Since the whole Todd Akin debacle, the subject of abortion has once again come to the forefront of political debate this week. While many Democrats were quick to characterize Akin's words on rape and abortion as extreme, I think it's also important to remind everyone of just how extreme President Obama's position is in this debate.
In a column at Politico today, Rich Lowry effectively demonstrates this point (emphasis mine):
From a strictly down-the-middle, neutral perspective, if one side of a debate is “extreme,” the opposite and countervailing side is equally “extreme.” It would never even occur to the media to apply this standard to abortion. Under the guise of upholding abortion rights, Barack Obama could favor denying legal protection to babies after they are born and the press wouldn’t bat an eyelash. In fact—he did.
In the Illinois legislature, he opposed the “Born-Alive Infants Protection Act” three times. The bill recognized babies born after attempted abortions as persons and required doctors to give them care. Obama’s stalwart opposition to the bill came up during the 2008 campaign, and his team responded with a farrago of obfuscation and distortions.
The bill was supposedly redundant. Except it wasn’t. Protections for infants who survived abortions were shot through with loopholes, which is why the bill was offered in the first place. (Abortion doctors were leaving infants to die without any care.) The bill was supposedly a threat to abortion rights. Except it wasn’t. Obama opposed a version that stipulated it didn’t affect the legal status of infants still in the womb.
About a year after his final vote against the bill, Obama gave his famous 2004 Democratic convention speech extolling post-partisan moderation. But he couldn’t even bring himself to protect infants brutalized and utterly alone in some medical facility taking what might be only a few fragile breaths on this Earth. Some moderation. The federal version of the bill that he opposed in Illinois passed the U.S. Senate unanimously. Some post-partisanship.
President Obama is an extremist on abortion. He has never supported any meaningful restriction on it, and never will.
The Weekly Standard has audio of Barack Obama discussing the issue on the floor of the Illinois state senate. Obama's rationale at the time was that the liability risks for doctors outweighed the newborn's right to life. In addition, Obama criticized the bill's sponsor for not trusting abortion docs: "[I]f these children are being born alive, I, at least, have confidence that a doctor who is in that room is going to make sure that they're looked after."
This is an interesting stance coming from a man who once (not too long ago) argued that greedy physicians make medical decisions based on reimbursement schedules. Hold on to your tonsils, folks:
Now under Obama's reasoning, we cannot trust that a doctor wouldn't remove our tonsils or needlessly amputate our limbs just to get paid more, but by God, they should be trusted to attend to a newborn child after failing to kill it.