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    This bill was fairly  extensively  debated  in  the  Judiciary

Committee,  and  so  I won’t belabor the issue.  I do want to just

make sure that everybody in the Senate knows  what  this  bill  is

about, as I understand it.  Senator O’Malley, the testimony during

the  committee  indicated  that  one of the key concerns was ­­ is

that there was a method of abortion, an  induced  abortion,  where

the  ­­  the  fetus  or child, as ­­ as some might describe it, is

still temporarily alive outside the womb. And one of the  concerns

that  came  out  in  the testimony was the fact that they were not

being properly cared for during that brief  period  of  time  that

they  were  still  living.   Is that correct?  Is that an accurate

sort of description of one of the key concerns in the bill?


    Senator O’Malley.


    Senator Obama, it is certainly a key concern that the  ­­  the

way  children  are  treated  following  their  birth  under  these


= Page 85 =

                        STATE OF ILLINOIS
                      92ND GENERAL ASSEMBLY
                         REGULAR SESSION
                        SENATE TRANSCRIPT

20th Legislative Day                                March 30, 2001

circumstances  has  been  reported  to be, without question, in my

opinion,  less  than  humane,  and  so  this  bill  suggests  that

appropriate steps be taken to treat that baby as a ­­ a citizen of

the United States and afforded all the rights and  protections  it

deserves under the Constitution of the United States.


    Senator Obama.


    Well,  it turned out ­­ that during the testimony a  number of

members who are typically in favor of a woman’s right to choose an

abortion were actually sympathetic to some of  the  concerns  that

your  ­­  you  raised  and  that  were  raised by witnesses in the

testimony.  And there was some suggestion that we might be able to

craft something that might meet constitutional muster with respect

to caring for fetuses or  children  who  were  delivered  in  this

fashion.   Unfortunately, this bill goes a little bit further, and

so I just want to suggest, not that I think it’ll  make  too  much

difference  with respect to how we vote, that this is probably not

going to survive constitutional scrutiny.  Number one, whenever we

define a previable fetus as a person  that  is  protected  by  the

equal protection clause or the other elements in the Constitution,

what  we’re  really saying is, in fact, that they are persons that

are entitled to the kinds of protections that would be provided to

a ­­ a child, a nine­month­old ­­  child  that  was  delivered  to

term.  That determination then, essentially, if it was accepted by

a  court,  would forbid abortions to take place.  I mean, it ­­ it

would essentially bar  abortions,  because  the  equal  protection

clause  does  not allow somebody to kill a child, and if this is a

child, then this  would  be  an  antiabortion  statute.  For  that

purpose, I think it would probably be found unconstitutional.  The

second  reason that it would probably be found unconstitutional is

that this essentially says that a doctor is  required  to  provide


= Page 86 =

                        STATE OF ILLINOIS
                      92ND GENERAL ASSEMBLY
                         REGULAR SESSION
                        SENATE TRANSCRIPT

20th Legislative Day                                March 30, 2001

treatment  to a previable child, or fetus, however way you want to

describe it.  Viability is the line that has  been  drawn  by  the

Supreme  Court  to  determine  whether  or  not an abortion can or

cannot take place.  And if we’re placing a burden  on  the  doctor

that says you have to keep alive even a previable child as long as

possible  and  give  them  as  much  medical attention as ­­ as is

necessary to try to keep that child  alive,  then  we’re  probably

crossing the line in terms of unconstitutionality.  Now, as I said

before,  this  probably  won’t  make any difference.  I recall the

last time we had a debate about abortion, we passed a bill out  of

here.  I  suggested to Members of the Judiciary  Committee that it

was unconstitutional and it would be struck down  by  the  Seventh

Circuit.  It was. I recognize this is a passionate issue, and so I

­­  I won’t, as I said, belabor the point.  I think it’s important

to recognize though that this is  an  area  where  potentially  we

might  have  compromised  and  ­­ and arrived at a bill that dealt

with the narrow concerns about how a ­­ a previable fetus or child

was treated by a hospital.  We decided  not  to  do  that.   We’re

going  much  further  than  that in this bill. As a consequence, I

think that we will probably end up in  court  once  again,  as  we

often  do,  on  this  issue.  And as a consequence, I’ll be voting



    Further discussion?  If not, Senator O’Malley, to close.


    Thank you, Madam President and Ladies  and  Gentlemen  of  the

Senate.   The  one thing the previous speaker did say is that this

is a passionate  issue.   And  ­­  however,  I  don’t  think  it’s

challengeable  on  constitutional  grounds  in the manner that was

described.  This is essentially  very  simple.   The  Constitution

does not say that a child born must be viable in order to live and

be  accorded the rights of citizenship.  It simply says it must be


= Page 87 =

                        STATE OF ILLINOIS
                      92ND GENERAL ASSEMBLY
                         REGULAR SESSION
                        SENATE TRANSCRIPT

20th Legislative Day                                March 30, 2001

born.  And a child who survives birth is a U.S.  citizen,  and  we

need  to  do  everything we can here in the State of Illinois and,

frankly, in the other  forty­nine  states  and  in  the  halls  of

Washington,  D.C.,  to  make sure that we secure and protect those

rights.  So if this legislation is designed to  clarify,  resecure

and  reaffirm  the  rights  that  are  entitled to a child born in

America, so be it, and it is constitutional.  I  would  appreciate

your support.

7 posted on 08/20/2008 11:02:29 PM PDT by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: Southack

Awesome! How’d you do that?

9 posted on 08/20/2008 11:06:19 PM PDT by (A Catholic Respect Life Curriculum is available FREE at
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To: Southack

Dear Lord in Heaven, please do NOT let this man get anywhere NEAR the White House!

This makes my skin crawl.

18 posted on 08/21/2008 1:00:12 AM PDT by Shelayne (After seeing Obama without teleprompter, I think the tingle on Chris Matthews' leg is probably pee.)
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To: Southack

Obama “if we’re placing a burden on the doctor that says you have to keep alive even a previable child”

State of Illinois
92nd General Assembly
Regular Session
Senate Transcript March 30, 2001

Page 87

And if we’re placing a burden on the doctor that says you have to keep alive even a previable child as long as possible and give them as much medical attention as — as is necessary to keep that child alive, then we’re probably crossing the lines in terms of unconstitutionality.

20 posted on 08/21/2008 2:50:05 AM PDT by Son House ( [ ]Obama=>LoseBothWars/Raise Taxes [X]McCain=>WinBothWars/CutPorkBarrelSpending)
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To: Southack
a nine­month­old ­­ child that was delivered to term.

I guess I wasn't alive for the first three months of my life according to Mr Obama. That's news to my family and doctors.

29 posted on 08/21/2008 6:19:20 PM PDT by Darren McCarty (Obama "You sell your oldest friends. You sold your countrymen. And yet we know your name. Traitor!")
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