An Associated Press article from late 2007… stated that his legislative career was “focused more on building consensus to improve the justice system and aid the poor” than fighting opponents on hot-button issues….
“That strikes me, from what I know of Barack Obama’s time in the state senate, as just being pure mythology and pure public relations invention,” [Eric] Kohn [former Cook County GOP Communications Director] told TheDC….
Perhaps Obama’s best-known and most controversial votes during his time in the state Senate were the ones he cast against the Infant Born Alive Protection Act, which would have mandated care for children who were delivered after an unsuccessful late-term abortion.
At the time, Obama argued that the bill was unconstitutional and would serve to undercut the Roe v. Wade decision, and questioned whether hospitals were actually allowing infants to die after failed abortions. He voted “present” on the legislation and changed his vote to “no” the following year.
Obama also voted “present” – and then, later, “no” – on bills that would have outlawed so-called “partial-birth” abortions in Illinois unless the life of the mother was threatened, and “no” on two bills that would have prohibited the use of state funds to pay for abortions. He voted “present” on a parental-notification law for minors seeking abortions.
The “present” votes, he later explained to Illinois Planned Parenthood CEO Pam Sutherland, were a strategy “to protect members… and women.”
“What it did,” Sutherland told ABC News, “was give cover to moderate Democrats who wanted to vote with us but were afraid to do so.… A ‘present’ vote would protect them. Your senator voted ‘present.’ Most of the electorate is not going to know what that means.”
Obama’s flawless pro-choice voting record earned him a 100 percent approval rating from Planned Parenthood, which remains one of the most powerful organizations in Democratic politics at both the state and local level.
~ The Daily Caller, September 25