Thursday, September 30, 2004

Updated on Thursday, September 30, 2004 at 2:00 pm

Barack Obama, Democratic U. S. Senate Candidate and State Senator, interviewed on Live Birth Abortions

Jeff Berkowitz: Switching over to abortion, you have said that you would vote in support of, if you were a [U. S.] Senator the federal law that came up that passed [the U. S. Senate] 98 to 0 and that was known as the Live Birth Infant Protection Act.

Barack Obama: That is exactly right. Because there was a different bill than the one that was introduced by [then] Senator Patrick O’Malley here in Illinois and we actually offered amendments that would have provided assurance that Row. v. Wade [U. S. Supreme Court, 1973] was still respected even as we dealt with what I think actually were some very anecdotal evidence that there might have been some problems although there has never been any hard evidence that there were. Unfortunately, Mr. O’Malley wanted to make a broader point because he does not believe that a woman should exercise a right to choose in any circumstances.

Berkowitz: But, if that happened in Illinois, if there were some abortions- so called abortions that went wrong- a live fetus was born. Would you seek to have legislation that protected those fetuses?

Obama: I would if there wasn’t already legislation. Unfortunately [sic?], there is existing legislation-

Berkowitz: On the state level?

Obama: On the state level that says if there is a fetus that is determined viable and there has to be a second doctor who assists in determining that that fetus is viable- they are required by current Illinois Law to provide that fetus with assistance to make sure that they can live outside the womb. The law already exists. That’s not what Senator O’Malley’s law was about. What Senator O’Malley’s law was about was identifying all fetuses as human beings as a way of going after the right of women to choose to have an abortion pre- viability and that’s the reason that I, like a number of other senators, including Republican senators, voted either present or against it.
Democratic U. S. Senate Candidate Barack Obama, interviewed by “Public Affairs,” show host and legal recruiter Jeff Berkowitz, after Obama spoke on September 23, 2004 at a Fairmont Chicago Hotel lunch event of “Women for Obama.”
For an extended [and fair and balanced] discussion of the Live Birth Abortion issue, including whether the current Illinois Law is sufficient to deal with the Live Birth Abortion issue [as argued by State Senator Barack Obama, above], see the forum hosted by Eric Zorn, Chicago Tribune columnist and ace blogger [at]. The forum can also be reached by going to and scrolling to the forum icon at the Sep. 23, 2004 entry, titled, “JUST WHAT IS LIVE-BIRTH ABORTION ANYWAY?”
Jeff Berkowitz, host and producer of “Public Affairs,” and a legal recruiter at JB Consulting Group, Inc. in Chicago, can be reached at