Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama's campaign has admitted that he has misled the public since 2004 on a hot-button social issue, but Big Media has virtually ignored the story.
The Illinois senator and a leading pro-life organization have accused each other of lying about his reasons for leading the fight against an anti-infanticide bill in the Illinois state senate between 2001 and 2003.
On Saturday, Obama accused the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) with "lying" about his record. On Sunday, however, his campaign was forced to concede the NRLC's charge was accurate.
Obama's opposition to the Born Alive Infants Protection Act (BAIPA) has been a major problem for his political campaigns since 2004, when his opponent in the U.S. Senate race accused him of supporting infanticide. BAIPA would have required hospitals to provide care to infants that survived an abortion attempt, rather than withhold treatment and allow them to die.
Most such cases involve an abortion procedure in which labor is induced prematurely. The infants are expected to be killed by their own mothers' contractions, but a few survive the birthing process. The lungs of the survivors usually are not mature enough to sustain life, so the babies need immediate medical intervention. Many Illinois hospitals, however, decline to provide the lifesaving care.
Why would anybody oppose such a bill? According to CNSNews editor Terence Jeffrey, Obama opposed it because it would have defined a baby that survived an abortion procedure as a person: "Defining a 'pre-viable fetus' that survived an abortion as a 'person,' he argued, 'would essentially bar abortions....'"
In 2002 the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a federal version of BAIPA with a "neutrality clause" stating the bill did not affect the legal status of "the species homo sapiens prior to being 'born alive.'" Even the radically pro-abortion organization NARAL withdrew its opposition to the bill. Since 2004, Obama has said he would have supported the Illinois BAIPA if the state version of the bill had included "Roe-neutral" language found in the federal version. Has he been telling the truth?
Not according to NRLC. Last week, NRLC produced Illinois legislative records it said proved Obama had "blatantly misrepresented" his opposition to BAIPA. According to NRLC, Obama presided over a 2003 committee meeting that amended the Illinois bill to make it virtually identical to the federal bill – then voted against the amended bill anyway.
In an interview following Saturday's Saddleback Church presidential forum, CNN/CBN reporter David Brody asked Obama to comment on the NRLC allegations. Obama told Brody, "I hate to say that people are lying, but here's a situation where folks are lying." Obama continued, "I have said repeatedly that I would have been completely in, fully in support of the federal bill that everybody supported, which was to say that you should provide assistance to any infant that was born even if it was as a consequence of an induced abortion."
On Sunday, however, Obama's campaign staff conceded to The New York Sun that Obama "had voted against an identical bill in the state Senate." The staff tacitly admitted that Obama has been misleading the public since 2004.
Pro-life organizations immediately seized upon the controversy, but except for CNN, the liberal media have ignored it. NewsBusters reports that on Monday, CNN's Wolf Blitzer played a clip of Obama's accusation that NRLC was "lying." Blitzer said CNN is "checking the facts," but so far CNN has not reported NRLC's documentary evidence or the Obama camp's acknowledgement that NRLC has the facts straight.
Big Media has been ignoring the BAIPA story for months; the essential facts were reported by Jeffrey as early as January. This weekend, Obama put the story on the national radar screen by publicly accusing the NRLC of "lying." His campaign staff's subsequent admission that NRLC was correct – calling into question Obama's reasons for opposing a bill that would have prevented infanticide – has created a story screaming for attention.
How could a U.S. presidential candidate have opposed a bill that protected the lives of innocent, fully born babies, a bill so incontestably in the moral right that the most ardent pro-choicers in the U.S. Senate supported it unanimously? Is Barack Obama even more radically pro-choice than NARAL? Would Obama deny medical care to living, breathing infants just to reinforce the abstract right of mothers to decide whether their children are to live or to die? Big Media owes it to the public to tell the full story.
As of this writing, stony silence.