An anti-abortion group released an ad featuring an “abortion survivor” accusing then-Illinois state Sen. Barack Obama of voting to “deny basic, constitutional protections for babies born alive from an abortion.”
The nonprofit Susan B. Anthony List ad references the fracas that surrounded President Obama’s voting record on a bill that would protect babies that have survived abortions.
“How Will You Answer?” features Melissa Ohden.
“I’m going to tell you something you may not know. Many children, more than you might think, actually survived failed abortions and are born alive,” Ohden says. “I know, because I’m one of them.”
How Will You Answer? will air in Missouri at a cost of $150,000. Women’s rights have consumed the public conversation following remarks about “legitimate rape” made by the state’s Republican nominee for U.S. Senate, Todd Akin.
Ohden refers to Obama’s votes in the Illinois State Senate against the Illinois Born Alive Protection Act in 2001, an issue first brought to national attention in 2008 by nurse-turned-activist Jill Stanek.
The ad implies Obama would leave babies who survive abortions to die, which is inaccurate. Obama voted against the act, but noted Illinois state law requires physicians to use life-saving measures should an aborted fetus in fact be born alive.
Obama maintained that his primary opposition to the state bill — of which the U.S. Congress passed a federal version in 2002 — was that it undermines Roe v. Wade and a women’s right to choose.
Furthermore, according to Illinois news media, there was no evidence that babies born alive after failed abortions were being left to die.
But Stanek, the anti-abortion nurse-activist, testified that she saw babies being abandoned to die at Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, Ill.