From Philly, a Grisly Reminder of Obama’s Past

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The story about President Obama’s support for infanticide as an Illinois state senator came immediately to mind last week when a Philadelphia abortionist was arrested on eight counts of murder.

One of the counts faced by Dr. Kermit Gosnell includes the death of a woman following an abortion at his office. The other seven were late-term babies, born alive, who were then killed by Dr. Gosnell with a pair of scissors he used to sever their spines.

 

As gruesome as this sounds, it’s precisely the kind of procedure that led to the passage of the “Born Alive Infant Protection Act,” passed by the U.S. Congress in 2002 and signed by President George W. Bush.

When the same bill came before the Illinois legislature in 2001 and 2002, it was opposed by then-state senator Barack Obama. In 2002, Obama even made a speech on the floor against the bill — the only senator to do so — arguing that the “pre-viable fetus” should not be considered a person or offered protection under the Equal Protection Clause.

That determination then, essentially, if it were 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 anti-abortion statute.

In other words, in order to protect the right to abortion, we need to allow abortion doctors to finish their job on the child outside the womb with a pair of scissors, if necessary.

Michelle Malkin’s treatment of the “Philadelphia horror” reveals how much, and for how long, Dr. Gosnell’s use of his scissors was known. Using the 281-page grand jury report, Malkin summarizes:

Whistleblowers informed public officials at all levels of the wanton killings of innocent life. But a parade of government health bureaucrats and advocates protecting the abortion racket looked the other way — until, that is, a Philadelphia grand jury finally exposed the infanticide factory run by abortionist Kermit B. Gosnell, M.D., and a crew of unlicensed, untrained butchers masquerading as noble providers of women’s “choice.”

Echoing the logic of State Senator Obama, Dr. Gosnell referred to his use of scissors as “ensuring fetal demise.” In other words, what he called “snipping” the spine was his way of making sure the right to abortion was fully carried out, regardless of the determination (or good luck) of the child to avoid it.

Malkin adds that Gosnell “rationalized his macabre habit of cutting off dead babies’ feet and saving them in rows and rows of specimen jars as ‘research.'”

Among the agencies that knew about Gosnell’s habit of “snipping” and his mistreatment of patients were the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the Pennsylvania Department of State, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, nearby hospital officials, and the National Abortion Federation.

Obama’s support for infanticide was brought up repeatedly during the 2008 presidential campaign, all based on the original evidence as presented by former nurse and pro-life activist Jill Stanek. Obama’s defenders, including his Catholic supporters, ignored the infanticide issue.

As Matt Smith reminds us at the Catholic Advocate, during the 2008 campaign Obama repeated the Clinton mantra that “abortion should be safe, legal, and rare.” After signing his health-care legislation containing federal funding for abortion, it’s highly unlikely President Obama would be able to say that again with a straight face.

Smith also notes Obama’s annual message to Planned Parenthood on the occasion of the anniversary Roe v. Wade. On the same day that thousands of Catholics and other pro-lifers will walk through the streets of the nation’s capital as witnesses to life, the president reflects:

Today marks the 38th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that protects women’s health and reproductive freedom, and affirms a fundamental principle: that government should not intrude on private family matters. I am committed to protecting this constitutional right.

In a Philadelphia jail today sits an abortion doctor who is facing murder charges for doing something President Obama thinks should be legal in order to protect the “abortion right.” In the 2008 campaign, Obama’s outspoken support for infanticide failed to inspire much outrage; but, perhaps, as the case of Dr. Gosnell makes its way through the courts, it will return as an unwanted theme in the president’s 2012 campaign.

Deal W. Hudson

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Deal W. Hudson is ​publisher and editor of The Christian Review and the host of "Church and Culture," a weekly two-hour radio show on the Ave Maria Radio Network.​ Formerly publisher and editor of Crisis Magazine for ten years, his articles and comments have been published widely in publications such as the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, and U.S. News and World Report. He has also appeared on TV and radio news shows such as the O'Reilly Factor, Hannity & Colmes, NBC News, and All Things Considered on National Public Radio. Hudson worked with Karl Rove in coordinating then-Gov. George W. Bush's outreach to Catholic voters in 2000 and 2004. In October 2003, President Bush appointed him a member of the official delegation from the United States to attend the 25th anniversary celebration of John Paul II's papacy. Hudson, a former professor of philosophy for 15 years, is the editor and author of eight books. He tells the story of his conversion from Southern Baptist to Catholic in An American Conversion (Crossroad, 2003), and his latest, Onward, Christian Soldiers: The Growing Political Power of Catholics and Evangelicals in the United States, was published in March 2008. He is married to Theresa Carver Hudson, also a Baptist convert, and they have two children, Hannah and Cyprian who was adopted from Romania in 2001.

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