Most of America doesn’t like what Sarah Palin represents. She’s so extreme on abortion she’d favor mandatory birth even if her own daughter were raped. That simply isn’t in line with the American public.
The Republicans know this, and they’ve begun an urgent whisper campaign to paint Obama as a baby-killer to try and push Obama’s perceived positions out of the mainstream and into the fringe with their own. This goes beyond the standard “Every Fertilized Egg is Sacred” line the most radical of the anti-choice movement parrot. They’ve dug up a vote and deliberately and maliciously warped it into a rumor designed to feed into the worst fears of people on the reproductive rights fence.
I logged onto facebook today to notice a conservative Catholic friend had promoted a website shamelessly flaunting the irony in its name. A cursory look at conservative blogs sees a frenzy of eager-to-slander bloggers jumping on this chance to regurgitate the rumor (Read this for an insight into the kind of person behind these attacks). Seeing this come from a friend was unsettling, so I figured I’d take some time and break down why Obama opposed the bill.
But BAIPA isn’t really about protecting infants; it is anti-abortion rights legislation crafted by the hard right. BAIPA targets the abortion procedure known as dilation and extraction, which anti-choicers have so successfully re-branded as “partial birth abortion.”
Wait, its a misnamed piece of legislation crafted by the hard right? Haven’t we seen that somewhere before? Back to the bill, it was a crafty attempt by the anti-choice movement to mask their intentions (they seem to have a lot of trouble when they are upfront and honest):
The antis want to redefine these fetuses as “born alive” and require that doctors provide “resuscitation.” As a state senator, Obama saw BAIPA for what it was: an ideologically-motivated ploy to vilify women and doctors who choose abortion. On the state Senate floor on April 4, 2002, he explained, “This issue ultimately is about abortion and not live births. Because if there are children being born alive, I, at least, have confidence that a doctor who is in that room is going to make sure that they’re looked after.”
The horribly misnamed pro-life movement tried to pull a fast one on reproductive choice, and Barack Obama saw clear through it. The “Born Alive” act wasn’t about protecting babies. It was about using lies to force a religious viewpoint on a secular nation. Obama stood up to it.
And in the fall we’re going to stand up to Palin and McCain.