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Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Newsmax Repeats Misleading Claims About Obama, Abortion
Topic: Newsmax

An Aug. 26 Newsmax article by Jim Meyers misleadingly asserts that Barack Obama "fought against a bill protecting the right to life of a baby born alive." Citing David Freddoso's Obama-bashing book, Meyers writes:

In March 2001, a bill was introduced in the Illinois Senate, where Obama was then serving, that stated in part: “A live child born as a result of an abortion shall be fully recognized as a human person and accorded immediate protection under the law.”

The bill came following an investigation of a Chicago-area hospital that left babies born alive to die without medical care.

That's an apparent reference to charges first forwarded by anti-abortion activist Jill Stanek -- which, by the way, were never substantiated.

Meyers continues:

“This bill was not an abortion law,” Freddoso writes. “It did not confer any right or legal status upon any baby not yet born. This bill had no legal conflicts with Roe v. Wade … Born and living survivors of abortion would be unambiguously considered ‘persons.’ Medically, scientifically, empirically, they were no different from the many premature babies who are born in American hospitals each year.”

In fact, as Media Matters details, the bill was superfluous because state law already made illegal the actions Stanek alleged were taking place. At no point does Meyers note this argument in his article. The fact that such behavior was already illegal and, thus, the proposed law would have made nothing additionally illegal makes the headline on Meyers' article -- "Obama OK'd 'Live Born' Abortion' -- utterly false.

Further, in the section of the speech that Meyers reproduces, Obama specifically refers to "pre-viable fetuses" that cannot survive outside the womb and claimed that the bill would effectively make them "persons that are entitled to the kinds of protections that would be provided to … a nine-month-old child that was delivered to term." "Pre-viable" is not the same thing as "premature" -- a distinction Freddoso and Meyers fail to make.

This isn't the only anti-Obama bias Newsmax is peddling these days: An Aug. 25 article by George J. Marlin indulges in some CNS-style labeling bias by repeatedly describing Joe Biden as "pro-abortion."


Posted by Terry K. at 11:54 AM EDT

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