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Thomas: Obama’s ‘least of these’ has one omission

POSTED: September 12, 2008 5:02 a.m.

A few days ago when Barack Obama was "Back in the Saddle" with Rick Warren, he uttered what was one of the most hypocritical statements ever uttered by an American politician.

When Obama was asked by Warren what he thought was, "the greatest moral failure of America," he responded with, "I think America's greatest moral failure in my lifetime has been that we still don't abide by that basic precept in Matthew that whatever you do for the least of my brothers, you do for me."

In describing "the least of us," Obama mentioned poverty, racism and sexism. Sadly, the unborn failed to make his list.

This is not surprising, given Obama's vile record on abortion. It has now been clearly demonstrated (see my Web site for National Right to Life's detailed account) that Obama, while a member of the Illinois state Senate, opposed multiple versions of an Illinois bill that mirrored the federal Born-Alive Infants Protection Act.

According to National Right to Life, BAIPA was essentially "a simple two-paragraph proposal (that) established ... for all federal law purposes, any baby who was entirely expelled from his or her mother, and who showed any of the specified signs of life, was to be regarded as a legal person for however long he or she lived, and that this applied whether or not the birth was the result of an abortion or of spontaneous premature labor."

In 2000, the original BAIPA was passed by the U.S. House by a vote of 380 to 15. This occurred in spite of opposition by the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League. Even staunch pro-abortion leaders such as Rep. Jerrold Nadler ignored the NARAL position and supported BAIPA. This version of BAIPA was later killed in the Senate by an objection to unanimous consent.

In 2001, the Illinois legislature took up a bill that was patterned after the federal BAIPA. Obama voted against this bill in committee. On the floor of the Illinois Senate, he later gave the only speech against the bill, saying, "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."

What? We need the "equal protection clause" to tell us that we shouldn't kill our children?

Obama finally, and "boldly," voted "present" on the bill, which had the same effect as voting "no." The bill passed the Illinois senate but died in a house committee. The scene pretty much repeated itself in 2002, this time with Obama voting "no."

In 2002 a "neutrality clause" was added to the federal BAIPA. This clause basically said that, as far as federal law was concerned, legal protection could not be construed upon a human being prior to being "born alive." This effectively protected Roe v. Wade. The bill unanimously passed both houses of Congress and was signed into law by President Bush in 2002.

Obama is on the record saying that he would have supported the Illinois bill had it contained the neutrality clause. In October of 2004, the Chicago Tribune reported, "Obama said that had he been in the U.S. Senate two years ago, he would have voted for the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act."

However, in 2003 the exact language of the federal neutrality clause was added to the Illinois bill making it virtually identical to the federal BAIPA. In March of 2003, Obama chaired an Illinois Senate committee and led the Democrats on that committee to kill the amended bill.

In attempting to blunt the extremism of his abortion record, Obama has stated time and again that the lack of a neutrality clause was all that was preventing him from supporting the Illinois bill. When he was called out on the matter, Obama accused individuals and institutions of lying about his record. His campaign has since had to admit that his critics were correct about his voting record.

The hypocrisy of Obama's "least of these" comment at Saddleback is beyond the pale. Whatever moral causes he chooses to champion, nothing compares to the helplessness of a newborn child. In other words there is nothing more "least" than an infant.

Obama's unwillingness to stand for these, along with his attempted deception in the matter, should give any voter great pause.

Trevor Thomas is a Gainesville resident and frequent columnist.



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