Obama campaign, Obama disagree on born-alive protection vote

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The New York Sun reports that Sen. Barack Obama's campaign has confirmed that the Illinois Born-Alive Infant Protection Act (BAIPA), which, as an Illinois State Senator and committee chairman, Obama voted to kill, had the same language as the federal bill which Obama claims he would have supported. The federal BAIPA passed the U. S. Senate by a 98-0 vote in 2002. The Illinois bill was killed in the Health and Human Services Committee after it was amended to include the same "neutrality clause" contained in the federal law.

Sen. Obama appears not to have gotten the memo from his campaign staff:

The dispute flared again last week when a leading opponent of legalized abortion, the National Right to Life Committee, posted records from the Illinois Legislature showing that Mr. Obama, while chairman of a Senate committee, in 2003, voted against a "Born Alive" bill that contained nearly identical language to the federal bill that passed unanimously, including the provision limiting its scope.

The group says the documents prove Mr. Obama misrepresented his record.

Indeed, Mr. Obama appeared to misstate his position in the CBN interview on Saturday when he said the federal version he supported "was not the bill that was presented at the state level."

His campaign yesterday acknowledged that he had voted against an identical bill in the state Senate, and a spokesman, Hari Sevugan, said the senator and other lawmakers had concerns that even as worded, the legislation could have undermined existing Illinois abortion law. Those concerns did not exist for the federal bill, because there is no federal abortion law.

Sevugan's statement makes the eleventh reason Obama or his surrogates have given for his vote against protection for infants who survive an attempted abortion.

Jill Stanek, the Illinois nurse who pushed for the bill because she witnessed infants being shelved to die after surviving an abortion, writes:

While the Obama campaign tonight finally admitted Obama has misrepresented his Born Alive vote all these years, it had the audacity to offer a ludicrous excuse, an excuse Obama himself contradicted only 24 hours ago, as he has for years, that "I would have been completely in, fully in support of the federal bill that everybody supported."

(Hat tip: Dawn Eden.)

MORE: Via Kevin McCullough, Rick Warren wasn't satisfied with Barack Obama's "above my pay grade" answer to Warren's question, "At what point does a baby get human rights?"

No. I think he needed to be more specific on that. I happen to disagree with Barack on that. Like I said, he's a friend. But to me, I would not want to die and get before God one day and go, 'Oh, sorry, I didn't take the time to figure out' because if I was wrong then it had severe implications to my leadership if I had the ability to do something about it. He should either say, 'No scientifically, I do not believe it's a human being until X' or whatever it is or to say, 'Yes, I believe it is a human being at X point,' whether it's conception or anything else. But to just say 'I don't know' on the most divisive issue in America is not a clear enough answer for me.

Warren also challenges the notion that evangelicals are leaving behind the issue of the sanctity of human life:

That's why to say that evangelicals are a monolith is a myth, but the other thing is that you've been hearing a lot of the press talk about 'Well, evangelicals are changing, they're now interested in poverty and disease and illiteracy, and all the stuff I've been talking about for five years now. And I have been seeding that into the evangelical movement and it's getting picked up and a lot of people are talking about doing humanitarian efforts. But I really think it's wishful thinking on a lot of people who think they're going to drop the other issues. They're not leaving pro-life, I'm just trying to expand the agenda....

Don Surber says "above my pay grade" was a "staff sergeant's answer to a general's question."

Not only that, it's a staff sergeant's answer to a "Why?" question. The staff sergeant would be able to answer a "When?" question. "Above my pay grade" means the establishment of that policy was made by a Higher Authority; I can't change it, but I can tell you what it is, and I can carry it out. That makes me wonder just what Higher Authority set the policy that Barack Obama is following. I'm pretty sure that on this issue, for Obama, the Higher Authority isn't the God addressed in Psalm 139.

STILL MORE: Get Religion is a blog that examines the mainstream media's coverage of religion. Terry Mattingly notices that Warren asked Obama a political/legal question regarding recognition of human rights; Obama's defenders in the commentariat are treating it as a moral/religious question.

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3 Comments

Pamela said:

They had to acknowledge it when the nurse that testified at the hearings debating this bill. She was the one that held the aborted baby that was determined to have Down's Syndrome. She was interviewed on Sean Hannity's radio program last Friday. He planned to feature this over the weekend on Hannity's America. The Right To Life folk I heard released the text of the bill and is also exposing the lies that Obama has told all along. I'm sure other pro-life people have researched this as well.

I hope and pray that people start paying attention to the overwhelming exposure of the lies that he has been caught in all these months.

Jeff Shaw Author Profile Page said:

You know, this doesn't even have to be a religious issue, which in some cases, makes it a more divisive issue. The question is: "at what point does a baby get human rights?"

Its a great question, and its also pretty straightforward. I agree with Mr. Warren on this one: a presidential candidate should be able to answer it.

MANY unfortunate and some irresponsible men and women below Mr. Obama's pay grade are making the decisions on when a baby gets human rights. It's rather silly to think that the first trimester is any different than the third if you are making a developmental argument, especially since humans don't really stop developing until we are in our 20's. There has to be a bright line point at which life begins. We know scientifically the bright line is conception, not some arbitrary developmental stage.

Morally, that's where human rights should start. It's an easy answer. The conception line does create problems for people who have made some poor choices, but the answer for that is the moral obligation called responsibility.

W. said:

Eric Zorn of the Chicago Tribune has just done a lot of heavy lifting on this issue:

http://blogs.chicagotribune.com/news_columnists_ezorn/2008/08/bornalive.html

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on August 18, 2008 1:05 PM.

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