Barack Obama has decided to respond to Gianna Jessen’s powerful ad on his opposition to a bill that would have protected the lives of infants born from botched abortions. In essence, he accuses John McCain of lying, when the record speaks so clearly that Obama’s campaign had to admit they lied about his position on the Illinios version of the Born Alive Infant Protection Act. This has produced a hysterical reaction from Team O that pretty much has become a One-Note Charlie when responding to any criticism:
John McCain’s Attacks: “the sleaziest ads ever”, “truly vile”. Now, votes taken out of context accusing Obama of letting infants die? It’s a despicable lie.
Even the bill’s Republican sponsor said it’s untrue. Obama’s always supported medical care to protect infants.
McCain? He’s running on a platform to ban abortion, even in cases of rape and incest. Sleazy ads. Anti-choice. That’s John McCain.
The record here is very, very clear. Obama initially said that he opposed the bill in Illinois because it didn’t have the “neutrality clause” included in the federal version of the legislation. As documentation proved, Obama voted against it even with the neutrality clause added. The Obama campaign finally acknowledged that Obama had lied about his position a month ago. Why? Because it would have actually forced doctors to provide care for live infants from abortions — or in other words, it would have worked.
Obama attempts an end run around this by making the issue about abortions. It isn’t. Babies born alive from abortions got left in laundry rooms to die, a practice exposed by Jill Stanek, a nurse at Christ Hospital in the Chicago area. A subsequent investigation showed that as many as 20% of all late-term abortions resulted in live births — and that abortionists routinely allowed the infants to die by denying them normal medical attention. That was the entire reason the issue came before the Illinois legislature, but Obama reacted by denying the problem existed:
[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.
As I wrote at the time, 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.
This bill did nothing to prevent abortions. It would have acted to protect live infants resulting from unsuccessful abortions — real children who were being murdered through neglect in Illinois. Barack Obama protected abortionists rather than the helpless infants that were being killed. That’s the record, and Obama cannot run away from it.
Update: Of course, I missed one important point: the Jessen ad wasn’t put out by McCain at all. Obama’s swinging at the wrong critic here. Why doesn’t Obama call Jessen a liar?
Update II: Here’s the audio of Obama making the argument in opposition to protecting live infants born of abortions: