Obama Responds to the Infanticide Charge

Deal W. Hudson
July 7, 2008

A few days ago, Sen. Barack Obama was asked to clarify his position on late-term abortion by Cameron Strang of Relevant magazine. The senator used this as an opportunity to deny the “email rumors floating around that somehow I’m unwilling to see doctors offer life-giving care to children who were born as a result of an induced abortion.”

Obama’s answer is quoted at length in a July 4 e-mail sent by Mark Linton, National Catholic Outreach leader of Obama for America. Linton’s e-mail contains my July 2 column titled “Obama and Infanticide,” with a series of purported “TRUTH” comments attached.

I am, indeed, one source of the rumor that Senator Obama calls “just false,” but Jill Stanek and Terry Jeffreys have been writing about this for many months, and Bill Donohue has devoted a section of the Catholic League Web site to Obama and infanticide. As an Illinois state senator, Barack Obama opposed the Born Alive Infant Protection Act (BAIPA) three years running in committee, voting “no” on it twice and “present” once. It shouldn’t be any great mystery to him, or anyone, how such a “rumor” got started.

Obama calls the charge of infanticide an “unfair characterization.” Obama and his Catholic supporters have three arguments that they hope will supply enough smoke to obscure both his voting record and his pointed advocacy of abortion rights:

Obama claims there was no need for the BAIPA since there were already laws in place requiring doctors to treat those infants. But as Obama well knows, the BAIPA law was introduced precisely because infants were being allowed to die in Illinois hospitals for lack of treatment, as witnessed personally by Stanek, an Illinois nurse. He claims that the BAIPA was “actually designed to overturn Roe v. Wade” and wasn’t going “to pass constitutional muster.” He also denies that the actual intention of those who drafted the bill was to protect these children. But when the Senate passed BAIPA unanimously in 2002, it contained language expressly stating that it could not be used to overthrow Roe. If that was their intention, why would its sponsors – including Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) – specifically add this language? The answer is simple: to prevent any further acts of barbarism such as those witnessed by Stanek. He claims he would not have opposed the bill had it contained the language of the federal legislation. But as Terry Jeffreys at Human Events has shown, Obama voted “no” on a version of the bill that had the same language as that in the federal bill. Stanek, who was lobbying for the bill at the time, attests that Obama explicitly rejected the language of the bill he now says would have enabled him to vote for it.

In his e-mail in support of Obama, Linton writes, “Partisan operatives know why Obama voted against BAIPA but continue to spread lies – that’s shameful.” He goes on to quote Sen. Obama in an interview from Christianity Today:

I don’t know anybody who is pro-abortion. I think it’s very important to start with that premise. I think people recognize what a wrenching, difficult issue it is. I do think that those who diminish the moral elements of the decision aren’t expressing the full reality of it.

This strains credulity. Obama has spoken at NARAL conventions, and he doesn’t know anyone who is pro-abortion? In addition to opposing BAIPA consistently as an Illinois state senator, Obama is already a sponsor of the Freedom of Choice Act. At a Planned Parenthood meeting a year ago, Obama said, “The first thing I’d do as president signs the Freedom of Choice Act.” I’m sure he didn’t meet anyone who was “pro-abortion” at that meeting, either.

Linton thinks the use of that phrase is reprehensible and says it is “false and disrespectful” to call Obama “pro-abortion.” But it’s not false by any standard of common sense: Obama’s record of abortion advocacy has been praised as absolutely perfect by NARAL standards – 100 percent for all three years in the Senate.

Linton’s accusation of my being “disrespectful” – along with Nat HentoffMichael Gerson, Terry Jeffreys, William McGurn, Bill Donohue, Rick Santorum, and Jill Stanek – is telling. Obama’s supporters, like Linton, consider their candidate above criticism; he is Obama Inviolate.

But in reality, Obama is just another politician, and what makes him so is his unwillingness to be candid about his own record, about his own first principles, and about where he will lead this country. There is no doubt that the dramatic progress made in reducing abortions over the last 30 years – now at their lowest number since 1974 – will be rapidly reversed under a President Obama.

By Deal Hudson

Deal W. Hudson was born November 20, 1949 in Denver, CO, to Emmie and Jack Hudson, both native Texans. Dr. Hudson had an older sister Ruth, and eventually, a younger sister, Elizabeth. Emmie Hudson, Ruth Hudson and Elizabeth Hudson now live in Houston, TX; Jack Hudson passed away some years ago. The late Jack Hudson was a captain for Braniff Airlines in Denver at the time of Dr. Hudson’s birth. Later the family moved to Kansas City when his father joined the Federal Aviation Agency. From Kansas City, the Hudson family moved to Minneapolis, then to Massapequa, NY, and finally to Alexandria, VA, where they first occupied a home overlooking the Potomac River adjacent to the Mount Vernon estate. After a year, the family moved to a home on Tarpon Lane a few houses up the street from the Yacht Haven boat docks. Dr. Hudson attended Mt. Vernon Elementary School from grades 4 to 6 and has a special gratitude for the teaching of Mr. Hoppe who first told him was a ‘smart lad.’ Having moved with his family to Fort Worth, TX in 1960, Dr. Hudson attended William Monnig Junior High and Arlington Heights HS. In high school, Dr. Hudson was captain of the golf team, editor of the literary magazine (Guerdon), and performed the role of Peter in the ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ during his senior year. Dr. Hudson graduated cum laude with a major in philosophy from the University of Texas-Austin in 1971 where his undergraduate advisor was Prof. John Silber. His teachers at the University of Texas included Prof. Louis Mackey and Prof. Larry Caroline. Dr. Hudson minored in both classics and English literature. Dr. Hudson lived in Atlanta from 1974-1989, where he attended Emory University, receiving a Phd from the Graduate Institute for the LIberal Arts. He also taught philosophy at Mercer University in Atlanta from 1980-89. In 1989 Dr. Hudson and his family left Atlanta when he was hired to teach philosophy at Fordham University in the Bronx. Dr. Hudson taught at Fordham, and also part-time at New York University, from 1989 to 1994. Dr. Hudson first came to Atlanta in after graduation from Princeton Theological Seminary (PTS) with an M.Div. While at PTS, Dr. Hudson managed the Baptist Student Union at Princeton University and became its first director. Dr. Hudson also was licensed at a minister in the Southern Baptist Convention at Madison Baptist Church in Madison, NJ. Dr. Hudson’s primary area of study at PTS was the history of Christian doctrine which he pursued with Dr. Karlfried Froelich. In 1984 Dr. Hudson was received in the Catholic Church by Msgr. Richard Lopez, with the special permission of Archbishop Thomas A. Donnellan, at the chapel of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Cancer Home in Atlanta. Dr. Hudson has been married twenty-five years to Theresa Carver Hudson and they have two children, Hannah Clare, 23, and Cyprian Joseph (Chip), 15, adopted from Romania when he was three years old. The Hudson family has lived in Fairfax, VA for more than fifteen years, after having lived five years in Bronxville, NY and a year in Atlanta, GA, where Theresa and Deal were married.

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