Senator Obama's Voting Record
As an Illinois State Senator, Barack Obama opposed the Illinois Born Alive Infants Protection Act. The legislation defined any infant born alive as a "person” who deserves full legal protection.
The Illinois Born Alive Infants Protection Act was modeled after the federal version, with the identical definition of “born alive.” The World Health Organization created this definition in 1950. The United Nations adopted it in 1955.
Obama actively opposed the legislation in the Illinois State Senate. In 2001, he voted no in committee, spoke against it on the Senate floor, and voted present on the floor. In 2002, he voted no in committee, spoke against it on the Senate floor, and voted no on the floor. Obama was the sole senator to ever speak against it on the Senate floor.
The U.S. Senate passed the federal bill unanimously, with Senators Barbara Boxer and Ted Kennedy speaking in support of it.
The pro-abortion group NARAL expressed neutrality on the federal bill. On August 5, 2002, President George W. Bush signed it into law.
For four years Obama has said he would have supported the federal version, but that simply isn’t true. In 2003, as chairman of the Illinois Senate's Health and Human Services Committee, Obama voted yes on an amendment that made the Illinois version identical to the federal one. However, he then voted no on the amended bill.
(Note the first vote under “DP#1” or “Do Pass Amendment #1” was to allow the amendment to be added, making this bill identical to the federal Born Alive bill. The second vote under “DPA” or “Do Pass as Amended” was on the bill as amended. Obama voted to amend the bill and then voted against the amended bill.)
View the Republican State Senate Staff analysis here.
Click here to see a comparison of the final federal version of Born Alive and the 2003 IL version Obama opposed.
It has been speculated that the IL Born Alive bill became unnecessary after passage of the federal bill. This is not true.
The federal legislation was focused on Federal laws only, ensuring that for purposes of federal law, the terms “human being,” “person,” “child,” and “individual” include all born alive infants. The Illinois statute ensures that the same is true for purposes of Illinois law. The two bills are complementary, and the Illinois legislation was necessary to ensure that born alive infants in IL and not at a Federal hospital were fully protected under Illinois law.
Pastor Rick Warren: "At what point does a baby get human rights, in your view?"
Barack Obama "...answering that question with specificity... uh... you know is, is... uh... above my pay grade."
~ Saddleback Forum, August 16, 2008