A spokesman for Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign has charged Sen. Barack Obama with misrepresenting his “extreme record” on abortion after the Obama campaign changed its explanation for the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee’s opposition to an Illinois bill that would have protected infants who survive abortions.
Obama had charged the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) with “lying” about his record when it presented evidence undermining Obama’s claim that he opposed the Illinois Born-Alive Infants Protection Act (BAIPA) because it lacked legal language that would have protected the U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade.
The NRLC has found Illinois Senate committee records showing that, as a state senator, Obama voted to add such language to BAIPA shortly before shelving it in 2003 while he was chairing the Illinois Senate Health and Human Services Committee.
The Obama campaign now claims Obama opposed the Illinois version of BAIPA because he was concerned that the legislation would have undermined existing Illinois abortion law and not only the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision which mandated legalized abortion throughout the county. According to the New York Sun, the campaign says that a 2005 BAIPA bill passed when another clause was added explicitly stating the legislation would have no effect on existing state abortion laws.
The legislative director of NRLC, Douglas Johnson, voiced to the New York Sun his skepticism concerning the new explanation.
"These are newly manufactured and highly implausible excuses," Johnson said. "There is no way that the bill would have had any effect on any method of abortion."
McCain spokesman Brian Rogers was also critical.
"Americans can differ on the issue of abortion, but Senator Obama's extreme record on this issue and his willingness to misrepresent that record should concern any American who believes that we should be working towards a society where there are fewer abortions, not more,” Rogers said.
The BAIPA legislation was drafted to clarify that any baby who is entirely expelled from his or her mother and who shows any signs of life is to be regarded as a legal “person” and enjoy the rights of such, regardless of whether the baby was born during an attempted abortion, LifeSiteNews.com reports.
Obama refused to support the bill each of the three times it was put forward during his tenure in the Illinois Senate.
In a Saturday interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), CBN correspondent David Brody asked Obama to respond to questions concerning his votes against the Illinois BIPA.
“They have not been telling the truth,” Obama said. "And I hate to say that people are lying, but here's a situation where folks are lying."
He claimed he would have voted for a version of the federal BAIPA “even if it was as a consequence of an induced abortion.”
“So for people to suggest that I and the Illinois medical society, so Illinois doctors were somehow in favor of withholding life saving support from an infant born alive is ridiculous,” Obama said. “It defies commonsense and it defies imagination and for people to keep on pushing this is offensive."
David Freddoso, author of the book “The Case Against Barack Obama,” spoke to CNA in a Tuesday phone interview about Obama’s history with BAIPA. He noted that Chapter 10 of his book, as well as his recent National Review columns, focuses upon Obama’s opposition to the Illinois BAIPA bill.
While saying his book reports the existence of the amendment and cites witnesses to the legislative process through which BAIPA passed, he credited the NRLC with providing conclusive documentary evidence.
While noting that many readers consider his book the “best explanation” of Obama’s BAIPA-related actions, Freddoso said “the new evidence absolutely nails it down.”
“The Obama campaign even had to acknowledge yesterday that all along, whether intentionally or not, they had basically been misrepresenting what he did,” he told CNA.
“There’s no question in my mind that when he killed that bill in his committee in 2003, he was killing a bill that was identical to the one that Boxer heartily endorsed on the floor.”
Sen. Barbara Boxer, one of the most pro-abortion U.S. senators, had endorsed the federal version of BAIPA.
When CNA asked how such information and Obama’s contradictory explanation could have gone so long without being exposed, Freddoso replied that the BAIPA information had been written about for some time “within certain circles.”
However, he said the evidence revealed by the committee documents is not electronic, not well-organized, and difficult to find.
In addition, Freddoso charged, “Sen. Obama has repeatedly mischaracterized this. He’s given so many false and at times even conflicting explanations for what he did, that it’s been very hard for the truth to come out.
“This is a vote that’s so over-the-top and so unpalatable that it’s almost hard for people to believe. It’s difficult to explain because if you don’t give a full explanation, I think most people would say ‘That can’t be true, that’s impossible, no one would do that!’
“Now that he’s had to admit what he did, I wouldn’t want to be his consultant right now trying to justify what he did,” Freddoso told CNA.