Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Rick Santorum and Barbara Boxer debate partial birth abortion in 1999

First, let’s watch a video that explains what partial birth abortion looks like. (Using drawn images. Warning: Still graphic and disturbing, but no blood)

What is partial birth abortion? (from the South Dakota Department of Health):

Intact Dilation and Extraction (Partial Birth Abortion)

In this procedure, the physician pulls the fetus feet-first out of the uterus into the birth canal, except for the head which is kept lodged just inside the uterus.

The base of the fetus’s skull is punctured with a sharp instrument such as a long scissors or pointed metal tube.

A catheter is inserted into the wound and removes the fetus’s brain with a powerful suction machine.  This causes the skull to collapse, and allows for the expulsion of the fetus.

Here’s Rick Santorum on the floor of the Senate asking Democrat Senator Barbara Boxer to defend partial birth abortion in 1999, (when Mitt Romney was also pro-abortion).

(The clip is very low volume)

Transcript:

Santorum: Good! All I am asking you is, once the baby leaves the mother’s birth canal and is through the vaginal orifice and is in the hands of the obstetrician, you would agree that you cannot abort, kill the baby?

Boxer: I would say when the baby is born, the baby is born, and would then have every right of every other human being living in this country. And I don’t know why this would even be a question, to be honest with you.

Santorum: Because we are talking about a situation here where the baby is almost born. So I ask the question of the senator from California, if the baby was born except for the baby’s foot, if the baby’s foot was inside the mother but the rest of the baby was outside, could that baby be killed?

Boxer: The baby is born when the baby is born. That is the answer to the question.

Santorum: I am asking for you to define for me what that is.

Boxer: I don’t think anybody but the senator from Pennsylvania has a question with it. I have never been troubled by this question. You give birth to a baby. The baby is there, and it is born. That is my answer to the question.

Santorum: What we are talking about here with partial birth, as the senator from California knows, is a baby is in the process of being born –

Boxer: “The process of being born.” This is why this conversation makes no sense, because to me it is obvious when a baby is born. To you it isn’t obvious.

Santorum: Maybe you can make it obvious to me. So what you are suggesting is if the baby’s foot is still inside of the mother, that baby can then still be killed.

Boxer: No, I am not suggesting that in any way!

Santorum: I am asking.

Boxer: I am absolutely not suggesting that. You asked me a question, in essence, when the baby is born.

Santorum: I am asking you again. Can you answer that?

Boxer: I will answer the question when the baby is born. The baby is born when the baby is outside the mother’s body. The baby is born.

Santorum: I am not going to put words in your mouth –

Boxer: I hope not.

Santorum: But, again, what you are suggesting is if the baby’s toe is inside the mother, you can, in fact, kill that baby.

Boxer: Absolutely not.

Santorum: OK. So if the baby’s toe is in, you can’t kill the baby. How about if the baby’s foot is in?

Boxer: You are the one who is making these statements.

Santorum: We are trying to draw a line here.

Boxer: I am not answering these questions! I am not answering these questions.

The full transcript is here.

It’s important to note that Barack Obama is on record as a supporter of partial birth abortion. He voted for it several times.

The liberal Washington Post discusses Barack Obama’s voting record on abortion.

Excerpt:

Obama has had difficulty explaining some of his 129 “present” votes in the Illinois legislature on issues such as promoting school discipline and prohibiting sex shops near places of worship. In the case of his votes on the anti-abortion legislation, however, he has had a solid alibi. The Illinois branch of the Planned Parenthood organization has given him a”100 percent” pro-choice voting rating and depicted the present votes as part of a previously agreed strategy to provide political cover for other legislators.

Under the rules of the Illinois legislature, a present vote effectively functions as a no vote because only yes votes count toward passage of a bill. Legislators vote “present” rather than “no” for a variety of tactical reasons, including making it more difficult for their political opponents to use their votes against them in campaign advertisements.

“We worked on the ‘present’ vote strategy with Obama,” said Pam Sutherland, chief lobbyist for the Illinois branch of Planned Parenthood, an abortion rights group. “He was willing to vote ‘no’, and was always going to be a ‘no’ vote for us.”

Sutherland said Planned Parenthood calculated that a ‘present’ vote by Obama would encourage other senators to cast a similar vote, rather than voting for the legislation. “They were worried about direct mail pieces against them. The more senators voted present, the harder it was to mount an issues campaign against the senator.”

Here is a full list of Obama’s seven ‘present’ votes on issues related to abortion:

1997 Votes

  •  SB 230 Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act. Senate approved bill 44-7, with five senators voting present, including Obama.
  • HB 382 Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act. House version, passed Illinois State Senate, adopted as law. Under the bill, doctors who perform partial-birth abortions could be sent to prison for one to three years. The woman would not be held liable.

2001 Votes

  • HB 1900 Parental Notice of Abortion Act. Bill passed 38-10, with nine present votes, including Obama.
  • SB 562 Parental Notice of Abortion Act. Bill passed Senate 39-7, with11 present votes, including Obama.
  • SB 1093 Law to protect Liveborn children. Bill passed 34-6, with 12 present, including Obama.
  • SB 1094 Bill to protect children born as result of induced labor abortion. Bill passed 33-6, with 13 present, including Obama.
  • SB 1095 Bill defining “born alive” defines “born-alive infant” to include infant “born alive at any stage of development.” Bill passed 34-5, with nine present, including Obama.

Obama defended his voting record on abortion as recently as 2007.

If Rick Santorum were the nominee, he would ask Barack Obama about his views in the Presidential debates, just like he asked Barbara Boxer on the Senate floor. Wouldn’t you like to hear Obama defend partial birth abortion in a debate? I would. Maybe it’s about time that Obama had to do more than vote present to cover up his radical pro-abortion record.

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