CBSN

Column: Obama Should Recognize 'induced Labor Abortions' As Unconstitutional

This story was written by Luke Fischer, Daily Nebraskan

If you were to wake up one morning and discover that someone had left an unwanted baby on your doorstep, would it be acceptable to simply leave it there, knowing that it would die?

Or imagine you were a doctor and immediately after giving birth a woman in your care decided that they she didn't want her child anymore. Would it be morally permissible for you to decide to not give it the care it required and to simply allow it to die from neglect?

Of course no one would answer "yes" to these questions, right?

Don't be so sure, because if Barack Obama were to have his way, these questions might not be so cut and dry.

In 2000, a nurse at Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, Ill., exposed the fact that while she was working at the hospital, babies who had survived abortion attempts were simply being left to die alone in a utility room.

Christ Hospital used a form of late term abortion called "induced labor abortion," in which labor was started artificially with the intention that the child would die during the birthing process.

According to the testimony the nurse gave to the U.S. Senate, these babies were sometimes more than 23 weeks along and, had they been wanted by their mothers, would have undoubtedly been given the best neo-natal care. Instead they were denied care and allowed to die. According to the testimony, this sometimes took nearly eight hours.

In response to this disturbing revelation, the Illinois State Senate drafted a bill called the Induced Birth Infant Liability Act. The act requires that in the case that a child somehow survived an abortion (i.e. was completely expelled form the womb and separated completely from the mother, but was still alive), doctors and other medical personnel would be required to do whatever necessary to keep the child alive. They would be compelled to give the care that is normally given to prematurely born children.

In light of such disturbing revelations, it is difficult to imagine that such a bill would meet any opposition.

However, when it came to a vote on the floor of the Illinois Senate, it encountered significant opposition and failed twice (a similar bill passed unanimously in the U.S. senate in 2002).

Obama vocally opposed the bill and voted against it twice. In 2003 (the third attempt at passage), the Senate Record shows that as chairman of the Health and Human Services committee, Obama personally saw to it that the bill died. He held it for several weeks in committee and delayed the amendment process for so long that it never made it to a vote.

It is possible that Obama sees this issue as just another extension of the abortion debate, and certainly it would be tempting to classify it as such; but if we really step back and take a look at what is going on when a doctor chooses to simply allow a child to die, it is clear that to even mention this in the same context as abortion is misleading.

Regardless of where you stand on the abortion issue, we are talking about what cannot be classified as anything less than the murder of a human person who is explicitly extended the full rights and protection of the U.S. Constitution.

The 14th Amendment reads: "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges of citizens; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

In the case Roe vs. Wade, the court referenced the phrase from thi amendment, "persons born or naturalized," to illustrate that the rights afforded in the U.S. Constitution were only explicitly given to those people "born or naturalized"; there was not mention of the unborn.

In other words, the court case that justified legal abortion, actually explicitly supports the reasoning behind the Induced Birth Infant Liability Act. It states in crystal clear language that children born in the U.S. are entitled to the right to life, thusdirectly separating this issue from the abortion debate.

There can be no doubt that the bill was in line with the U.S. Constitution, and it's baffling that Obama wouldn't see this, considering the fact that he spent more than 10 years as a constitutional law teacher. The individuals protected by it are explicitly citizens of the United States, and to intentionally and deliberately allow a child to die of neglect following a failed abortion can be considered no less than infanticide.

Murder is murder regardless of whether the child was wanted or not.

It is understandable that there might be debate about when life begins. It is understandable that there might be debate about whether the government should restrict abortion. But when we are talking about a living, breathing human child there is no room for debate about whether it has a right to life.

If Obama can't see this, he isn't ready to be president.