According to the records made by committee Republicans, the amendment to include in the Illinois bill the language Boxer said protected Roe was approved by a 10 to zero vote of the committee. (This vote, Republicans say, was a common procedural courtesy extended to the sponsoring senator.) The bill as amended was then put to a committee vote. It lost four to six, with Obama voting "no."
"I just read a copy of the Illinois Senate Republican Staff analysis on SB 1082 (93rd General Assembly), and, contrary to the bill status report on the Illinois General Assembly Website, it shows the bill -- as amended -- was in fact called for a vote in committee on a motion to recommend the bill for passage to the whole Senate," former Sen. Winkel, now an adjunct professor at the University of Illinois College of Law, wrote me in an email. "That motion failed 4-6-0 along party lines, and the chairman, then state Sen. Barack Obama, voted no. The result is that the bill died in the committee."
Righter backed up Winkel's explanation of the Republican records. "If I want to see a vote history in committee on a certain bill, I will go to our records first," Righter told me. "Now, another source of information is the online service that you checked, as well. The online service in this case is rather vague. It just says that the bill never made it out of committee. But I have full faith and confidence in what our files show, absolutely."
In his 2004 U.S. Senate campaign, Obama was challenged on his opposition to the Born Alive Infants bill during a debate with Alan Keyes. "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," Obama said. "I would have voted for that bill."
This statement seems to contradict the record made by committee Republicans, attested to by Winkel and Righter, which says he directly voted against the bill that included the amendment with the Roe-protecting language from the federal bill. "The amendment made my bill the same as the federal legislation," Winkel told me.
Obama's campaign press office did not respond to repeated requests for comment.
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