There’s not much new here if you read Ed’s post two days ago, but since Freddoso wrote the book on this — literally — it’s worth hearing him tell the story in his own words. Of all the ways in which The One has pandered to try to capture the center, his abortion makeover is the most cynical. The DNC announced today that Bob Casey will speak on Tuesday night at the convention to give him extra cover on the subject and they’ve tweaked the platform to let pro-lifers knows that their concerns are valid and appreciated, although not quite valid enough to stop the party from nominating a guy who thinks live-born mis-aborted fetuses should be left for dead. This goes back to one of my early posts about Doug Kmiec’s starry-eyed spin of Obama’s abortion position: You’re supposed to give him a pass, at least vis-a-vis McCain, because he’s willing to respectfully hear abortion opponents out even while he votes to the left of Hillary Clinton on the issue. Here’s Freddoso, addressing Obama’s floor statement (which is quoted in the piece) during the debate in the Illinois senate:
The absurd conclusion of Obama’s argument is hard to miss. He implies that “pre-viable” babies born prematurely, even without abortions, are somehow less “persons” than are babies who undergo nine months’ gestation before birth.
But even this is not the most important part of his argument. That would be his first sentence — the one about “caring for fetuses or children who were delivered in this fashion.” He seems open to this idea. And he does not state explicitly that a pre-viable, premature baby is not a “person.” Rather, he is arguing that the question of their personhood is a moot point. Even if the state should perhaps provide care for these babies, any recognition of their personhood might threaten someone’s right to an abortion somewhere down the road. That made the bill unacceptable to him.
In other words, even if a pre-viable baby is born alive during a botched abortion and is considered a “person,” the state still shouldn’t require doctors to treat it lest some wingnut judge seize on the idea to try to extend “personhood” to unborn fetuses still in the womb. Note that the Illinois bill explicitly addressed this concern by limiting itself to “born” fetuses so that it couldn’t be used in this way as anti-Roe precedent. Not good enough for Obama. But say this for him: His liberal logic is consistent. If the mother’s intent is to abort and the baby somehow survives the procedure, why should its stroke of luck (or the doctor’s negligence) thwart her “choice”? She came there to kill it, she has a constitutional right to kill it, so she gets to kill it. Anything less would be insufficiently “progressive.” Exit question: Never mind how Obama voted — how’d they get 40+ Democratic senators to oppose this?