Last week I attended the “discussion” between Profs. Robert George and Doug Kmiec on the lengthy topic, “The Obama Administration and the Sanctity of Human Life: Is there a common ground on Life issues? What is the right response by ‘pro-life’ citizens?” held at the National Press Club in DC.
Kmiec is a Catholic pro-lifer who has steadfastly supported Obama since the presidential campaign. As I reported, I approached Kmiec after the debate. Here is his recount of our encounter in the National Catholic Reporter June 1:
Miss Jill Stanek, a well-meaning nurse who challenged Barack Obama in the IL Senate over his refusal to support the IL Born Alive Protection Act some years ago, approached me to suggest that the published Chicago Tribune account that I had relied upon to discuss that topic in my book on how Catholics can support Obama was unreliable because she knew the reporter was not pro-life….
With all due respect to Stanek, re-litigating this question is unhelpful. While scholarly research suggests that the common law terminology of “born alive” did not generally include fetus’ subject to abortion, but instead reveals that the states at common law, and even today, give quite a range of answers on this and related matters, like the prosecution for child abuse or homicide for pre-natal injury case, all this is again looking unhelpfully backward.
While, as I indicate in the book, unlike then- Senator Obama, I would have resolved any doubt in favor of unborn life like I am certain Stanek and would have voted for the legislation, I don’t see how keeping the outrageous claim alive today that President Obama’s contrary view somehow supports “infanticide” leads toward common ground.
Kmiec asked me to send him information, which he promised to read. I did, and he apparently did not. The email I sent him as well as a link to the 10-page, 45-footnoted document I attached below..
There is no question, by his documented words (even on audiotape), that Barack Obama supported infanticide by opposing Born Alive as he thought it would impinge upon Roe v. Wade.
I can now irrefutably state Doug Kmiec is a disingenuous person. He doesn’t want to handle the truth.
Read the documentation I sent Kmiec here.
My email to Doug Kmiec, dated May 30, for which I received a receipt his email box had accepted it:
Thank you for speaking with me the other night after your “discussion” with Professor George. As you’ll recall, I am the nurse who testified before committees upon which then-state Sen. Barack Obama sat in 2001, 2002, and 2003, about my experience at Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, IL, holding an abortion survivor for 45 minutes until he died.
You said to send you my “best stuff,” which you promised to carefully read. A footnoted document is attached for your perusal, and I look forward to your feedback.
You said you got most of your information for your book when writing on the topic of President Obama and the Born Alive Infants Protection Act from Eric Zorn’s work at the Chicago Tribune. As I said the other night, Zorn is not a reporter; he is a liberal, very pro-abortion (even partial birth abortion), Obama-supporting columnist, and his writing should be read with skepticism as potentially skewed, which it was.
In that vein, I offer corrections to your book for your consideration.
First, you stated in your book the Illinois Born Alive Infants Protection Act “redefines what it means to be ‘born alive'” in contradiction to “ancient common law” and “include[s] non-viable unborn.”
In fact, Born Alive’s language was lifted directly from the World Health Organization’s 1950 definition of “born alive,” which the United Nations adopted in 1955 (footnoted in attached document). In addition, the IL Abortion Act of 1975 contained nearly the identical definition of “born alive” as the Born Alive Infants Protection Act until that verbiage was enjoined in the 1993 Herbst v. O’Malley decision.
Eight years later, the Born Alive Act would have restored that language. By opposing it, Obama agreed with the Herbst decision that an infant born alive as the result of an abortion should not be protected by the IL Criminal Code.
At any rate, “ancient common law” and early American law always established personhood before birth, at the earliest possible time it understood life to begin, first, for example, at “quickening,” or when a mother felt her baby move within her.
You also stated, “[T]here isn’t a county recorder in the country who would record a live birth” of a “temporarily alive” child. In fact, the State of IL, and I’m sure many more, requires that ALL babies born alive, no matter what gestational age and no matter how fleeting their lives (even with transient heartbeats), be issued legal birth certificates. To subjectively determine which live born babies receive birth certificates would introduce chaos into IL law.
By your definition, very premature babies whose lives are fleeting are not legal persons. If this were true, bashing them over the head to expedite the end of their “temporarily alive” status would be legal, would it not?
I look forward to your thoughts on the information I am presenting you, Professor Kmiec.