Obama and the Children

On January 16, 2013, President Barack Obama made a speech in Washington D.C., in which he announced executive orders and proposed legislation to "reduce . . . gun violence in this country."  Surrounded by four children as props, Obama stated: "These are our kids.  . . .  And so what we should be thinking about is our responsibility to care for them, and shield them from harm . . . ."  He continued:

This is our first task as a society, keeping our children safe.  This is how we will be judged.

. . . and most of all, I think about how, when it comes to protecting the most vulnerable among us, we must act now . . . .

Obama made similar remarks on December 16, 2012, in a speech at the Sandy Hook interfaith prayer vigil for the victims of the elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.  At that event he said:  "Can we say that we're truly doing enough to give all the children of this country the chance they deserve to live out their lives in happiness and with purpose?"

Obama's remarks are inconsistent with his conduct while a state senator in Illinois.  On August 11, 2008, Yuval Levin wrote about what Obama did as a state senator in a post on National Review's The Corner entitled "Obama and the Born Alive Act":

Six years ago, Congress passed the "Born-Alive Infants Protection Act," making it illegal to kill a child who is fully born during an attempted abortion.  . . .  When he was a state senator at that same time, Barack Obama opposed a state version of the bill in Illinois.  His explanation for the vote since then has been that the state version did not include a so-called "neutrality clause" which says explicitly that the bill is not meant to influence the legal standing of a fetus before birth one way or another.  The federal law contained such a clause, and the state law, Obama has long insisted, did not.  . . .

But now, the National Right to Life Committee has uncovered proof that Obama in fact voted in committee against even the version of the Illinois Born-Alive Act that did include exactly the same "neutrality clause" as the federal bill.  . . .

On August 22, 2008, Andrew McCarthy wrote an article in National Review entitled "Why Obama Really Voted For Infanticide," in which he stated:

. . .  Obama heard the testimony of a nurse, Jill Stanek.  She recounted how she'd spent 45 minutes holding a living baby left to die. [. . .]

Stanek encountered another nurse carrying the child to a "soiled utility room" where it would be left to die.  It wasn't that unusual.  The induced-labor method was used for late-term abortions.  Many of the babies were strong enough to survive the delivery.  At least for a time.

Jill Stanek discusses Obama's votes on the Illinois Born Alive Infant Protection Act here.

On February 10, 2012, Peter Kirsanow wrote a post on National Review's The Corner entitled "Clarifying Obama's Vote On Born-Alive," which stated:

The logical import of Obama's vote against BAIPA is that . . . once a baby has been targeted for abortion it thereafter has no inherent right to the food, comfort, and medical care provided to other babies born alive.  Indeed, during Illinois state senate deliberations on BAIPA, Obama stated that one of his objections was that the bill was "designed to burden the original decision of the woman and the physician to induce labor and perform an abortion."  Apparently, once the decision to abort has been made, a child is doomed even if born alive.

The National Right to Life Committee has an index of documents relating to Obama and the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act here.

An article in The Weekly Standard by John McCormack on August 23, 2012 entitled "Audio: Obama Says 'That Fetus or Child Was 'Just Not Coming Out Limp and Dead'" reveals the audio of Obama "arguing as an Illinois state senator in 2002 against legislation protecting infants who had survived an attempted late-term abortions."  McCormack wrote:

Obama's argument against the bill is that he trusted an abortion doctor, who had just failed to kill a child in utero, to provide medical care to that child if it survived the abortion attempt.  "If these children are being born alive, I, at least, have confidence that a doctor who is in that room is going to make sure that they're looked after," Obama said

As Andrew McCarthy explains here:

This is staggering.  As Obama spoke these words, he well knew that children were being born alive but precisely not looked after by the abortion doctors whose water the senator was carrying.  As Stanek put it, as many as one in five - twenty percent - were left to die.  That was what prompted the legislation in the first place.

The babies who were left to die after surviving abortions, for whom Obama worked to deny protection, are in heaven along with the children who were murdered in Newtown.  The babies may be wondering why Obama's words at the Newtown prayer vigil and today in the District of Columbia do not apply to them.  At the prayer vigil, Obama read the names of the murdered Newtown children.  I don't know how many of the babies who survived abortions and were left to die were given names.  I don't know if Obama would care. 

Allan J. Favish is an attorney in Los Angeles.  His website is allanfavish.com.  He has co-authored with James Fernald a new book about what might happen if the government ran Disneyland entitled "Fireworks! If the Government Ran the Fairest Kingdom of Them All (A Very Unauthorized Fantasy).