- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 2, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

If you want to know Barack Obama’s real views on abortion, you should meet registered nurse Jill Stanek.

Mrs. Stanek worked at Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, Illinois from 1993 to 2001. When she worked in the hospital’s Labor and Delivery Department she saw that babies who survived abortion attempts were left to die alone in supply rooms. They could linger for as long as eight hours, without medical care, without even the dignity of a warm blanket or a soft touch. Their tiny bodies were then dumped in the trash. Mr. Obama’s spiritual mentor served on the board of the hospital. Mrs. Stanek went on a public crusade to protect these children.

At a 2001 Illinois legislature hearing, Mr. Obama questioned Mrs. Stanek. She insisted that children needed medical care if they were born alive. Mr. Obama said: “Ms. Stanek, your initial testimony last year showed your dismay at the lack of regard for human life. I agreed with you last year and we suggested that there be a Comfort Room or something of that nature be done. The hospital acknowledged that and changes were made and you are still unimpressed. It sounds to me like you are really not interested in how these fetus [es] are treated, but rather not providing absolutely any medical care or life to them.”

Mrs. Stanek replied: “What the hospital did was try to make things look better. What it really is, is that the baby is still dead.”

In committee testimony, Mr. Obama said it was sufficient to give “comfort care” to a baby that is born despite all the efforts to kill it. “Comfort care” means giving the infant a warm blanket and permitting the baby to be held by someone as it dies. This is the most Mr. Obama could find in his heart to provide - a warm blanket for a child grasping for life. Mrs. Stanek told The Washington Times that Mr. Obama showed callousness when he questioned her in committee testimony: His inability to grasp that babies born alive need medical care was disturbing.

Despite all the details Mrs. Stanek provided in her testimony, Mr. Obama voted against the Induced Infant Liability Act in the Illinois legislature in 2002 - a bill that would give legal protection and medical assistance to a baby born from a botched abortion. Mr. Obama stated that he feared the bill could undermine Roe v. Wade. When a similar bill was put to Congress, other lawmakers had better sense and bigger hearts: The Born Alive Infants Protection Act passed the Senate with a vote of 98-0. It was signed into law by President Bush on Aug. 5, 2002. Infants born alive are now recognized as legal persons with full rights.

Mr. Obama even voted against banning partial-birth abortion - a radical procedure - in the Senate, in October, 2007. Since 2005, he has a 100 percent rating on pro-choice votes by NARAL, a leading, national pro-choice organization.

There is no doubt that Mr. Obama wants not only to uphold existing abortion laws, but a more radical view. At an address before Planned Parenthood on July 17, 2007, Mr. Obama said: “The first thing I will do as President is sign the Freedom of Choice Act.” He received a standing ovation. FOCA was introduced in Congress in November 1989 by Rep. Don Edwards, California Democrat. The legislation has since been a focal point for staunch pro-choicers. The bill would codify the 1973 Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade, into law in all the states. This would overturn state laws that have been passed to limit or delay abortions. Contrary to Mr. Obama’s pledges to reduce the number of abortions, he really wants to make them easier to get - while overriding state and federal laws.

Mr. Obama wants to uphold an abortion policy that has a disproportionate impact on blacks. The Alan Guttmacher Institute, a nonprofit organization focused on sexual and reproductive health research, finds that 13 percent of the U.S. population is black, but 37 percent of all abortions are performed on black women and teens: Blacks are 4.8 times as likely as whites to have an abortion. A vote for Mr. Obama is, in effect, a vote that permits the disproportionate elimination of blacks in America.

Mr. McCain believes unequivocally that life begins at conception. Mr. McCain even supports requiring parental notification for underage girls who want to abort the fetus. His 0 percent rating by NARAL is perhaps one of his greatest achievements as a senator. On one of the fundamental moral questions of our time, the choice is clear: One man favors life, the other prefers a society that permits the death of the most innocent and vulnerable of us.

Mrs. Stanek told The Times that Mr. Obama’s talk of compassion for the weak and underprivileged rings hollow to her: “Frankly, I think he is a liar.”

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