Yuval Levin at NRO reports that Barack Obama’s excuse for voting against Illinois’ version of the Born-Alive Act appears to be a lie:
Six years ago, Congress passed the “Born-Alive Infants Protection Act,” making it illegal to kill a child who is fully born during an attempted abortion. The bill passed without a single opposing vote in either house, and was signed into law by President Bush on August 5, 2002. When he was a state senator at that same time, Barack Obama opposed a state version of the bill in Illinois. His explanation for the vote since then has been that the state version did not include a so-called “neutrality clause” which says explicitly that the bill is not meant to influence the legal standing of a fetus before birth one way or another. The federal law contained such a clause, and the state law, Obama has long insisted, did not. As recently as June 30, the Obama campaign made that case to answer the charge (in that case from Bill Bennett) that Obama had opposed the Born-Alive Act.
But now, the National Right to Life Committee has uncovered proof that Obama in fact voted in committee against even the version of the Illinois Born-Alive Act that did include exactly the same “neutrality clause” as the federal bill. On March 12, 2003, when the bill was being debated, an amendment was added that inserted the neutrality language of the federal bill verbatim into the Illinois bill. Obama voted for the amendment (that’s the vote on the left-hand column on this committee vote record), and then voted against the amended bill (that’s the vote on the right on the same document). All the Democrats on the committee (which Obama chaired) followed his lead, and the bill was defeated.
This was, again, legislation that in the same form had by then passed unanimously at the federal level. Even NARAL did not oppose it. Apparently Barack Obama did, and his old explanation for doing so seems at odds with the facts.