Below is a listing of then-state Senator Barack Obama’s votes and state senate floor speeches on IL’s Born Alive Infant Protection Act.
(At right is a political cartoon by Jack Higgins, printed in the Chicago Sun-Times on August 25, 2004, during his U.S. Senate campaign.)
A package of Born Alive bills was introduced three times during Obama’s tenure.
The cornerstone bill was the Born Alive Infants Protection Act, aka “Born Alive Infant Defined,” which defined legal personhood to include born alive infants any time the words “person,” “human being,” “child,” or “individual” was stated in IL law.
This definition was identical to the federal BAIPA which was drafted from the definition of “live birth” created by the World Health Organization in 1950 and adopted by the United Nations in 1955.
Following are Obama’s actions and votes on Born Alive. The bill number changed every year it was reintroduced.
Senate Bill 1095, Born Alive Infant Protection Act
Obama’s “no” vote in the IL Senate Judiciary Committeehere, March 28, 2001
Transcript of Obama’s verbal opposition to Born Alive on the IL Senate floor, March 30, 2001, pages 84-90
Obama’s “present” vote on the IL Senate floor, March 30, 2001
Senate Bill 1662, Born Alive Infant Protection Act
Obama’s “no” vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee, March 6, 2002
Transcript of Obama’s verbal opposition to Born Alive on the IL Senate floor, April 4, 2002, pages 28-35
Obama’s “no” vote on the IL Senate floor, April 4, 2002
Listen to audio from Obama’s 2002 IL Senate floor debate wherein he argued that while babies might be aborted alive, it would be a “burden” to a mother’s “original decision” to assess and treat them.
Meanwhile, the federal Born Alive Infants Protection Act with a “neutrality clause” added passed the U.S. Senate 98-0, the U.S. House overwhelmingly, and was signed into law August 5, 2002. The pro-abortion group NARAL expressed neutrality on the bill.
Senate Bill 1082, Born Alive Infant Protection Act
Democrats took control of the IL Senate with the 2002 elections. This year Born Alive was sent to the Health & Human Services Committee, chaired by Barack Obama.
As can be seen on the vote docket, Obama first voted to amend SB1082 to add the “neutrality clause” from the federal version of Born Alive to the IL version to make them absolutely identical. (DP#1 means “Do Pass Amendment #1.)
Then Obama voted against the identical version. (DPA means, “Do Pass as Amended.)
Additional corroboration of Obama’s vote: IL State Senate Republican Staff Analysis of SB 1082, March 12-13, 2003, bottom of page 2
For 4 years following his 2003 vote Obama misrepresented it, stating the wording of the IL version of Born Alive was not the same as the federal version, and he would have voted for it if so. As recently as August 16, 2008, Obama made this false assertion.
But when evidence presented was irrefutable, Obama’s campaign on August 18, 2008, admitted the truth to the New York Sun.
The nonpartison group FactCheck.org has since corroborated Obama voted against identical legislation as passed overwhelmingly on the federal level and then misrepresented his vote.