Obama is no moderate: His radical position on 'abortion' after birth

Is he as moderate in deed as in word? Apparently not, at least judging by his record on a key sanctity-of-life issue. It is beyond extreme; it is jarring.

us special 2 224 (photo credit: )
us special 2 224
(photo credit: )
Opinion Recently, Hillary Clinton presciently warned that she would be the best Democrat presidential candidate because she's already been "vetted." Now, that's not necessarily a good thing for Mrs. Clinton considering her (and her husband's) checkered past. But she does have a point when it comes to Barack Obama, the new, fresh, moderate-sounding, wildly popular-and largely uninvestigated-frontrunner candidate. And, as it turns out, pro-abortion radical. We all know Obama's style, his regal, visionary bearing, his above-the-fray persona, his inspired - and, give him his due, inspiring - performances, his "Audacity of Hope," and his hypnotic, upbeat, unifying message. He is skilled. If we were voting for a chief motivational speaker or a political "American Idol," even I'd be on the bandwagon. But for a candidate for Chief Executive, Commander-in-Chief of the US military, and leader of the free world, we need more. We need some record or some history. His soaring rhetoric aside, it's long-past the time to ask: just who is this guy? What's at his core? Where is his moral compass? Do we share the same basic values? Is he as moderate in deed as in word? Apparently not, at least judging by his record on a key sanctity-of-life issue. It is beyond extreme; it is jarring. Reasonable people may differ in their opinions regarding abortion and thorny questions of precisely when life begins. Jewish doctrine, with its focus on the health of the mother, may differ from Christian or other religious positions over the circumstances under which abortion may be permitted. But once a baby is born, even prematurely, there is across-the-board agreement that a new human life exists. Certainly, there is no longer any threat to the health of the mother. Abortion is no longer an option, as there is no longer a pregnancy to terminate. So, what are we to make of Obama's votes against protecting the right to life for living babies who have survived attempted abortions? Such babies are sometimes born alive as a result of late-term induced labor abortions, often sought when babies are believed (sometimes in error) to have genetic defects such as Down syndrome. Earlier this decade, such living, breathing, babies who survived labor were "shelved" - left to die and disposed of with other medical waste, or were "aborted" - killed outside the womb. The practice was ultimately banned by unanimous Congressional votes, as even the most pro-abortion Senate Democrats - including every defender of partial-birth abortion - recognized that killing these breathing babies is no longer abortion in any real sense. It crosses the line; it is infanticide. Yet, incredibly, Obama repeatedly worked to deny these living babies any right to life. Jill Stanek, an Illinois nurse, testified in the US Congress in 2000 and 2001 - and before Obama's Illinois Senate Judiciary Committee - about how induced labor abortions were handled at her hospital, relating this story: "One night, a nursing co-worker was taking an aborted Down syndrome baby who was born alive to our Soiled Utility Room because his parents did not want to hold him, and she did not have the time to hold him. I couldn't bear the thought of this suffering child lying alone in a Soiled Utility Room, so I cradled and rocked him for the 45 minutes that he lived." Powerful stuff. Obama, however, was reportedly "unfazed" by her testimony. Various state and federal attempts ensued to curb the gruesome practice, including the federal Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, passed unanimously by both the House and Senate in 2002 (It did not immediately become law.) In essence, these acts state that, whether wanted or not, once a baby is fully born, it is recognized as fully human and is entitled to equal protection of the law under the 14th Amendment. Even pro-abortion Democrats supported the BAIPA because it contained explicit language that it would not infringe on any abortion rights. Democrat Barbara Boxer, arguably the Senate's most zealous pro-choice advocate, agreed that, with this language, the "amendment certainly does not attack Roe v. Wade." But not Obama. In March of 2001, Obama's Illinois Judiciary Committee considered a law substantially identical to the BAIPA. It passed the Committee, with Obama voting against. In front of the full Illinois Senate, Obama was the only senator to speak against the bill, arguing that life protection extended to any (!) preterm babies (ponder that) could jeopardize abortion rights. He voted "present," tantamount to a "no" vote. In March of 2002, Obama's Committee passed the Induced Birth Liability Act, requiring medical care for babies who survive induced labor abortions - Obama again voting "present," arguing that the Act would "create one more burden on women, and I can't support that." In 2003, the Democrats took control of the Illinois Senate, and Obama became Chairman of the Health and Human Services Committee. A Committee member sponsored an Amendment that would adopt the exact same language in Illinois's proposed BAIPA that Senator Boxer was satisfied did not curtail any abortion rights in the federal BAIPA. But as Chairman, Obama unilaterally killed the bill by never allowing a Committee vote, thereby preventing it from being voted on by the full Senate and becoming law. Obama's position essentially boils down to this: a woman who contracts for an abortion is entitled, one way or another, to a dead baby. A dead baby must result, even if that baby had already been a distinct living being. The killing of some live babies is just part of the price we must pay in order to keep the sacred right to an abortion supreme and absolute, beyond any shadow of a doubt. What kind of principle is this? What core value is Obama expressing? What extremist doctrine or interest is he defending? And how doctrinaire must one be to defend actual infanticide? This goes well beyond any reasonable advocacy of a woman's "right to choose;" it attacks a living baby's right to life. His position is not simply "pro-choice;" it is radically anti-life. It is, in fact, pro-death. Whatever one may make of the doctrines of his America-bashing, anti-Israel, Farrakhan-honoring pastor (or why a "uniter" would belong to his church for over 20 years), Obama professes to be a practicing Christian; so, what in the life-affirming Judeo-Christian value system could possibly give license to kill live babies? In the coming years, the United States Supreme Court is likely to decide landmark cases dealing with life-sanctity issues of eugenics, euthanasia, and abortion. Is mainstream, centrist America ready to put Court appointments in the hands of a far-left candidate with such a radical, ghoulish record? Perhaps most disappointing is that Obama's handling of the issue suggests he is actually just another slippery politician - more "spin" than substance. For all the supposed integrity he projects, Obama has not even shown the courage to honestly defend his votes. In 2004, during a campaign debate, Republican US Senate candidate Alan Keyes challenged Obama on his opposition to the 2003 Illinois BAIPA. Obama replied: "At the federal level there was a similar bill that passed because it had an amendment saying this does not encroach on Roe v. Wade. I would have voted for that bill." What a marvelously Clintonian answer! As noted above, that language did not make it into the Illinois bill because Obama himself blocked It. Now that is first-rate Audacity. But it doesn't inspire much Hope. The writer is Counsel to Republicans Abroad Israel