Coulter, Limbaugh smeared Obama with false claim that he "believes it is proper to kill a baby that has survived an abortion"

››› ››› MATTHEW BIEDLINGMAIER

Rush Limbaugh stated that Sen. Barack Obama "believes it is proper to kill a baby that has survived an abortion" and Ann Coulter said that Obama "wants the doctors ... chasing it through the delivery room to make sure it gets killed." They based their claims on Obama's opposition to an Illinois bill that he and other opponents said posed a threat to abortion rights and was unnecessary. Indeed, the Illinois Department of Public Health reportedly said that conduct alleged by proponents of the bill, if it had occurred, would have violated then-existing law.

Radio host Rush Limbaugh and right-wing pundit Ann Coulter each echoed a false claim on August 18 when they asserted, respectively, that Sen. Barack Obama "believes it is proper to kill a baby that has survived an abortion" and that he "wants the doctors ... chasing it through the delivery room to make sure it gets killed." The conservative commentators made their claims based on Obama's opposition as an Illinois state senator to a bill amending the Illinois Abortion Law of 1975, which, as Media Matters for America has repeatedly noted, Obama and other opponents said posed a threat to abortion rights and was unnecessary because, they said, Illinois law already prohibited the conduct being addressed by the bill.

Indeed, as Media Matters noted, when tasked by the Illinois attorney general's office with investigating allegations that fetuses born alive at an Illinois hospital were abandoned without treatment, the Illinois Department of Public Health reportedly said that it was unable to substantiate the allegations but said that if the allegations had proved true, the conduct alleged would have been a violation of then-existing Illinois law. Obama himself has cited specific provisions of the Illinois Compiled Statutes in stating that the "born alive principle was already the law in Illinois."

On Hannity & Colmes, co-host Sean Hannity said to Coulter: "The Born Alive Infant Protection Acts. They induce these abortions," adding, "Barack Obama was the only senator to speak out against a bill that would have protected babies in that situation. ... Is that infanticide?" Coulter responded: "[O]f course it's infanticide," later adding, "I mean, this is a child that is not bothering the woman anymore, is not going to make her depressed or affect her health. It's out of the woman's body. They tried to kill it, but somehow the baby made it out alive. Sometimes missing an arm, but alive. And Barack Obama wants the doctors, you know, chasing it through the delivery room to make sure it gets killed."

On his nationally syndicated radio program, Limbaugh asserted: "We know that Barack Obama believes it is proper to kill a baby that has survived an abortion."

From the August 18 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes:

HANNITY: Ann Coulter, I'll start with you. The Born Alive Infant Protection Acts. They induce these abortions. I --

COULTER: Right.

HANNITY: I interviewed Jill Stanek. She's a nurse. Illinois.

COULTER: Right.

HANNITY: Testified before Obama's committee. A baby with Down syndrome aborted, thrown in a soiled utility room. She cradles this baby that's breathing for 45 minutes, and Barack Obama was the only senator to speak out against a bill that would have protected babies in that situation. Is that the --

COULTER: Right.

HANNITY: Is that infanticide?

COULTER: It's shocking.

HANNITY: It is.

COULTER: It's -- of course it's infanticide. Yeah, he's for a woman's right to choose through the fourth trimester. And even Barbara Boxer, whom until now was the most staunchly pro-abortion senator, even she spoke in favor of this bill. I mean, this is a child that is not bothering the woman anymore, is not going to make her depressed or affect her health. It's out of the woman's body. They tried to kill it, but somehow the baby made it out alive.

HANNITY: Yeah.

COULTER: Sometimes missing an arm, but alive. And Barack Obama wants the doctors, you know, chasing it through the delivery room to make sure it gets killed. And moreover, you know, his remark about -- the glib remark about, "Oh, when life begins, it's above my pay grade." What kind of moral principle says, "I don't know when life begins, so kill it"? No, if you don't know when life begins, you err on the side of life, at least if you're a decent human being.

From the August 18 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:

LIMBAUGH: When he got this question, he basically -- the question was, when does human life begin? It's right -- the first thought in his mind is, "Well, I can't make the NOW people mad. I can't make the feminists mad. I can't betray the feminists. And I can't betray the left -- I can't -- so how do I -- oh God, how do I answer this? Well, uh, you know, uh, whenever you're looking at it from a theological, scientific -- answering that question with specific--"

It's the most easy question in the world to answer with specificity. Your specificity might be wrong and people might be disagree with it, but at some point, Senator, a human being has human rights. You just will not admit that a human being is a human being at some point. Because doing so is going to anger people on the left who demand a doctrinaire response from you on this.

Now, what do we know about Obama's actual practice? We know that Barack Obama believes it is proper to kill a baby that has survived an abortion. So, newborn babies don't get any rights. His socialist friends will be mad, because this means Obama's not for cradle-to-grave government welfare. This could go back and harm him in any number of ways. Obama thinks cradle-to-grave is the sequence of events for children born when the parents don't take one look at the kid and decide to go a different direction with their lives.

You could say, and you wouldn't be far wrong, that Barack Obama is akin to an executioner. Don't ask him the why questions; he just knows who. He doesn't care about when or how. He just knows who. I'll tell you, he's going to need one hell of a convention bounce, because this position of his is inhuman, even if he did not have this history of supporting the killing of babies outside the womb, who have survived abortions.

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