Edward Klein’s new book The Amateur apparently mischaracterizes Barack Obama’s record on abortion.
In the book, Klein states that Obama twice voted against a law banning late-term partial birth abortions; Jill Stanek points out that the bill Obama actually voted against was the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, which had a companion bill stipulating that a second doctor be present any time a baby was anticipated to be born alive. This stipulation was added because Illinois law allowed (and still allows) the doctor performing the abortion to determine before a baby is born whether the baby will survive, and pro-life supporters suspected that abortionists would make the decision that the baby wasn’t viable if there weren’t a second doctor there to corroborate their view.
The other flaws Stanek finds in Klein’s book are his statements that Obama voted against the supposed partial-birth bill twice, when in reality Obama voted against the Born Alive Act four times. Further, Klein states that Obama was not present at the committee hearings for the Born Alive Act, when it is clear he was there and voted it down four times, as well as having a confrontation with Stanek herself that was recorded.
The Born Alive Act gave fetuses protection as legal persons and required physicians to provide them with care. Obama claimed in 2008 that he voted against the Act because it was unnecessary, since Illinois law already provided protection for infants born alive. But the law only involved babies whom physicians deemed to have “sustainable survivability.” This meant that if the abortionist deemed a baby unable to survive, he could kill it or let it simply die. Obama and Planned Parenthood claimed that voting against the bill wasn’t really about protecting infants’ lives, but was really just an anti-abortion plot. That was false.