Obama and the “Born Alive” Bill

Justin Taylor has a post tracking the record of Barack Obama’s opposition to what is known as the “born alive” bill, which seeks the legal protection of babies who survive abortion procedures. It states:

A live child born as a result of an abortion shall be fully recognized as a human person and accorded immediate protection under the law.

See more information about it here.

One of Obama’s arguments against the bill starts on page 31 of this document. On page 33 he makes the point that the bill doesn’t make sense for a doctor, who has honored the decision of the woman and is carrying out the procedure, to be obligated to follow protocol that would in effect “burden” the decision of the woman and his intent to abort the fetus.

Obama is certainly justified to point out this moral confusion, but does it follow from this confusion that the child has no right to live? Unbelievably, Obama states that this bill “ultimately is about abortion and not live births” as if there were some sort of disconnection between the two. What we are left with is the ghastly prospect of infanticide. If a child is showing signs of viability, but is not legally ensured medical treatment to maintain that viability as to not put undue burden on the woman and the abortionist it follows that viable children are left to die.

I know it is unfashionable to focus on abortion in this day of age, but the likes of this is absolutely extreme. The fact is there is no reason to believe based on his record, that Obama is representative of bi-partisan, bridge-building “change we can believe in.”

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10 thoughts on “Obama and the “Born Alive” Bill

  1. This flies in the face of the new rhetorical game, whereby one claims to be pro-life, whilst being also pro-choice, and defending these cognitively dissonant assertions by citing one’s support for the REAL solution to abortion, which is (insert pet cause here).

    Abortion is infanticide. Obama supports the legalized murder of human beings, no matter how handsome or black he may be.

  2. The talking points about how abortion is a religious issue, how it shouldn’t be made a litmus test, and how it is unresolvable are simply dodges of the real question at hand: do human beings have the right to life? It never ceases to amaze me that reflective people somehow convince themselves into thinking that such a question doesn’t matter. Even this piece of legislation where there seems to be a clear answer to that question falls victim to same mentalities.

  3. The problem is that this issue became a wholly owned subsidiary of a major political party. People have to rationalize it, or they can’t justify voting for Democrats, which they are otherwise inclined to do. Who wants to say “my vote helped murder babies! Aren’t I the dickens?”

    Of course, this is also why it is unfashionable to bring it up, especially in such stark terms. Once you have established that the procedure results in human death (as empirical events suggests), any substantive argument has ended. What you are left with is either screamy hysterics (see: college student, female) or meandering piffle (see: Obama, Barack). People hate both hysterics and piffle, so they blame the precipitating event, that being (natch) the uncouth dolt who had the temerity to broach the subject to begin with.

    This high stakes game of “don’t ask, don’t tell” has an insidiously corrosive effect on our nations’ ethical norms. If the underlying assumptions necessary to mount a defense of legal abortion are not disputed, irrespective of the ability to change policy, we run the risk that an opportunist might cast those assumption on other circumstances. For a tutorial, I heartily recommend the “Deadly Science” exhibit coming to the Science Museum.

    This is why abortion is accurately deemed a “moral” issue, while (for example) Social Security reform is not.

  4. Now that I have a son, any time I think about abortion I am moved to tears of sorrow and rage. To argue that a human being is only tissue and can be disposed for the mother’s convenience is absurd at best.

    I find myself fantasizing of personally aborting abortion doctors and “progressive” legislators. They’re still only tissue right?

  5. of course, i am predisposed to be compassionate to senator obama, most likely, but i did read through his actual words from the senate floor and did not see that he was against the bill in the way you suggest, or the ways the conservative blogosphere has portrayed it. particularly on page 33, his comments seem to suggest a nuanced understanding of the bill’s potential to withstand challenge in the judicial system. he also points out the specific requirement of having an additional doctor present to determine the viability of the fetus (which he repeatedly calls “the child”) and also to have a second doctor on hand to provide support does the abortion fail. the argument that he is making is that these requirements are not in spirit there to protect a infant born alive following an attempted abortion, but rather to make the procedure more difficult.

    i think that particular conversation, however, is morally revolting on the level that none of the speakers involved could seem to stick with a term for the infant – the very inability to determine what to call it seems to suggest the weakness in the right to choose arguments. (i.e. feminists outraged at all of the aborted baby girls in india unable to say “fetus that would have been a female” or something equalivalent)

    i will note that he didn’t officially vote against it but voted “present” – sucks to be beholden to the democratic party sometimes. he sure wouldn’t be a candidate for president if he’d voted for that bill.

  6. It is true that Obama’s argument is a pragmatic one based on constitutional/medical grounds rather than moral ones based on human status. He does not argue in such a way that asserts the moral permissiveness of infanticide, but he fails to understand the difference between life inside the womb and outside. One of the more logical pro-choice arguments is that the fetus is said to be on “life support” in the mother and the mother has the right to “pull the plug” (see David Boonin). But if the fetus survives the abortion it is no longer on “life support.” The arguments of human personhood become gravely relevant and the legal premises of Roe v. Wade become substantially weakened. To deny the right to life to the surviving fetus result in infanticide.

    Obama did vote “present” in 2001 but the text I have cited is from 2002 where he voted “no” against it (see Taylor’s post).

    For a more penetrating analysis of his argument see Parableman’s post: http://parablemania.ektopos.com/archives/2008/02/obama-and-infan.html

  7. “i will note that he didn’t officially vote against it but voted “present””

    “Obama did vote “present” in 2001 but the text I have cited is from 2002 where he voted “no” against it (see Taylor’s post).”

    Call it his Pontius Pilate phase.

  8. Anthony Fox says:

    I myself am I moderate on Abortion. I feel you should have the right to have one in the first two trimesters for any reason, and only an abortion in the third if the health of the mother is seriously at risk. But even if someone is radically Pro-Choice, they should not vote for Obama. The difference between a Fetus (part of a woman’s body) and a Baby (not apart of a woman’s body) is based on location. Ounce the child is no longer in the womb, it is a sovereign person with human rights. To deny medical service to a viable human being is a gross abuse of human rights. Obama has not even been elected yet and he’s already a war criminal. I’m still not 100% convinced that Obama did not support this bill in the Illinois state Sentate. It seems too unbelievable. I’ve read over some of documents, but it just seems too unreal. If I could have some way of confirming this story, that he definetely will NOT get my vote. Why hasn’t the major media reported this story? Not even Fox News has touched it! That’s why I’m still not 100% convinced.

  9. Anthony Fox says:

    The person who championed the bill in the Illinois Senate was a nurse named Jill Stanek. Stanek is also a radical Pro-Life activist. She has proposed opening up an Abortion Museum in Wichita to rival the Holocaust Museum in Juruseulum. Obama may have been justifiably concerned that this was some sort of back-door way to outlaw all Abortions by defining Fetuses as Humans. It now seems very complicated.

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