Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Infanticide in Illinois

A few years ago, a couple in the Chicago area found out that their unborn baby had Down syndrome. They decided to abort the child, so doctors induced labor at Christ's Hospital. The violent contractions almost always kill the baby at this stage in its development. This one lived. Jill Stanek, a nurse, was shocked at what happened next. The baby was not placed in an incubator, he was left to die. Someone suggested they put him in a linen closet until he died, but Jill took the child in her arms until he died, 45 minutes later.

Jill soon found that it is perfectly legal in Illinois to let a premature baby die if he is unwanted. She eventually found her way to state senator Patrick O'Malley, who proposed legislation to right this wrong. The bill was careful not to infringe about the "right" to abortions (this is Illinois after all). It stated that "the words 'person,' 'human being,' 'child,' and 'individual' include every infant member of the species homo sapiens who is born alive at any stage of development.” All babies who were actually born would then have to be treated, whether or not they were wanted.

Only one state senator spoke in opposition. His name is Barack Obama. His comments on March 30, 2001:
There was some suggestion that we might be able to craft something that might meet constitutional muster with respect to caring for fetuses or children who were delivered in this fashion. Unfortunately, this bill goes a little bit further, and so … this is probably not going to survive constitutional scrutiny. Number one, whenever we define a pre-viable fetus as a person that is protected by the equal protection clause or other elements in the Constitution, what we’re really saying is, in fact, that they are persons that are entitled to the kinds of protections that would be provided to a — a child, a nine-month-old — child that was delivered to term. That determination, then, essentially, if it was accepted by a court, would forbid abortions to take place. I mean, it — it would essentially bar abortions, because the equal protection clause does not allow somebody to kill a child, and if this is a child, then this would be an antiabortion statute.

Essentially he argues that infants born this way may or not be "persons," but that their rights as persons are secondary to the constitutional right to an abortion. Therefore, infanticide is necessary to maintain this right.

Obama pledged in July 2007 that "the first thing" he will do as president is to erase all federal and state restrictions on abortion. His top priority would be to re-legalize partial birth abortion and to force states to fund abortions. Barack Obama is a "new kind of politician" alright. He is new in the sense that he is more to the extreme left than anyone in the Senate. In 2001 the Senate considered similar legislation to the bill Obama opposed in Illinois, the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act. It passed 98-0.


Rudi said...

I love it when I get in conversations with Christian democrats who say that I'm ignorant for arguing a "one-issue" vote... (i.e. there's more to an election that Christians should be involved in: social justice, etc.).

I agree that there's far more to an election than any one issue, but for Christians, when the issue is as crucial as abortion, how can there be any debate? The death toll in America for abortions is 6 times the holocaust. You have to view our culture from God's perspective: is our culture really on any better moral ground than Nazi Germany? Hitler killed his 6 million Jews, and we've killed 36 million babies.

What about the social justice and the right to life for the unborn?

Jon Vander Plas said...

While I will never argue that as a Christian you should vote this way or that way, it is hard for me to see how this issue wouldn't override everything else. Yes, thousands have died in Iraq, but 1300 babies are aborted every day in this country.

I would take issue with your moral equivalence with the Nazis idea. That was action by an evil government. I think the equivalent would be if our government forced all these women to have abortions against their will. Then it would be no different. So would you then advocate the violent overthrow of the government? I believe that would be justified in Nazi Germany but not here.

Rudi said...

Certainly the mandatory nature prevents our government from being "worse," but the general level of apathy towards a major issue like this is not that much worse.

The government that promotes evil needs to be overturned. The government that allows evil needs to be changed through the appropriate means.