Life is not a gift a politician can grant. It is a right, guaranteed under the Constitution. Barack Obama voted against saving the lives of babies born alive after attempted abortions. The baby he specifically was being asked to consider was a baby boy with Down syndrome. Mr. Obama voted NO. Senator Barack Obama and his campaign staff have made many conflicting claims in an attempt to "explain" his opposition in 2001, 2002, and 2003, while an Illinois state senator, to the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, legislation to provide legal protection for babies who are born alive during abortions. The language of the Illinois bills was very similar to the language of the federal Born-Alive Infants Protection Act (BAIPA), which was first introduced in Congress in 2000 and enacted into law in 2002. For much more extensive documentation on the Obama record on this issue, see http://www.nrlc.org/ObamaBAIPA/index.... Assertion: On many occasions beginning in 2004, and as recently as August 13, 2008, Obama and his official spokespersons said that Obama opposed Illinois BAIPA because it lacked a 1 sentence "neutrality clause" that was added to the federal BAIPA before it was enacted, and that he would have voted for the federal bill (if he had been a U.S. senator when it passed) because it contained the "neutrality clause." This "neutrality clause" read as follows: "Nothing in this section [that is, the entire bill] shall be construed to affirm, deny, expand, or contract any legal status or legal right applicable to any member of the species homo sapiens at any point prior to being born alive as defined in this section." Obama said that such a clause prevented the federal law from conflicting with Roe v. Wade. The Obama campaign asserted "there are major differences in state and federal bills, including the fact that the federal bill included a neutrality clause." Response: In the first place, the original federal BAIPA introduced in 2000 was only two sentences long it merely defined as a legal person any human, "at any stage of development," who achieves "the complete expulsion or extraction from its mother" and then shows signs of life (heartbeat, breathing, or "definite movement of voluntary muscles"). This bill, which received initial approval from the U.S. House of Representatives 380-15 in late 2000, said nothing in either direction about the legal status of a human prior to birth. Therefore the "neutrality clause," added in 2001, simply made explicit what had originally been clear if implicit that this bill dealt only with the rights of babies who had already been born alive. Obama insisted that the purported lack of a "neutrality clause" in the state BAIPA was all-important. NRLC uncovered, and publicly released on August 11, 3 documents that proved that on March 13, 2003 Obama, as chairman of the Illinois Senate Health and Human Services Committee, actually presided over a committee meeting at which the original state BAIPA (SB 1082) was revised to make it virtually identical to the federal law including the addition of exactly the same "neutrality clause." Yet, immediately after that change was made, Obama voted against the amended bill, and it was defeated on a party-line vote, 6-4. In other words, Obama led the way in killing a bill that was virtually identical to the federal law the federal law that, since 2004, he has insisted he would have voted for if hed had the chance. Obamas campaign continued to misrepresent these events. For example, on August 13, they submitted to the Chicago Tribune a chart that purported to contrast the "2003 Legislation That Obama Opposed" with the "Federal Legislation That Obama Would Have Supported" this chart falsely claimed that the "neutrality clause" was a "failed amendment, not included in final legislation." On August 16, when David Brody of CBN News asked Obama (on camera) about the NRLC charges, Obama said that we were "lying." He repeated his claim that he would have been "fully in support of the federal bill that everybody supported which was to say that you should provide assistance to any infant that was born even if it was as a consequence of an induced abortion. That was not the bill that was presented at the state level."
On August 25, the independent group FactCheck.org (www.factcheck.org) issued a review of this question that concluded, "Obamas claim is wrong. In fact, by the time the HHS Committee voted on the bill, it did contain language identical to the federal act. . . . The documents from the NRLC support the groups claims that Obama is misrepresenting the contents of SB 1082."
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