Former Speaker of the House and failed Republican challenger for the presidency Newt Gingrich has taken to the offensive, working to campaign for Republican nominee Mitt Romney. In Gingrich’s latest salvo at President Barack Obama, he’s turned to the well traveled argument that, as a state senator, Obama voted three times against versions of the Illinois Born Alive Infants Protection Act.
The argument from those on the right goes something like this. By not voting for that bill, the president ipso facto supports infanticide, the killing of live-born children. The argument from the left, while fully admitting the president is pro-choice, seeks to disprove that, but the real truth is that the issue is probably a matter of interpretation.
The Born Alive Infants Protection Act, voted down in Illinois in 2001, 2002, and 2003, would have provided legal protection to infants born alive, even if born during an attempted abortion. The president, FactCheck.org reports, opposed the bill on the grounds that it was a backdoor attack on Roe vs. Wade and women’s health in general. The future president said then he would support a bill, like the federal one at the time signed by President George W. Bush, that did contain protection for Roe vs. Wade.
However, the 2003 version of the bill was nearly identical to the federal law, and Obama still voted against it in committee. The fact of the matter remains that as a state senator, the president did vote three times against the bill, so Gingrich’s complaints, while often repeated, are correct in saying Obama voted against the bill.
“The radical on abortion is Obama, who as a state senator voted three times in favor of allowing doctors to kill babies in the eighth and ninth month who were born,” Gingrich told the Washington Post. “Having survived late-term abortion.”
Gingrich also addressed the ongoing “rape controversy,” a string of unrelated statements by Republicans on the topic. Romney took heat for not distancing himself further from Indiana GOP Senate candidate Richard Mourdock. Mourdock made statements that a conception resulting from rape can be something God intended.
UPI reports Mourdock’s words were, “Even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something God intended to happen.”
“Every candidate I know, every decent American I know condemns rape. OK?” Gingrich said. “So why can’t people like (Obama adviser) Stephanie Cutter get over it? We all condemn rape. Now let’s talk about whether we also condemn killing babies in the eighth and ninth month.”