"Number one," said Obama, explaining his reluctance to protect born infants, "whenever we define a pre-viable fetus as a person that is protected by the Equal Protection Clause or the other elements in the Constitution, what we're really saying is, in fact, that they are persons that are entitled to the kinds of protections that would be provided to a -- a child, a 9-month old -- child that was delivered to term. That determination then, essentially, if it was accepted by a court, would forbid abortions to take place. I mean, it -- it would essentially bar abortions, because the Equal Protection Clause does not allow somebody to kill a child, and if this is a child, then this would be an anti-abortion statute."
That June, the U.S. Senate voted 98-0 in favor of the Born Alive Infants Protection Act (although it failed to become law that year). Pro-abortion Democrats supported it because this language was added: "Nothing in this section shall be construed to affirm, deny, expand or contract any legal status or legal right applicable to any member of the species homo sapiens at any point prior to being born alive as defined in this section."
Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer explained that with this language the "amendment certainly does not attack Roe v. Wade."
On July 18, 2002, Democratic Sen. Harry Reid called for the bill to be approved by unanimous consent. It was.
That same year, the Illinois version of the bill came up again. Obama voted "no."
In 2003, Democrats took control of the Illinois Senate. Obama became chairman of the Health and Human Services committee. The Born Alive Infant bill, now sponsored by Sen. Richard Winkel, was referred to this committee. Winkel also sponsored an amendment to make the Illinois bill identical to the federal law, adding -- word for word -- the language Barbara Boxer said protected Roe v. Wade. Obama still held the bill hostage in his committee, never calling a vote so it could be sent to the full senate.
A year later, when Republican U.S. senate candidate Alan Keyes challenged Obama in a debate for his opposition to the Born Alive Infant Bill, Obama said: "At the federal level there was a similar bill that passed because it had an amendment saying this does not encroach on Roe v. Wade. I would have voted for that bill."
In fact, Obama had personally killed exactly that bill.