Saturday, January 21, 2012

obama and abortion

This election is about the economy, and I am gathering my thoughts to tackle that complex issue. I know no one is paying attention to abortion this time around, except for conservatives who don't like that Romney used to be pro-choice.

But, on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, I can't help but bring up Obama's record on abortion because it raises several huge red flags. In this single issue, Obama shows himself for the radical he is (more protective of abortion rights than any other national politician), unwilling to tell the truth about it, and pathologically accuse those who reported the truth on his record of "lying," all the while knowing that it was he, not they, who lied.

Obama has eloquently stated that "no one is pro-abortion," an attempt to distance himself from the moral implications of a practice that is becoming increasingly difficult to defend as medical technology advances and 1) makes unborn babies viable at earlier ages and 2) provides clear photographic evidence that unborn babies are not just masses of cells, but tiny humans who feel pain. Yet Obama has gone further than any politician in fighting limits on abortion, even when it meant dispensing with basic humane treatment of dying babies.

When he was a state senator, Chicago nurses came forward and testified that they had found babies that had survived an abortion attempt thrown into soiled linen closets and left to die. The state immediately tried to enact legislation to stop this, hoping to mandate comfort care to babies born alive after a failed abortion. Obama found such care too threatening to the right to choose, and not only voted against the bill, but railed against it on the floor of the state house. When confronted about this during the '08 elections he simply lied. You can read about it here.

This article on factcheck.org has all the details. The article's rhetoric demonstrates some pro-choice bias (using the term "anti-choice" instead of "pro-life") and concludes that whether Obama embraced infanticide rests on one's definition of the term. Obama did not embrace infanticide, the article states, so long as infanticide is the killing of a viable baby (as opposed to simply doing nothing while watching a nonviable, but living, baby die), but admits that Obama really did reject comfort care to babies born alive after a failed abortion, that those Obama accused of lying were actually telling the truth, and that he was the one misrepresenting the law and the facts.

Here is Obama's moving argument against requiring medical staff to not dump living human babies into dirty clothes hampers as they were dying: “As I understand it, this puts the burden on the attending physician who has determined, since they were performing this procedure, that, in fact, this is a nonviable fetus; that if that fetus, or child, however way you want to describe it—is now outside the mother’s womb and the doctor continues to think that it’s nonviable but there’s, let’s say, movement or some indication that, in fact, they’re not just coming out limp and dead, that, in fact, they would then have to call a second physician to monitor and check off and make sure that this is not a live child that could be saved.” This, he argued, was too much to ask of a doctor performing abortions, and it could also, as he put it, “burden the original decision of the woman and the physician to induce labor and perform an abortion.”

When the identical bill went before the U.S. senate, it passed unanimously. Only Obama found a bill that explicitly stated that it did not limit abortions in any way but simply required comfort care be given to babies born alive after a failed abortion was so much of a threat to the right to choose that it would be better that dying babies be left to die in piles of dirty clothes than to encumber the right to choice with a duty to provide humane care. Of course, rather than say so, he lied again, claiming that the state bill did not contain the same neutrality clause (basically stating that the law would not impinge of Roe v Wade) that the federal bill contained. The truth was that he killed off in committee the state bill that contained identical language to the federal one, lied about it and then accused those who correctly called him out on the facts liars. Fact check has it all spelled out clearly.

I know this is not going to come up in the election. It barely came up last time and Obama's lies were believed (the truth is so monstrous that it is incredible) and the media covered for him. So he got away with it and the issue died. I get that people are not voting on social issues this year and maybe no one cares about this. But it just speaks volumes to me about the man we have elected.

5 comments:

Sarah said...

Yeah, I don't like Obama at all, and this issue especially disgusts me. It speaks volumes about us as a people that this is the man who we elected. I hope people wake up before November.
We continue to pray for Will, that his encouraging progress with food continues. That's really cute that he's suddenly so conscientious of his "RRR's." Time does go by too fast.

Tat said...

I had an ultrasound during my 12th week of pregnancy with my second son. I was surprised at what I saw - a very tiny, but very clear outline of a little boy. Even the features on his teeny-tiny face were easy to discern, and he was kicking his little legs like mad.
I am pro-choice, [huge caveat follows] but I feel abortion should only be legally available to those who, according to competent medical professionals, would be risking their lives without it, and possibly for those who are carrying babies with little or no chance of living outside the womb. And maybe victims of rape and incest.
I have no idea what Obama was thinking when he opposed the Illinois bills. When he lied about his opposition, I can only imagine it was because he realized how indefensible his position was, but didn't want to come clean because he didn't want to offend his pro-choice constituency, or because he didn't want to admit he'd made a mistake. It was probably just easier to lie.
Apart from that, I think that calling him pro-infanticide, as one of the nurses you refer to does, is misleading and unduly harsh. Unfortunately, there was never any question that the aborted babies would live long-term, with or without this legislation. (Before the state legislation was passed, the hospital had already changed its policy to disallow these types of abortions for fetuses with non-lethal developmental problems.)
I don't know who I'll be voting for in November, partly because I don't know who the Republican nominee will be yet. I know one thing for sure- none of the candidates is perfect, and I'm pretty sure they've all either lied or flip-flopped on issues from time to time. I wish it weren't so.

Tat said...

By the way, this article: http://blogs.chicagotribune.com/news_columnists_ezorn/2008/08/bornalive.html#more discusses the same process as the factcheck article, with slightly nuanced conclusions.

alexandra said...

The legislation was not intended to save the babies' lives. It was simply to provide humane treatment to babies in their last moments or hours, rather than dumping them in dirty laundry baskets or among medical waste, as nurses testified was common practice in such situations at the time that Obama railed against the bill. What kind of political instinct would oppose that? He even gave a speech about it. A really disgusting speech. It all just shows how radical he is on this issue, and his willingness to not only lie, but call other people liars when they told what he knew to be the truth.

There of flip-flops in politics all the time, and there are obfuscations. But this was no flip-flop, and Obama didn't just tell defensive lies, he went on the attack on this ("I hate to call folks liars, but that is what they are doing here" nonsense.). Defending that at least it isn't infanticide since the babies were going to die anyway (I wonder how we can state categorically that is the case in every single instance, since some babies have survived abortion attempts?) is really no defense at all, particularly since I never accused him of it. That a nurse who watched the barbarity and then listened to Obama defend it would fail to see the legal distinction btwn letting a bay die in this way that might have been saved (infanticide) and letting a baby die in this way that could not be saved (the legal loophole the bill was trying to close) is pretty understandable, even if she was legally incorrect (so long as none of the babies could have been saved).

alexandra said...

Tat, I read the article you linked to. It was interesting, but it didn't change any of the facts. Obama voted, along with other democrats, against the bill as amended to have identical language as the federal bill he said he would have passed. If he felt that an identically-worded state bill would nontheless have a different affect than the federal, and for that reason had to oppose it, he should have made that case. He chose instead to lie about it, call those who told the truth "liars," and then come up with this new third argument after he was exposed for lying. It is true that I do not see how the bill infringes on abortion rights even without the amended neutrality clause, so I obviously would have an even harder time buying the fed v. state law affect argument. But again, even if that were the reason, he had many opportunities to make that case. Or he could have pushed to add the extra clause the democrats found acceptable a few years later. Instead he killed it and lied. I know he didnt do it bc he hates babies or is evil. He did it bc he is really really in favor of abortion rights. I think it is extreme. And I think the lying, and knowingly accusing others of lying, shows a character flaw.