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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Ann Althouse on Obama and the Born Alive Infant Protection Act.

First a little background:

From a commenter on the Althouse blog named David Walser:
A nurse working at a suburban Chicago hospital observed a late-term abortion being performed. The procedure was to induce delivery. The assumption was, given the development of the fetus, the delivery would result in a "still born" child/fetus. The fetus was a little more developed than assumed and the child/fetus was not still born; it was alive. It tried to breathe. It struggled and writhed. It was placed in a utility closet and allowed to die.

The nurse, went to the hospital administration. The administration refused to do anything about the practice. (Between 10% - 15% of late-term abortions of this type result in a "live" birth.) The nurse went to the Il Attorney General who investigated as said that no laws were broken, so he could not get involved. The nurse went to the state legislature, which where then State Senator Obama comes into the picture.

At about the same time, Congress got involved. Congress first considered a bill that would "clarify" that any "child" that showed signs of life and was entirely outside its mother was a "person" and had legal rights. Some objected that the bill, as worded, might give some credence to the notion that an unborn fetus might also have legal rights. A "neutrality clause" was added to the address this question and the bill passed without a single nay vote in either house of Congress.

In Illinois, the same things happened in the same order, but with a different end result. A bill was introduced. Some objected that the bill could be used to restrict abortion rights. A neutrality clause was added. Obama, who was chair of the committee overseeing the bill, killed the bill.

With this explanation of the bill, people who are pro-life are accusing Obama of favoring infanticide if a botched abortion delivers a live baby. Very few “pro-choice” advocates would commit to the position that it is OK to kill a baby that is accidentally delivered after it leaves the mother’s womb. After all, the “choice” part was always about “my body, my choice.” When the baby is no longer part of “your body” that argument no longer applies.

Here is a video shwoing Obama's response.

So what's the truth?

Here's more from the Althouse blog...

Here's a recent news article from the Catholic News Agency that, I think a lot of pro-lifers would find and read with trust:

Sen. Barack Obama has repeatedly insisted that he opposed the passage of an Illinois law that would protect infants who survive an abortion on the grounds that it lacked a “neutrality clause.” However, Obama’s explanation was undermined when the National Right to Life Committee revealed “smoking gun” evidence showing that a neutrality clause had in fact been added to the Illinois bill by the same Obama-chaired state Senate committee which quickly voted down the amended bill.
Click on the link for the rest.

Althouse makes the point that Obama does not offer specifics about the bill and his reasons for voting against it, he tells us to take him at his word:

Now, I think his anger is not helpful to his case. He's been asked a civil question by Rick Warren — this is just after the Saddleback Forum — and has an opportunity to reach the very people who are being stirred up by those who are going around saying he voted in favor of infanticide. He should have explained clearly why the Born Alive Infant Protection Act was not what his opponents say it was. I can understand why he's angry at those who present it in a form that makes him look monstrous, but the only workable remedy is to convince us to believe his interpretation of the law — and at least to teach us exactly what it was. He was a law professor. He should be able to bring us along so we can all understand.

In this video clip, all he does is vouch for his own interpretation and demand that we accept it. This is like the way he insists that we not "question his patriotism" when what we're doing — some of us — is trying to learn about and process some things we have questions about. It's delusional to think that millions of people will obey a command to put this behind us. We want to know the details of his relationship with former terrorist Bill Ayers. We want to know the details of the text of the Born Alive Infant Protection Act and the politics that surrounded it. The campaign season, for many Americans, is just getting started. It won't do to get pissed off and say that you've already explained this and we need to move on. Move on to what? These are the questions that concern us! And you won't deign to answer.

Why is a law like this necessary? Would not medical ethics require the baby to be cared for? Apparently not, because that's not what happened. And then there's the legal aspect...

Sloanasaurus said...

If you have a million abortions a year, there has to be situations that occur where the doctor screws up and the baby is actually born alive (maybe the doctor didn't properly kill the baby in the womb). Statistically this is going to happen. So if it happens, what do you do about it. The key to the NY Times respose is that any "ethical" doctor would attempt to save the baby's life. Don't be so sure. What if the doctor doesn't beleive that a 22 month [correction 22 week. ed.] fetus is a baby?

Moreover, if there were no set rules, the doctor could get sued for letting the fetus live, because the procedure was supposed to be an abortion of a non person not a birth of a baby. Moreover, who pays for trying to take care of a 23 week non-person that wasn't wanted? Certainly the woman's insurance company could claim they won't pay for it and argue that its not a person. A doctor on the hook could be motivated to "finish the job."

This is why we need a clear law to tell people what to do. The ethics are unclear because people disagree on whether a 22 month [week] fetus is a person. Thus, we can have a law telling people to care for the 22 month [week] fetus, without defining the fetus as a person.

That is the law Obama voted against.

And here's still another explantion by Obama: saving born alive babies is the wrong thing to do when the decision has been made to kill them.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The first thing that comes to mind, after disbelief that anyone could be this callous, is if there was already a law in place to protect babies aborted alive, so as Obama says this law was redundant, why was this infant left to die. That would be illegal.
His own words that it would be "burdensome" to have a doctor come and save this child is unbelievable.
In his response to the nine year old who asked him why he is running for President he said that that this nation is no longer what it once was, or could be. So not trying to save an infant born alive after a botched abortion would make this country better? Should we ask him how he feels about euthanasia?