Archive of August 14, 2008

Parents say faith helps them cope with son's death

Omaha, Neb., Aug 14, 2008 (CNA) - Bryan and Arnell Petrzilka of Omaha always saw their son, Ben, as a gift from God. He was born five years after the couple experienced a miscarriage, and for several years he was their only child.


His brother, Jackson, was born when Ben was eight.


Because it was difficult to conceive Ben, the couple said they understood him to be God's child - one that they were to care for on earth.


The 13-year-old died June 11 when a tornado hit Little Sioux Scout Ranch in western Iowa. Three other Boy Scouts died in the tornado - Sam Thomsen, Josh Fennen and Aaron Eilerts - and more than 40 were injured.


"If we're just taking care of God's children until he wants them back, then after spending 13 years with Ben, I know why he wanted him back," Bryan said. "He was a special person, a good boy, so there's no doubt he's in heaven,"


"We're just glad God gave him to us," Arnell said. "We are just grateful that we had him for 13 years."


"It still feels like he's going to walk in the door," Bryan said.


From the strength of their Catholic faith and their trust in God, the Petrzilkas are learning to live without their son, who they said brought much joy and happiness to their family.


"I don't know how people could do this without God," Arnell told the Catholic Voice. "Without our faith, I'd feel like I was jumping off a 50-story building and nobody's catching me. With faith, I feel like there's this net. Every day I slip a little, but it just kind of bounces you back up and keeps you right where you're supposed to be."


The Petrzilkas pray daily and rely on the support of the people around them, including their family and friends, Scout families, members of Mary Our Queen Parish and their pastor, Father Bob English.


Night of the storm


Arnell was working at Red Lobster the night of the storm and rushed home when she got word of the tornado at Little Sioux. She and Bryan drove to the camp that evening to check on Ben.



"Through the whole thing I just kept saying I would know. I would know in my heart if Ben was gone," Arnell said. "I don't think we got scared until they got to the third list of names and Ben's name wasn't on it."


Eventually, Little Sioux authorities identified Ben's body and informed the Petrzilkas of his death.


A doctor told them Ben died instantly when he was hit in the head by a blunt object.


Bryan and Arnell said knowing Ben didn't suffer makes them feel a little better.


While they were at the camp, the couple met some of the boys who tried to resuscitate Ben. The boys were upset because they weren't able to bring him back, said Arnell, who spent time consoling the Scouts.


"I told them they didn't fail at bringing him back. He just wasn't coming back. He was already in heaven. His soul just soared as fast as it could," she said.


Remembering Ben


Ben, who had just finished the seventh grade, had a strong faith and was preparing for his confirmation, his parents said. From attending school at Mary Our Queen to being an altar server at the church to his involvement in Boy Scouts since the first grade, Ben's life revolved around God, they said. The family also often talked about faith at home.


"Our faith just came up in our conversations," Arnell said.


Since Ben's death, the couple said they've found signs of their son's strong faith, including prayers Ben, who was a member of Troop 448, wrote and four walking sticks on which he carved a cross. They also came across his journal - the journal he took with him to Little Sioux and in which he wrote about his time at the camp. In it they found a prayer for his safety and the safety of his family.


In addition to his love of the faith, Ben liked spending time with friends. He played football and baseball, and enjoyed hunting, fishing and camping. When friends would spend the night, they liked to sleep in a tent in the backyard, Bryan said.


Ben also loved playing Star Wars and Legos with his brother, he said.


Moving on


Bryan and Arnell know many people experience anger during the grieving process, but they say they don't have anything to be angry about.


"It was a tornado. Nobody took him from us. It's just something that happened," Arnell said. "How can we be angry about our child being in heaven?"


The couple said they are left with wonderful memories of their son.


Bryan said he treasures the last few hours he spent with Ben - when he drove Ben to Little Sioux and spent time with him at the camp. When he left, he gave Ben a hug and told him he was loved.


"There was nothing to look back on and say we wish we would've done this or we wish we would've done that," Arnell said. "Every day was special."


Printed with permission from the Catholic Voice, newspaper for the Archdiocese of Omaha.


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Archbishop Naumann hopes Obama realizes Sebelius is a bad Catholic advisor

Quebec City, Canada, Aug 14, 2008 (CNA) - With the U.S. presidential race heating up and both John McCain and Barack Obama close to announcing their vice presidential nominees, Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City says he hopes his warning of Gov. Kathleen Sebelius for her support of abortion, has “alerted” Obama that she is not a good advisor on the Catholic Church.

While he was in Quebec City, Canada for the Knights of Columbus’ annual conference, Archbishop Naumann took time to explain to CNA the intricacies of his decision to ask the Kansas governor to refrain from receiving Communion.

Writing in the May 9 issue of The Leaven, the Archdiocese of Kansas City’s newspaper, Archbishop Naumann said that because of the governor’s support for legalized abortion, he had asked her to refrain from receiving Holy Communion until she makes a worthy confession and publicly repudiates her stand on abortion. He later clarified that his request to her was not directed toward one particular action, but rather, it concerned her “30-year history of advocating and acting in support of legalized abortion.”

When you stand before God…

“There are many goods you are trying to weigh. Where you have someone in public life who is not living in their public responsibilities consistent with the Catholic faith, I think you are concerned about that individual,” he began.

“One of the things that I said when I met with the governor at one point, is that some day she’s going to have to stand before God and account for her public service. And I hope that she’s going to have something better to say than what she does to this point on the protection of the innocent unborn. But I said if you go to God and you say, ‘Well, I didn’t understand how important this was’ or ‘I didn’t understand that this was such a crucial issue’ then as your bishop I’m the one responsible because I didn’t do enough to try and make sure of that. I told her I wasn’t comfortable with that and so I wanted to make sure that she understood what a serious matter this was.”

The concern for the archbishop is multi-layered, ranging from the individual involved to the rest of his flock. “I think you have concern for that individual and in wanting to try to bring about enlightenment and conversion. You also have a concern for the rest of your people. That’s the problem with the individual that’s in a public position. When they act contradictory to their faith, then it can create within the Church what the Church means by scandal, which means leading others into error.”

According to Archbishop Naumann, he received letters from people who were requesting that she be excommunicated immediately even before he asked Gov. Sebelius not to receive Communion. Yet, Naumann says he isn’t really concerned about these people because they know Sebelius’ actions aren’t in keeping with the Catholic faith.

“It’s all the people that aren’t writing,” who worry the archbishop. “Frankly after the pastoral action I did take with the governor,” the Kansas City archbishop related, “there were several [people] who communicated with me that, ‘we didn’t realize how extreme she was’.”

“I also am concerned about young Catholics that are thinking about public service and public life,” he said. The archbishop’s message to the younger generation of Catholic is that, “they can’t go the road of these so-called pro-choice Catholic politicians and really be faithful to your faith.”

The archbishop’s dialogue with Sebelius

Lest anyone think that Archbishop Naumann’s public correction of Gov. Sebelius was an impulsive decision, he made clear that he was in conversation with her for “a couple years” and that the discussions took place at “various levels.”

As he explained to CNA, “To my mind, you have to pursue it in that way; you have to attempt to meet with the individual, instruct the individual, make sure that you’ve given them every chance to consider their position before you take extreme action.”

When he was asked if Kathleen Sebelius has honored his request, the Catholic leader of Kansas City said that she has. “To my knowledge, she hasn’t gone to Communion since this second request to her so in that sense from an indirect way she’s honoring the request.”

However, the governor has not kept the lines of communication open with Archbishop Naumann since his request in May. According to Naumann, “she has not communicated with me at this point at all and she’s told other people in the media that she’s going to respond to me personally, but that hasn’t happened at this time.”

A bad counselor for Obama

“What I found out after I took the pastoral action with Governor Sebelius is that Senator Obama had her on his advisory committee for Catholics,” recalled the archbishop.

“I wasn’t aware of that [beforehand],” he said, “but I hope that it alerted Senator Obama that this is not probably somebody that can really counsel you in terms of the mind and the heart of the Church on this very critical and important area.”

“So I think it would be a bad judgment on Senator Obama’s part to select someone who was in conflict with the Church.”

Turning his attention to Catholic voters and the upcoming election, Archbishop Naumann advised them to bring their values in to the voting booth. If Catholics do this, “we can have a serious impact on the positions that the individuals and parties are taking,” he said.

“There’s a lot at stake in the elections,” observed Naumann.

“I think that the political parties read the results of the election and then put an interpretation on it. After this election, they’re either going to think ‘we need to be more aware of these values about the sanctity of human life; the importance of marriage and its traditional understanding being upheld’ or they’re going to think ‘these are things we can either ignore or the tide is with us to go against what has really been the tradition of Western civilization’.” 

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Cardinal Sandoval meets with opposing representatives to 'reinforce' anti-abortion legislation

Mexico City, Mexico, Aug 14, 2008 (CNA) - The Archbishop of Guadalajara, Cardinal Juan Sandoval Iñiguez, met with representatives of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), an opposition group, to "reinforce" the Mexican state of Jalisco's legislation against abortion and euthanasia.


This was announced by the coordinator of the political group, Juan Carlos Castellanos Casillas, who additionally noted that the meeting was a “cordial visit.”


The spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Guadalajara, Antonio Gutiérrez Montaño, also mentioned that the meeting had "an institutional mood" and was called together by PRI representatives in the State Congress.


"Several topics of general interest were discussed, such as the popular initiative against abortion and the upcoming elections, but no agreement or formality was established," he indicated.


He continued by explaining that even if Cardinal Juan Sandoval has not been trying to set up meetings with politicians, "it isn't as if he's against the idea," when meetings are formally proposed. 


According to reports from the local press, the popular initiative discussed was first introduced in the now defunct State Electoral Institute of Jalisco (IEEJ) by the civil association called Mexicans for Life for All.  After being approved, it returned to local Congress, where it was "frozen" in the legislative commissions of Equity and Gender; Justice; Constitutional Points, Legislative Studies and Regulations. 


According to these sources, an informal agreement exists to prevent the topic from coming up again in the current Legislature.

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Vatican authority announces international conference on pastoral care for roadways

Vatican City, Aug 14, 2008 (CNA) - The Secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, Msgr. Agostino Marchetto, announced plans for a Continental Conference in October, in Bogotá, Colombia, to discuss the pastoral care for roadways; faced with the incessant increase of danger and traffic accidents. 

The prelate spoke with the Italian Newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, explaining that "we must be conscious that there is a war on the roadways of the entire world, where everyday, hundreds of people die for many different reasons.  Immediate intervention is needed to reduce the number of victims, because it is becoming a real destruction.  It will not be easy, but it is a challenge that should be faced with great determination." 

At the meeting, the Vatican prelate explained that at the conference, "one day will be devoted to each of the four sub-sectors for which guidance is needed.  The first day will be dedicated to road users, truckers, automobile drivers, those who travel by train, and all who work in transportation-related services; the second to women on the streets; the third to children on the streets, and the fourth to the homeless."

In Msgr. Marchetto's opinion, "the most important thing to keep in mind is that the Church is committed to raising awareness and helping people who use the road to gain a sense of responsibility.  To decrease traffic accidents, the contribution of the Christian community is necessary.  But in addition to the Church; schools, families and institutions must also work to further this cause and work to create respect for applicable laws."

The archbishop continued by denouncing "the scary statistics we hear on the television and read in the daily newspapers that demonstrate a lack of respect for life.  That is why we have called this summit in October in Bogotá: to look for a way to confront the problem.  It will begin with the Continental Conference and will later focus on the parish and diocesan environments.  Another important topic tied to the street is that of children being forced to beg or rummage through garbage."

Finally, the archbishop commented that following the summit, a document will be released to help increase people's awareness of traffic accidents, provide pastoral guidance for roadway safety, and promote the respect of life.

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Ecuadoran president pushing young people to resist guidance from the Church

Quito, Ecuador, Aug 14, 2008 (CNA) - President Rafael Correa of Ecuador has lashed out at the Church again this week, encouraging young people to refuse to be taught by those who want to leave the country “in darkness”—a reference to the campaign by the bishops to vote responsibility during the upcoming referendum on the new constitution.
During the inauguration of a government program for young people, Correa said his project “is the last chance for peaceful change in Ecuador, for democratic and constitutional change, and yet there are some who want to keep us in the past.”
Although some of the president’s closest collaborators said this week the bishops should “tone down” their comments, Correa attacked the bishops, who said they would begin offering guidance to parishes to instruct the faithful about aspects of the new constitution that are incompatible with the faith.
“Let them catechize 6 or 7 year-olds, because we should reflect on this and not have to put up with sermons or instructions from anybody,” Correa said.  “We need to say ‘yes’ to the future, without being afraid and without the old fear of the clergy or the vengeance of the devil,” he added.
He called on young people to take note of “who is lying and who is telling the truth, who wants to move the country forward and who wants to leave it in the darkness in which it has always existed. Think about it and don’t let them teach you,” he told them.
“Those arrogant people who want to give us orders, instructions, catechesis, have the answer they deserve,” Correa said, referring to recent radio program in which he said he was not going to discuss the issue anymore.

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Pope to Catholics: the most important service is the proclamation of Jesus Christ

Quito, Ecuador, Aug 14, 2008 (CNA) - Pope Benedict XVI sent a message to the Third American Missionary Congress (CAM3) being held in Quito this week, reminding Catholics that “the most important service we can give our brothers and sisters is the clear and humble proclamation of Jesus Christ, who came to this world that we might have life and have it in abundance.”
“Amidst the difficulties of a sometimes hostile environment from the lack of immediate and spectacular results, or faced with the insufficiency of human means, I invite you not to be overcome by fear, weighed down by discouragement or dragged along by inertia,” the Pope said.
“The present time is a providential occasion for listening again with simplicity, purity of heart and fidelity to how Christ reminds us that we are not servants but friends,” the Pope continued.
“He instructs us in order that we might remain in his love without molding ourselves to the messages of this world.  Let us not be deaf to his Word. Let us learn from Him. Let us imitate his way of life. Let us be sowers of the Word. In this way, with all of our lives, with the joy of knowing we are loved by Jesus, who we can call brother, we will be valid instruments for Him to continue drawing everyone to Himself with the mercy that flows from his Cross,” the Pope added.
He went on to encourage Catholics “to share this treasure with others, as there is no greater treasure than to enjoy the friendship of Christ and walk by his side.  Consecrating our greatest energies to this beautiful labor is worth it, knowing that divine grace precedes, sustains and accompanies us in carrying it out,” the Pontiff stated.
“May you find, therefore, in persevering prayer, in the fervent meditation of the Word of God, in the obedience to the Magisterium of the Church, in the dignified celebration of the Sacraments and in the testimony of fraternal charity, the strength necessary to identify with the sentiments of Christ.  You will be his disciples with coherence and generosity, proclaiming with your own examples, that Christ is the Son of God, the Redeemer of man and the firm rock upon which we cement our existence,” the Pope continued.
He also encouraged Catholics in America to feel “the consolation of Christ and to offer his love to those in tribulation, to those who are weighed down by suffering and have been wounded by the coldness of indifferentism or the scourge of corruption.  These challenges demand we overcome individualism and isolation and that we strengthen the sense of belonging to the Church and the loyal collaboration with her pastors, in order to form Christian communities that are prayerful, unified, fraternal and missionary.”
CAM 3 began on August 12 in Quito with more than 3,000 delegates in attendance.  It concludes this Sunday, August 17, with the beginning of the “Continental Mission,” an effort to bring about renewal in the Church in America.

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'If you are a Catholic, behave like one,' instructs archbishop

, Aug 14, 2008 (CNA) - The Chairman of the Episcopal Commission on Family and Life for the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, Archbishop Paciano Aniceto declared to those in who support the reproductive health bill in Congress:  "If you are Catholic, you should behave like a Catholic. Otherwise you are not what you profess."


He carefully explained that the reproductive health bill promotes artificial contraception, which is against Catholic teachings.  “We are not pre-judging anybody here but this is the stand of the church.”


“We are not condemning anybody here but we are against the bill, not against congressmen as a person. We are all brothers and sisters," the archbishop said.


"We respect our beloved Congressmen and Congresswomen because they are also Catholics. They also have a good objective.”  However, he added, “their approach is only different from the church.”


Archbishop Aniceto also called on President of the Philippines, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, to prove that she supports the promotion of life by rejecting the bill.


"What we want to hear from our beloved President is the total rejection of the reproductive health bill and should make a definite statement about it," the prelate concluded.

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Son of Hamas leader describes conversion to Christianity

Sacramento, Calif., Aug 14, 2008 (CNA) - Masab-Joseph Yousef, a son of prominent West Bank MP Sheikh Hassan Yousef, has discussed his conversion to Christianity in an interview with the Israeli newspaper Haaretz. Praying that his family will “open their eyes to Jesus,” he expressed love for his enemies and claimed Muslims’ conversion to Christianity is the only way to have a chance for peace in the Holy Land.

Yousef, 30, said his first exposure to Christianity came in Jerusalem about eight years ago, when he was invited to learn about the faith. He converted four years ago, but did not tell his father.
“For years I helped my father, the Hamas leader, and he didn't know that I had converted, only that I had Christian friends,” he said to Haaretz.

His father, Sheikh Yousef, was a founder of the extremist group Hamas in the West Bank and was imprisoned for several years for his membership in the organization.

Masab-Joseph Yousef, the oldest of eight siblings, was expected to take an active role assisting in the political work of his father, whom he claimed is opposed to killing civilians. He characterized the Israelis’ arrests of his father as very influential events in his life.

“I only knew that the Israeli army had arrested my father repeatedly, and for me he was everything: a good, loving man who would do anything for me. He took care of us, bought us gifts, gave of himself, whereas the soldiers entered our house and took him away from me.”

Arrested at the age of 18 for his leadership role in his high school Islamic society, Yousef told Haaretz he discovered in prison that most Hamas members were not as admirable as his father.

“Their leaders in prison received better conditions, such as the best food, as well as more family visits and towels for the shower. These people have no morals, they have no integrity,” he said, alleging Hamas leaders also embezzle money meant for widowed families.

Yousef, who now lives in California, described how an invitation to learn more about Christianity led him to convert.

“I was very enthusiastic about what I heard. I began to read the Bible every day and I continued with religion lessons. I did it in secret, of course. I used to travel to the Ramallah hills, to places like the Al Tira neighborhood, and to sit there quietly with the amazing landscape and read the Bible.”

“A verse like ‘Love thine enemy’ had a great influence on me,” he continued. “At this stage I was still a Muslim and I thought that I would remain one. But every day I saw the terrible things done in the name of religion by those who considered themselves 'great believers.'”

He explained that further study of Islam did not satisfy him.

“I feel that Christianity has several aspects. It's not only a religion but a faith,” Yousef continued. “I now see God through Jesus and can tell about him for days on end, whereas the Muslims won't be able to say anything about God.”

Yousef said he now considers Islam to be a “big lie,” alleging that people who supposedly represent Islam “admired Mohammed more than God, killed innocent people in the name of Islam, beat their wives and don't have any idea what God is.” He said he had no doubt such people would go to Hell, and proclaimed that “the way of Jesus” is the “one way to Paradise.”

Yousef expressed hopes for his family’s conversion and his own future return to the Holy Land.

“I know that I'm endangering my life and am even liable to lose my father, but I hope that he'll understand this and that God will give him and my family the patience and willingness to open their eyes to Jesus and to Christianity. Maybe one day I'll be able to return to Palestine and to Ramallah together with Jesus, in the Kingdom of God,” he told Haaretz.

He said he was trying to start an organization to teach the occupied territories in Palestine about Christianity. He also appealed for the conversion of his former co-religionists so that “they'll have an opportunity to correct their mistakes, to become better people and to bring a chance for peace in the Middle East.”

“Many people will hate me for this interview, but I'm telling them that I love all of them, even those who hate me,” he commented. “I invite all the people, including the terrorists among them, to open their hearts and believe.”

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Spanish Minister of Justice promises to meet the demands of pro-euthanasia group

Madrid, Spain, Aug 14, 2008 (CNA) - The Minister of Justice in Spain, Mario Fernandez Bermejo, received the members of the organization, Right to Die with Dignity, in a meeting and vowed to meet the demands of their group dedicated to promoting euthanasia and suicide.

Although the meeting did not end with a concrete agreement, the Minister published a statement in which he remarked that the board is concerned that those with terminal illnesses have a dignified end to their lives and assured that the government is in “a period of deep thought” regarding palliative care.

In the meeting, the coordinator of the association, César Caballero requested the government of Spain “make euthanasia and assisted suicide possible to those with terminal illnesses who have made the requests in advance.”

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Evidence shows Obama misrepresents his opposition to Born-Alive Infants Protection Act

Washington D.C., Aug 14, 2008 (CNA) - Sen. Barack Obama has repeatedly insisted that he opposed the passage of an Illinois law that would protect infants who survive an abortion on the grounds that it lacked a “neutrality clause.”  However, Obama’s explanation was undermined when the National Right to Life Committee revealed “smoking gun” evidence showing that a neutrality clause had in fact been added to the Illinois bill by the same Obama-chaired state Senate committee which quickly voted down the amended bill.

National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) spokesman Douglas Johnson summarized the revelations, saying:

“Newly obtained documents prove that in 2003, Barack Obama, as chairman of an Illinois state Senate committee, voted down a bill to protect live-born survivors of abortion -- even after the panel had amended the bill to contain verbatim language, copied from a federal bill passed by Congress without objection in 2002, explicitly foreclosing any impact on abortion.

“Obama's legislative actions in 2003 -- denying effective protection even to babies born alive during abortions -- were contrary to the position taken on the same language by even the most liberal members of Congress. The bill Obama killed was virtually identical to the federal bill that even NARAL ultimately did not oppose.”

The federal Born-Alive Infants Protection Act (BAIPA) was first introduced into Congress in 2000. A two-paragraph bill, it was intended to clarify that any baby who is entirely expelled from his or her mother and shows any signs of life is to be regarded as a legal person for all purposes of federal law, whether or not the baby was born during an attempted abortion.

A “neutrality clause” was added to state explicitly that the bill expressed no judgment about the legal status of a human being prior to birth.

“Nothing in this section 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,” it read.

The bill passed Congress in 2002 without any dissenting votes and was enacted in August of that year.

As a member of the Illinois State Senate, Barack Obama opposed a state version of BAIPA in three successive regular legislative sessions. Even after the pro-abortion group NARAL withdrew its opposition, Obama reportedly continued to oppose the bill, which did not pass the Illinois Senate until 2005, after Obama had left that legislative body.

During his 2004 U.S. Senate campaign, Obama’s Republican opponent charged Obama with supporting “infanticide” for opposing the bill, which charge Obama countered by claiming the proposed Illinois law substantially differed from the federal version of BAIPA.

According to an October 4, 2004 article in the Chicago Tribune, “Obama said that had he been in the U.S. Senate two years ago, he would have voted for the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, even though he voted against a state version of the proposal. The federal version was approved; the state version was not.  …The difference between the state and federal versions, Obama explained, was that the state measure lacked the federal language clarifying that the act would not be used to undermine Roe vs. Wade, the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court opinion that legalized abortion.”

However, the NRLC claims that newly obtained documents “demonstrate conclusively” that Obama’s defense is based on a “brazen factual misrepresentation.”

The NRLC said in a Monday statement that it has obtained documents proving that in 2003, when Obama was chairman of the Illinois state Senate Health and Human Services Committee, he presided over a committee meeting in which the “neutrality clause,” copied verbatim from the federal bill, was added to the Illinois BAIPA. Though Obama reportedly voted in support of adding the revision, immediately afterwards he joined other Democrats on the committee in voting against the amended bill.

The amended bill failed by a vote of 6 to 4 on March 13.

NRLC claims the bill was “virtually identical” to the federal law, differing only on “minor points” of drafting style. It cites as evidence the Senate Committee Action Report of March 12, 2003, which includes reports of the following day’s committee action. NRLC says the “neutrality clause” is shown to have been added in an amendment to Senate Bill 1082, the Illinois BAIPA proposal, by a vote of 10 to 0, including Obama’s vote.

Obama supporters have repeated the Democratic candidate’s explanation of his opposition to the BAIPA bill. A June 30, 2008 “Fact Check” article on the Obama campaign web site insists the Illinois and the federal legislation “were not the same,” repeating the claim that the state bill lacked the clause expressing no judgment concerning the legal status of the unborn child.

In his 2008 campaign Obama himself has repeated his self-justifications from 2004.

Also on June 30, CNN reported “Senator Obama says if he had been in the U.S. Senate in 2002, he, too, would have voted in favor of the Born Alive Infant Protection Act because unlike the Illinois bill, it included language protecting Roe v. Wade.”

An August 7 New York Times article similarly reported that Obama “said he had opposed the bill because it was poorly drafted and would have threatened the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade that established abortion as a constitutional right. He said he would have voted for a similar bill that passed the United States Senate because it did not have the same constitutional flaw as the Illinois bill.”

Susan Armacost, Legislative Director at Wisconsin Right to Life, on Thursday told CNA the new evidence suggests Obama is trying to hide the fact that there was a neutrality clause. That he opposed the bill even after the addition of the clause, she argued, “tells voters that he knows that what he did is not in-synch with the American People. We see that he is so tied in to the abortion mentality that he will even accept that the deaths of children who are ‘legal persons.’”

Susan Muskett, J.D., Legislative Counsel for the NRLC, told CNA on Thursday that the newly revealed evidence is “unbiased documentation showing that the committee voted 10-0 to adapt a neutrality clause, then voted to kill the bill. The smoking gun committee report is irrefutable evidence of what took place that day.”

A writer from the magazine Human Events had contacted some Republican senators who sat on Obama’s Illinois Senate committee, who confirmed that the bill had been voted on.

In a January 16, 2008 column, Terrence Jeffrey, a contributing editor to, apparently was the first to correctly report that the amended version of BAIPA had been blocked by Obama and the Illinois Senate committee. According to the NRLC, his report was ignored by the Obama campaign and overlooked by others.

The NRLC has posted its supporting documentation at the web address

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