Recognizing the need to protect the life of late-term aborted babies born alive, and yet seeking to preserve a woman’s right to choose, in 2001 the Illinois state legislature proposed a law that would require physicians to “immediately assess the child’s viability” following an abortion. In those cases with a “reasonable likelihood of survival” physicians would be required to care for them just like any other pre-term baby.
The law was hardly controversial. Similar laws had already been passed in state legislatures throughout the country and it practically had universal support within the Illinois Senate, one of the most liberal in the nation. Most thinking human beings understand that late-term abortion is murder and 68% of Americans agree that it should be made illegal. Yet Obama not only refused to ban the procedure, he vehemently maintained that aborted babies born alive should be left to die on the table.
Speaking in front of the Illinois assembly, Obama passionately argued that aborted babies did not deserve “the kinds of protections that would be provided to a child, a nine-month-old child that was delivered to term.” Because they were unwanted by their mother, Obama felt physicians had the right to leave them out in the elements to die like a malformed Spartan child. He described the law as unreasonably “placing a burden on the doctor that says you have to keep alive, even a previable child, as long as possible and give them as much medical attention as is necessary to try to keep that child alive.”
Obama cloaked his objections as concern the law would be used to undermine Roe vs. Wade. On the house floor he declared “it would essentially bar abortions, because the equal protection clause does not allow somebody to kill a child, and if this is a child, then this would be an antiabortion statute. For that purpose, I think it would probably be found unconstitutional.” Well, the statute wasn’t found unconstitutional and to this day is the law of the land in Illinois and many other states.
Obama’s legal sentiment was disingenuous at best, especially for a law school lecturer. An amendment to the Illinois bill, which had already been attached when Obama gave his statement, made it clear that a woman’s right to choose as guaranteed by Roe vs. Wade would be not be affected and the language was in line with a federal ban that had already passed constitutional muster. Even with those protections in place and with overwhelming support by the Illinois public and legislature, Obama not only refused to vote for the bill, he didn’t even have the guts to vote against it choosing instead to vote “present” with 12 of his spineless colleagues who didn’t want to be permanently branded baby killers by the American public as they so richly deserved.
Later on in his political career when it was starting to become apparent that his far outside the mainstream position on refusing healthcare to born alive children could be harmful to his political ambitions, Obama flat out lied about his past:
…I hate to say that people are lying, but here’s a situation where folks are lying. I have said repeatedly that I would have been completely in, 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. What that bill also was doing was trying to undermine Roe vs. Wade.