on August 21, 2008 at 7:58 AM

At Christ Hospital, no less.

BigD on August 21, 2008 at 7:59 AM

Companion bill?

How many times has the story changed now?

aikidoka on August 21, 2008 at 8:00 AM

Would someone please explain to me the difference between Senator Obama’s opinions and those of the doctor’s under the Nazis?

How would treating a live infant threaten the health of the mother?

It wouldn’t. But those who support, defend, and condone infanticide will go to any, and I DO mean ANY length to continue murdering babies.

oldleprechaun on August 21, 2008 at 8:00 AM

Obama acts as if this is some curious academic hypothesis.

Every collage teacher I have encountered views the world as if it is some sort of academic hypothesis or exercise so why should this teacher be any different.

jmarcure on August 21, 2008 at 8:01 AM

In the passage above he is saying that the legislation is unnecessary. In the rare hypothetical, he has confidence that the doctor will care for the viable infant with out the need for this bill.

tommylotto on August 21, 2008 at 8:02 AM

Obama has unwittingly exposed the abortion industry to the closest scrutiny it has received in decades.

jeff_from_mpls on August 21, 2008 at 8:05 AM

In the passage above he is saying that the legislation is unnecessary. In the rare hypothetical, he has confidence that the doctor will care for the viable infant with out the need for this bill.

The problem is that this assumption has already been proven false. Which is the whole reason why the bill was put forth in the first place.

MarkTheGreat on August 21, 2008 at 8:06 AM

It must be nice to have 2 healthy kids

tomas on August 21, 2008 at 8:09 AM

Obama has unwittingly exposed the abortion industry to the closest scrutiny it has received in decades.

jeff_from_mpls on August 21, 2008 at 8:05 AM

And race-hustling issue as well. He’s poison for the Dems.

JiangxiDad on August 21, 2008 at 8:12 AM

Obama’s speech is as clear and precise as every other speech he makes.

TooTall on August 21, 2008 at 8:12 AM

The issue comes down to this… do you believe that doctors should be allowed to induce birth at borderline viability and deny them care while they gasp for breath for a few hours? They get birth and death certificates so it goes on the infant mortality rate.

ninjapirate on August 21, 2008 at 8:13 AM

This passage is really remarkable for the willfully obtuse nature of Obama’s arguments. By the time this debate took place, Jill Stanek had already revealed that doctors weren’t providing medical care to infants born alive during abortions, at Christ Hospital, and a subsequent investigation proved that other abortion providers also abandoned such infants to die. That was the entire reason for the debate. Obama acts as if this is some curious academic hypothesis.

For a viable fetus to survive an abortion attempt in a modern medical setting is extremely rare, which suggests to me that there was some level of incompetence in any hospital that had multiple such occurrences in a short period of time. However, for one to survive and stand any chance at living is even rarer. I support, in general, the idea of providing care for those babies that stand a chance after an abortion attempt, but keep in mind that doctors refuse further care for wanted babies all the time, when they don’t think it will give them a much better chance of survival. In cases where a baby is on life support, even if a doctor is willing to offer further treatment, he generally consults with the parent(s) to determine if they should keep the baby on life support or if they should “pull the plug”. These are the kinds of medical decisions that doctors and/or parents should have the right to make, and it makes a lot of people (even pro-lifers!) uncomfortable when a proposed law could be interpreted to mandate certain choices in such cases.

Big S on August 21, 2008 at 8:13 AM

Obama acts as if this is some curious academic hypothesis.

That is exactly how he will conduct his presidency. The only thing that will change is what “this” refers to.

Kafir on August 21, 2008 at 8:17 AM

ninjapirate on August 21, 2008 at 8:13 AM

Bush signed the federal bill in ’02. So this isn’t happening–presumably. Therefore the issue is why Obama voted against it–multiple times, and personally led the charge against it. Because he’s an ultra extreme left wing ideologue masquerading as Fred MacMurray (and old-time TV Dad).

JiangxiDad on August 21, 2008 at 8:17 AM

Clearly, all Obama was saying is that he wouldn’t want his doctor “punished” with a baby.

Stop Swiftboating Obama!

/lib

JohnJ on August 21, 2008 at 8:18 AM

Big S on August 21, 2008 at 8:13 AM

The conditions under which these children are left to die is part of the revulsion. The other is that the fervent hope and prayer is that they do die, not that they pull-through. That’s what makes your analogy inapt imo.

JiangxiDad on August 21, 2008 at 8:20 AM

The conditions under which these children are left to die is part of the revulsion. The other is that the fervent hope and prayer is that they do die, not that they pull-through. That’s what makes your analogy inapt imo.

JiangxiDad on August 21, 2008 at 8:20 AM

While the bad conditions are indeed revolting, I fear that too many people getting up in arms over this debate think that the few babies that survive such procedures would be fine if only they would be given a bit of loving care. It’s not that simple, I’m afraid – the abortion procedure is designed to terminate a fetal life, and even when botched, it is very damaging. That is, it can turn a viable fetus into an unviable one very quickly. What kind of “care” should a doctor be compelled to give if it is obvious that the baby will not survive? Should the parent retain the right to refuse certain kinds of care for the baby, as they do in many other circumstances, or do you think that right should be removed based on the initial intent to abort?

Big S on August 21, 2008 at 8:30 AM

Punishment by babies is the worst kind!!!!
/

carbon_footprint on August 21, 2008 at 8:35 AM

How would treating a live infant threaten the health of the mother?

Ah, the question that bedevils advocates of partial birth abortion. How, exactly, is killing the child better for her mental health than delivering a preemie? (My eclampsia-induced preemie turned four yesterday and he’s doing fine, thanks.)

Quisp on August 21, 2008 at 8:37 AM

Here’s an idea: how about giving a woman a 30 or 60 day period after the birth of the baby to decide on a slightly late abortion? This would give her a chance to confirm that the baby is a burden. Hey, let’s make it a year.

stonemeister on August 21, 2008 at 8:40 AM

Big S on August 21, 2008 at 8:30 AM

Any preemie birth can be very damaging, and after spending weeks around NICU and years with preemie parent groups I know most parents are woefully uninformed about the possible extent and longevity of the consequences, so I get your point. HOWEVER, the alternative isn’t a bucket in a utility closet. What’s wrong with mandating a bit of humane, palliative care – and how sad is it you have to make a law to require that basic decency?

Quisp on August 21, 2008 at 8:42 AM

Obama is a genocidal maniac, who thinks that those who believe him will think he is just a hug and love type of guy.

He is so full of hot air that the anarctic is melting.

upinak on August 21, 2008 at 8:43 AM

Ed–you are only telling half the story.

Illinois already had a “born alive” bill, and so did the Federal government. The Illinois bill would have covered this situation.

Jill Stanek’s stories about infants being left to starve could not be substantiated by Jim Ryan–a pro-life Republican Attorney General of Illinois–and so he couldn’t bring any charges.

“In his book The Case Against Barack Obama, author David Freddoso misrepresents findings by the Illinois state government to claim that a statement by Sen. Barack Obama explaining his opposition to a bill that amended the Illinois Abortion Law of 1975 was “not true.” Claiming that Obama’s assertion — that “measures mandat[ing] lifesaving measures for premature babies” were “already the law” in Illinois — was false, Freddoso falsely asserts that the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and a July 2000 letter from Illinois’ then-Attorney General Jim Ryan’s office refute Obama’s statement. They do not; indeed, a reported statement by IDPH supports it.

The July 2000 letter was a response from Ryan’s office to Concerned Women for America regarding a complaint by nurse Jill Stanek, who claimed that fetuses that were born alive at Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, Illinois, were abandoned without treatment, including in a soiled utility room. In a letter on Ryan’s letterhead, chief deputy attorney general Carole R. Doris wrote in part:

On December 6, IDPH provided this office with its investigative report and advised us that IDPH’s internal review did not indicate [emphasis added] a violation of the Hospital Licensing Act or the Vital Records Act.

No other allegations or medical evidence to support any statutory violation (including the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act about which you inquired) were referred to our office by the Department for prosecution.

[...]

While we are deeply respectful of your serious concerns about the practices and methods of abortions at this hospital, we have concluded that there is no basis for legal action by this office against the Hospital or its employees, agents or staff at this time.

From that letter, Freddoso concludes that the state found that “[i]n leaving born babies to die without treatment, Christ Hospital was doing nothing illegal under the laws of Illinois.” But the state’s conclusions regarding the law were reportedly the opposite of what Freddoso claims — IDPH reportedly concluded that if the hospital had done what Stanek alleged, its actions would have been illegal under existing law. (The word “indicate” is in italics above because in his quotation of the letter, Freddoso substitutes the word “include” for the word “indicate.”)

In an August 2004 email discussion with Stanek, Chicago Tribune columnist Eric Zorn quoted IDPH spokesman Tom Shafer stating, apparently in reference to Stanek and another nurse, Allison Baker: “[W]hat they were alleging were violations of existing law. … We took (the allegations) very seriously.” Zorn wrote further: “Shafer told me that the 1999 investigation reviewed logs, personnel files and medical records. It concluded, ‘The allegation that infants were allowed to expire in a utility room could not be substantiated (and) all staff interviewed denied that any infant was ever left alone.’ “

jim m on August 20, 2008 at 6:41 PM

jim m on August 21, 2008 at 8:44 AM

Barack’ Chickens.

Are coming home.

To Roost.

God Bless Barack Obama for not caring about LIVE Babies?
God Bless Barack Obama?

No, God (Opposite of Bless) Barack Obama!

EJDolbow on August 21, 2008 at 8:48 AM

What kind of “care” should a doctor be compelled to give if it is obvious that the baby will not survive?

Isn’t that precisely what the bill was intended to provide?

Should the parent retain the right to refuse certain kinds of care for the baby, as they do in many other circumstances, or do you think that right should be removed based on the initial intent to abort?

Big S on August 21, 2008 at 8:30 AM

Fascinating question. Isn’t the premise of parental rights based upon the notion that the “parent” are acting in the “child’s” best interest? Since that is not the case with abortion, I wonder if by definition aborted babies that survive are not rightly wards of the state. Just what does the federal act say about it?

JiangxiDad on August 21, 2008 at 8:50 AM

Any preemie birth can be very damaging, and after spending weeks around NICU and years with preemie parent groups I know most parents are woefully uninformed about the possible extent and longevity of the consequences, so I get your point. HOWEVER, the alternative isn’t a bucket in a utility closet. What’s wrong with mandating a bit of humane, palliative care – and how sad is it you have to make a law to require that basic decency?

Quisp on August 21, 2008 at 8:42 AM

I have no problem with palliative care – in fact, I’m all for it. I also think doctors should be required to provide certain emergency treatments in the case of a viable infant delivered alive by mistake during an abortion procedure. I am just very wary of any mandates for physicians to do anything that they would otherwise choose not to do in the case of a wanted infant, or any law that effectively causes the state to assume any rights to choice with regard to continuance of care that would otherwise rest with the doctors and the baby’s parents.

Big S on August 21, 2008 at 8:50 AM

I am just very wary of any mandates for physicians to do anything that they would otherwise choose not to do in the case of a wanted infant,

These are people who voluntarily perform abortions. You think their morals/values are being compromised by being “forced” to provide some care?

or any law that effectively causes the state to assume any rights to choice with regard to continuance of care that would otherwise rest with the doctors and the baby’s parents.

Big S on August 21, 2008 at 8:50 AM

There must be a better word than doctor, for someone to takes life.

JiangxiDad on August 21, 2008 at 8:53 AM

[T]he only plausible rationale, to my mind, for this legislation would be if you had a suspicion that a doctor, the attending physician, who has made the assessment that this is a nonviable fetus and that, let’s say for the purposes of the mother’s health, is being — that — that labor is being induced, that that physician (a) is going to make the wrong assessment and (b) if the physician discovered, after the labor had been induced, that, in fact, he made an error, and in fact this was not a nonviable fetus but, in fact, a live child, that the physician, of his own accord or her own accord, would not try to exercise the sort of medical procedures and practices that would be involved in saving that child.–BO

Talk about a legalese run-on sentence!

jgapinoy on August 21, 2008 at 8:54 AM

Barack’ Chickens.

Are coming home.

To Roost.

God Bless Barack Obama for not caring about LIVE Babies?
God Bless Barack Obama?

No, God (Opposite of Bless) Barack Obama!

EJDolbow on August 21, 2008 at 8:48 AM

Yes. This is Mr. “Present,” the guy who never wanted to commit himself on paper to his views. And now the one time he opened his big fat leftist mouth, he got caught. Chickens coming home to roost. God works in mysterious ways, has a sense of humor, and a taste for the jugular.

JiangxiDad on August 21, 2008 at 8:56 AM

What are the chances of a democrat palace coup?

JiangxiDad

They’re looking better everyday.

And I don’t care what other, more moderate, voices might say about this, this man is evil.

thekingtut on August 21, 2008 at 8:57 AM

I am sorry, no one will ever convince me that partial birth is a reasonable procedure. I understand that there are times the baby must be delivered early for the health of the mother and that the baby’s survival is at risk but how does the willful choice of death for the child improve the mother’s health once delivered. We have to be talking mental health here and I have to believe there are other alternatives. People make choices that could impact their mental health everyday, how is the government going to “fix” that. And this is going to sound harsh but if you can make the choice of killing your own viable child I question your mental health to begin with.

Cindy Munford on August 21, 2008 at 8:57 AM

This does nothing more than highlight meaningful facets of the real Obama campaign.

The first is Obama’s abject arrogance that leads him to think that none of these skeletons would be dug up, much less that they would matter to the majority of the voting public. Since nuanced parsing and disingenuous spinning has served him so well in the past he has had no reason to believe that the rules would not change.

Secondly, this shows how little vetting of Obama’s history was done by the DNC to ascertain the weapons-of-mass-destruction that might lay in his past.

Evidence suggest that both Obama and the DNC have severely underestimated the ability of the internet denizens and Google searches to exhume old bones.

Yoop on August 21, 2008 at 9:23 AM

How would treating a live infant threaten the health of the mother?

It would make her uncomfortable emotionally as she realized exactly whom she was trying to kill.

mikeyboss on August 21, 2008 at 9:27 AM

Whoops! Should have read “… rules would not change.”

Yoop on August 21, 2008 at 9:32 AM

Who’s going to be Obama’s Surgeon General, Dr. Mengele?

Obama is a sociopath. Just a sick individual.

NoDonkey on August 21, 2008 at 9:35 AM

I kinda see where Obama is coming from with the “two doctors aren’t necessary” rationale, but I can also see why an aborting doctor might have a, uh, conflict (can’t think of a better word) relative to a surviving fetus.

A second doctor, under such extraordinary circustances, seems entirely appropriate (and it reminds me of the way that infants, in certain legal contexts, have their own court-appointed attorneys).

Infidoll on August 21, 2008 at 9:42 AM

National Right to Life had this to say about the “companion” bills:

The Obama campaign and its apologists are now asserting that the state Born-Alive Infants Protection bill was part of a “package” of bills. This is an obvious attempt to change the subject and avoid prolonged scrutiny of Obama’s record on the sole bill that has been the focus of the national debate, that being the bill that was copied from the federal bill. In 2001-2003, there were various bills in the Illinois Senate that dealt with the procedures to be followed during very late abortions, but those bills each had separate numbers, were each subject to separate amending processes, and were (of course) each voted on separately. The 2003 Illinois Born-Alive Infants Protection bill (SB 1082) could have been passed regardless of what happened to the various abortion bills — and SB 1082 would have passed the Illinois Senate in 2003, if Chairman Obama had not killed it in his committee.

INC on August 21, 2008 at 9:47 AM

Not stupidity, pure evil.

Darth Executor on August 21, 2008 at 9:49 AM

How would treating a live infant threaten the health of the mother?

It would make her uncomfortable emotionally as she realized exactly whom she was trying to kill.

mikeyboss on August 21, 2008 at 9:27 AM

I do not know who asked you that question but it makes my blood boil.

The baby is extracted or forced to come out of the mother THEN killed or let to die.

If the “health of the mother” were really a concern why kill the baby?

EJDolbow on August 21, 2008 at 9:56 AM

That’s the most idiotic argument I’ve ever heard. He doesn’t want to pass the bill because he believes doctors are doing this anyway even though the very reason the bill was even considered is because doctors aren’t doing that anyway.

He couldn’t have done better than that?

We can’t let this lightweight have the most powerful office in the world.

Esthier on August 21, 2008 at 9:59 AM

jim m on August 20, 2008 at 6:41 PM

jim m on August 21, 2008 at 8:44 AM

jim m, you forgot to provide a link. Whenever you quote, you should do so in order for us to see the source.

I solved the problem by doing a search on some of your key phrases.

You’re spouting Media Matters.

INC on August 21, 2008 at 10:00 AM

To register a vote in the Illinois General Assembly, lawmakers have a choice of three buttons on their desk. The “yes” button is green. The “no” button is red, and the “present” button is yellow, says Rich Miller, who writes and publishes The Capitol Fax, a daily newsletter and blog on Illinois politics.

“There’s a saying in Springfield that there’s a reason why the present button is yellow,” Miller says.

In the Illinois senate, Obama voted “present” 130 times. Bet he’s kicking himself for not voting present on this one.

Rod on August 21, 2008 at 10:07 AM

To merely allow an infant to die a slow, cold, hungry death in a linen closet is inhuman. To publicly advocate the practice goes beyond that.

Think_b4_speaking on August 21, 2008 at 10:28 AM

Obama, looking out for the weakest in our society.

jukin on August 21, 2008 at 11:08 AM

I would love to see one of these TV pundits just come right out and say that that Obama is for female hosts of fetuses (cant call them Mothers yet)having total control of the fate of the unborn at any stage of development, and that their decision is irrevocable even if the child is accidentally “born”.

If this is the case, then why have doctors performing “partial birth abortions” go through all the hassle of forcing almost complete breech births so that the baby is not yet “born alive” before killing it, as if the actual emergence from the birth canal somehow transforms a fetus to a child. (Remember, Obama was also against the law banning partial birth abortions.) What if a partial birth abortion is botched, and the head accidentially comes out before the final act of severing the brainstem is complete? What then?

I suppose viability is not at issue, its just what the “choice” of the female host of the fetus has determined prior to separation from the host.

Also, I notice the growing liberal outrage to the use of the term “infanticide”. They should look up the term. Infanticide is the practice of killing newborn infants.. “Newborn” means recently or only just born. The law was to protect born alive babies, therefore not protecting born alive infants is promoting the practive of killing born alive infants, aka infanticide.

AverageJoe on August 21, 2008 at 11:38 AM

Obama, looking out for the weakest in our society.

jukin on August 21, 2008 at 11:08 AM

I think he means the weakest who can vote.

jl on August 21, 2008 at 11:38 AM

Is it too late to abort Obama?

Viper1 on August 21, 2008 at 12:01 PM

OBAMA: “..if these children are being born alive, I, at least, have confidence that a doctor who is in that room is going to make sure they’re looked after.”

Oh, what a thoughtful man Obama is. Let’s start a day care for the babies who survive their attempted murder. We’ll call it pay by the hour day care.

What a frickin’ sicko.

Amy Proctor on August 21, 2008 at 12:06 PM

That is, it can turn a viable fetus into an unviable one very quickly.

Big S on August 21, 2008 at 8:30 AM

Reading this made me sick to my stomach. So horrible what people do to babies.

StephC on August 21, 2008 at 12:06 PM

To Big S:

Don’t be so cock-sure about the inability of premature babies to survive! I know of a case of TWINS who were miscarried after 5-1/2 months of gestation, who weighed barely one pound each at birth–and twins usually are smaller and weaker at any stage of development than single fetuses due to having to share nourishment in the womb.

After receiving proper neo-natal care, they were both released from the hospital before there would-be birth date (if they had been carried to term). They are now six years old, a little small for their age, but they walk and talk as normal children.

If Barack Obama had his way, children like them would be six feet under a landfill, pushing up daisies or weeds. He doesn’t want anyone “punished with a baby” (his own words).

Steve Z on August 21, 2008 at 12:09 PM

The issue comes down to this… do you believe that doctors should be allowed to induce birth at borderline viability and deny them care while they gasp for breath for a few hours?

To me this demonstrates the utter lack of humanity in abortion. A human being is viable under the rules of God or Nature (depending on your belief) at the moment of conception. Any procedure to prematurely stomp out that life contradicts what was created or evolved. When a born child is left to die in a bucket, basic human decency dies there too.

JonPrichard on August 21, 2008 at 12:42 PM

How can Hussein look at his two daughters in the eyes and explain this issue to them? The disconnect with these communists is staggering.

leftnomore on August 21, 2008 at 1:02 PM

Who is more defenseless and innocent than an unborn or newborn baby? Basic human decency is dying in this country.

Mulligan on August 21, 2008 at 1:09 PM

Big S on August 21, 2008 at 8:13 AM

Good Lord. You’ve already said a fertilized egg doesn’t have rights. An early fetus doesn’t have rights. Now you’re saying a child that has been born doesn’t have rights?

It’s up to the parent whether the child born alive is killed or not?

That can’t be your position.

Why is it always the people complaining about pro-life zealots who turn out to be zealots themselves? Pro-death ones?

So when, Big S, does the fetus acquire rights – specifically the right to not be killed? High-school graduation?

misterpeasea on August 21, 2008 at 1:17 PM

1. It was unnecessary.

2. It was attached to other bills.

3. It burdened the aborting doctor with additional responsibilities.

4. It was a stealth anti-abortion bill.

There will be more.

Akzed on August 21, 2008 at 1:21 PM

The wording of the question is confusing, that is why the results are mixed.

suzieviews on August 21, 2008 at 1:37 PM

Does anyone think that Obama would have opposed the legislation if it were insurance companies that were denying care to these tots?

rw on August 21, 2008 at 1:49 PM

They get birth and death certificates so it goes on the infant mortality rate.

What do they list on the death certificate as the cause of death? Infanticide? Botched abortion?

electric-rascal on August 21, 2008 at 1:57 PM

misterpeasea on August 21, 2008 at 1:17 PM

I’m not totally on his side, but I think you’re mischaracterizing his position a bit. It’s not that the born-alive child doesn’t have rights. It’s that under normal conditions the physician and parents need to retain the right to determine to what extent treatment is in the best interest of the child. If your 23-weeker has a hole in his heart, multiple level 5 brain bleeds, fluid-filled lungs, an intestine that’s not properly connected yet and his kidneys are failing, you’ve got some hard decisions to make. Big S’s point is that a law mandating emergency interventions for every infant regardless of situation takes those decisions away from the parents and the medical team.

JiangxiDad’s point is also valid, I think, that by initiating the abortion the “parents” have already shown they are not acting in the best interest of the child (regardless of “I don’t have enough money to make it happy” or “I couldn’t stand to have it adopted by someone else” arguments). But spelling out the legalese to differentiate the situations adequately would get pretty tricky and could provide leeway for parents who didn’t like their outcome either way (dead baby, profoundly disabled baby) to sue by pretending they were on the other side of the dividing line.

Quisp on August 21, 2008 at 1:59 PM

The problem is that this assumption has already been proven false. Which is the whole reason why the bill was put forth in the first place.

MarkTheGreat on August 21, 2008 at 8:06 AM

Apparently, you are the one making an assumption. See jim m’s post. If you look past the poor grammar, it appears that leaving a viable infant to die (even after an abortion) was already illegal before the bill, and the allegation made by the nurse could not be substantiated. So, what Obama said made sense. There was no need for this legislation.

Ed and Freddoso need to be careful. It is clear that they oppose Obama and oppose him on abortion, but if they are too zealous in attacking him by attributing positions to him that he did not take, it undermines their credibility across the board.

The reason we all turned away from the main stream media is because we no longer trusted it to be accurate due to its overriding bias. I, for one, think that the righty blogs tend to be more honest than the lefty blogs or the MSM. However, over reaching can damage that reputation.

All jokes aside, Obama did not support infanticide and claiming that he did is not honest.

tommylotto on August 21, 2008 at 1:59 PM

“Obama did not support infanticide and claiming that he did is not honest.”

The hell he didn’t.

It’s been proven so many times it’s not even worth debating.

Barack does exactly what the far left extremists in his party want him to do.

No way Obama ever becomes President of this great nation. No way. This will abort his candidacy and it was never worth saving in the first place.

NoDonkey on August 21, 2008 at 3:25 PM

Good Lord. You’ve already said a fertilized egg doesn’t have rights. An early fetus doesn’t have rights. Now you’re saying a child that has been born doesn’t have rights?

It’s up to the parent whether the child born alive is killed or not?

That can’t be your position.

I’m not saying that a child that has been born has no rights; I’m saying that we shouldn’t mandate certain kinds of care even when a doctor determines, based on his or her knowledge and experience, that a baby will not survive. Newsflash: Doctors “kill” babies, even wanted babies, every day when they make decisions not to continue care because it is determined to be futile. Sure, they could hold out for a few more hours, or keep the baby in neonatal intensive care, but if they think the likelihood of improvement is low and the resources may be needed elsewhere, they move to palliative care (that is, painkillers). In most cases, the parents are consulted somewhere along the line to decide if/when they want to continue care. BAIPA, and bills like it, generally leave a lot of this kind of stuff to interpretation, and therefore open to new kinds of lawsuits against doctors who do not try as hard to save each baby as some outside agency (such as an anti-abortion group) might like. I do not object to it based on the few borderline cases of viable or almost viable infants that it is ostensibly aimed at; instead, I object to it because it fudges its definitions and threatens to alter the standard of care for a much larger number of non-borderline cases that arise far more often, and even in situations not dealing with abortion.

Big S on August 21, 2008 at 4:02 PM

So when, Big S, does the fetus acquire rights – specifically the right to not be killed? High-school graduation?

misterpeasea on August 21, 2008 at 1:17 PM

To answer this question, I think it is legally difficult to guarantee rights to a fetus before viability (somewhere upwards of 22 weeks nowadays), especially if you don’t have the stomach to criminalize the procedure and prosecute women who have abortions. I know this is a moving target, but for me, it’s a reasonable one. I should note that I’d like it to be earlier, but I do not consider a fertilized, implanted egg or an early stage embryo to be worthy of the same rights as you and me (for scientific and religious reasons).

Big S on August 21, 2008 at 4:20 PM

Has anyone noticed the slight of hand that is taking place with this?

It seems like this question has morphed beyond “At what moment does a lump of cells become a person?” We have skillfully tricked into accepting the new premise “When is the lump of cells not a lump of cells?” When it is in 1st grade? When it goes to college? When it gets a show on MSNBC?

We have so undervalued life as a society that we have people legitimately debating whether or not to save a human life. Laws apparently must be created to spur people to action to save a human life simply because a doctor and a woman have decided that a human should die. Is there anyone here that believes that these infants are not people?

Mormon Doc on August 21, 2008 at 4:26 PM

It looks like that point was not lost on others. Sorry for my late entry into “STATE THE OBVIOUS!”

Mormon Doc on August 21, 2008 at 4:27 PM

Big S on August 21, 2008 at 4:20 PM

OK, that sounds at least defensible.

But you know, every single baby would eventually die, without care.

Seems reasonable to me that if the child makes it out of the womb alive, it’s unquestionably a human. And in the case of a parent who has already decided to kill the child, who makes the decision about the born-alive child? An objective 3rd party expert, doctor, basing it on the condition of the child, and nothing else? Because I’d be OK with that.

misterpeasea on August 21, 2008 at 4:35 PM

“When is the lump of cells not a lump of cells?” …When it gets a show on MSNBC?

Far too many lumps of cells have shows already on MSNBC for this to be an acurate criteria.

AverageJoe on August 21, 2008 at 4:51 PM

it always boils down to selfishness. Boy, we sure wouldn’t want anyone’s lifestyle to be inconvenienced would we?

kirkill on August 21, 2008 at 5:59 PM

But you know, every single baby would eventually die, without care.

And of course, every single person dies, so why bother letting anyone live?

logic.

kirkill on August 21, 2008 at 6:01 PM

OK, that sounds at least defensible.

But you know, every single baby would eventually die, without care.

Seems reasonable to me that if the child makes it out of the womb alive, it’s unquestionably a human. And in the case of a parent who has already decided to kill the child, who makes the decision about the born-alive child? An objective 3rd party expert, doctor, basing it on the condition of the child, and nothing else? Because I’d be OK with that.

misterpeasea on August 21, 2008 at 4:35 PM

Although I’m moderately pro-choice, my concerns with BAIPA and similar laws do not really relate to abortions, but to their effects on medical practice. I’m afraid that such laws run substantial risk of creating cases like the Terri Schiavo affair. For a more extensive argument along these lines, look here.

Big S on August 21, 2008 at 6:03 PM

That’s funny: The cherry-cheeked, ermine-swathed potentate, gold crown teetering heavily on his brow, says, “We shall boooooil the baby in oil! But if that baby shall liveth, we shall provide all appropriate emergency medical measures necessary for life. Harrumph!”

Saline, scissors, boiling oil — whatever. It’s all the same when you’re making money, when it’s your living, when you’re a white-collar professional.

flicker on August 21, 2008 at 6:36 PM

I wonder if the highly-educated Obama ever had time to read Philip K. Dick’s “The Prepersons“?

“The whole mistake of the pro-abortion people from the start, he said to himself, was the arbitrary line they drew. An embryo is not entitled to American Constitutional rights and can be killed, legally, by a doctor. But a fetus was a “person”, with rights, at least for a while; and then the pro-abortion crowd decided that even a seven month fetus was not “human” and could be killed, legally, by a licensed doctor. And, one day, a newborn baby – it is a vegetable; it can’t focus its eyes, it understands nothing, not talks… the pro-abortion lobby argued in court, and won, with their contention that a newborn baby was only a fetus expelled by accident or organic processes from the womb. But, even then, where was the line to be drawn finally? When the baby smiled its first smile? When it spoke its first word or reached for its initial time for a toy it enjoyed? The legal line was pushed back and back. And now the most savage and arbitrary definition of all: when it could perform ‘higher math’.” (at age 12)

.

fred5678 on August 21, 2008 at 6:57 PM

“Willfully obtuse or excruciatingly ignorant?” I give up; he’s both. When you don’t know squat, you want to be obtuse about it-especially when you’re a ‘smart’ guy running for public office.

Christine on August 21, 2008 at 7:19 PM

Fox is just as in the tank for 0bama as the rest it seems at least that is all Shep Smith can report on. Run 0bama full ads and then give 5 second McCain response I detest that little prick along with Heraldo.

dhunter on August 21, 2008 at 9:50 PM

This argument would become totally moot if we could get Roe V Wade overturned.

McCain 08!

Fishoutofwater on August 22, 2008 at 2:28 AM