The Least, First

Monte Asbury's blog

The Obama-infanticide hoax

with 2 comments

I received a cordial greeting from a colleague a few days ago:

If  you have any morals at at you will do what you can to STOP this man from being the leader of the free world.

And at the bottom was this link, which took me to a video about Barack Obama and “infanticide.” I don’t recommend watching it, but here it is in case you want to check me out.

After reflection, a paradox appeared.  It seemed as though I might have a moral or two around here somewhere, and I lean toward to pro-life side of things.  But I do believe Obama is more likely to take us in a productive direction on the issue than is Sen. McCain.  And I suspected the video’s story was hoax 9,765,433 (or thereabouts) perped on Obama.

So, I dug around a bit, and sent back this note.

Dear XXXXXXX [not his real name]:

That certainly is a heartbreaking video. It’ll be on my mind for a long time. I love babies. I am probably as pro-life as you are.

If Barack Obama were guilty of what this video suggests, I would not support him.

But he is not. Neither Jill Stanek [the video’s main speaker] nor Alan Keyes (who began the use of the word “infanticide” when he was trying to get elected over Obama in Illinois) have told the whole story.

You may be familiar with the tale of Gianna Jessen, who starred in another video of BornAliveTruth (of which Stanek is the founder, which has targeting Obama as its sole mission). Jessen, who was 31 when the video was shot, survived an abortion as a baby, and claims Obama’s position would have left her to die. But her allegation, like those of Stanek and Keyes, is simply not true.

Here’s what Politifact, a trustworthy non-partisan evaluator of campaign claims, has to say:

Illinois already had a law on its books from 1975 that said if a doctor suspected an abortion was scheduled for a viable fetus — meaning able to survive outside of the mother’s body — then the child must receive medical care if it survives the abortion. The new laws didn’t distinguish between viable and nonviable, meaning that an infant of any age that survived an abortion should receive care.

Because of the older law, Jessen is wrong when she says “if Barack Obama had his way, I wouldn’t be here.” According to the medical records provided by the organization that produced the ad, Jessen was born at 29 weeks, which would have been a viable pregnancy and subject to the older Illinois law requiring that she receive medical care. So it’s not correct to say that Obama opposed that.

It is not truthful for the Stanek and Keyes video to show healthy late-term babies left alone to die. A nurse who did so would be guilty of a felony under Illinois law. It’s been that way for a generation.

To double-check, I consulted a second non-partisan organization, FactCheck. They wrote (under the title Born Alive Baloney):

Jessen’s mother had an abortion in her third trimester, at 29-and-a-half weeks according to Jessen’s biographer. This means she had an excellent chance of surviving outside the womb. And Illinois law has long stated that if an abortion is performed when the fetus is deemed to be viable, the doctor must:

* Choose the method of abortion least likely to harm the fetus.

* Have in attendance a second doctor who can immediately take over care of the child if it’s born alive.

* Use every available means to keep any born-alive child living and healthy.

To do otherwise constitutes a Class 3 felony, which carries a sentence of two to five years in prison. That’s been the law in Illinois since 1975, two years before Jessen was born.

So, you see, when the proposed bill failed, it had no impact whatsoever on the survival of Gianna Jessen or the babies that Jill Stanek discusses. None. Stanek, Jessen, and Keyes have used heartbreaking stories, videos, and words (like infanticide) to falsely accuse Obama, in order to try to get others more to their liking (including Keyes’ himself) elected.

The law on which Obama voted would have expanded the existing Illinois law to require that little ones who had no chance whatsoever of surviving – babies so very premature as to be utterly hopeless of life – if they somehow showed any sign of life outside the womb, must be kept alive by all available means, no matter their suffering, until ther inevitable death.

Abortion is always unspeakably tragic, but prolonging the suffering and death of these poor dying little ones is not merciful. The bill was a power move by right-to-life zealots that would have only further harmed dying children in an attempt to forcibly widen the doctrine of “personhood” to include ever-younger babies. But doing so at the cost of increasing the suffering of children is surely not the way to go about it.

Those heartbreaking things in the video? No relationship to any vote of Barack Obama.

Having said all that, Obama is still pro-choice and I am pro-life. So haven’t I caved-in, supporting a pro-choice candidate?

No. I support Obama because I am pro-life, and (like many other pro-lifers) because I believe his presidency would result in vastly fewer abortions than that of John McCain.

Allow me a bit to gather up some facts and figures, and I’ll write again – hopefully later today – to prove it.

With sincere respect,

And the sequel, called ProLife-ProObama, is here.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , Monte Asbury


Written by Monte

October 31, 2008 at 10:55 am

Posted in Politics

2 Responses

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  1. Pretty hard to, given the vastness of the Republican fog machine! I’ve never seen so many non-issues turned into supposed question marks.


    November 6, 2008 at 7:50 pm

  2. I also don’t think that McCain is truly pro-life. He seems very wishy washy. And I agree that there are other issues to think about besides abortion. I guess I just don’t trust Obama.


    November 6, 2008 at 3:29 pm

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