Former Nurse on Obama's Controversial Abortion Vote

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This is a rush transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," August 20, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: Barack Obama's abortion voting record continues to come under fire. Now it centers around his controversial decision not to vote for the Born Alive Infant Protection Act when he was a state senator in Illinois. The act provided legal rights to babies that survived botched late-term abortions.

Now I sat down for an exclusive interview with nurse Jill Stanek, and she was a nurse whose personal experience led her to testify in support of the bill that Obama opposed in 2003.


HANNITY (on camera): Explain to our audience what a late-term, labor- induced abortion is, so they understand because you're a nurse, and I want people to understand fully what it is.

JILL STANEK, PRO-LIFE ACTIVIST: Sure. This is not partial birth abortion. This is called induced labor abortion, and for this procedure, the physician inserts a medication into the mom's birth canal that dilates the cervix, and the intent is for the baby be delivered prematurely. They're fully formed, but very small.

Video: Watch Sean and Alan's interview with Jill Stanek

So when the cervix opens, essentially, the baby falls out of the uterus, and it is anticipated that the baby will die during the birth process or soon afterwards. But sometimes these babies live for a time.

Christ Hospital, where I worked, confessed to the "Chicago Sun-Times" in 2001 that between 10 and 20 percent of babies at that hospital that were aborted by this method survived.

HANNITY: You tell the story -- a hard-wrenching story about a about a down syndrome baby you found.


HANNITY: . that was living, that had been abandoned in the soiled utility room at the hospital that you ended up cradling and rocking and holding for the 45 minutes that this baby lived.

Tell us that story.

STANEK: One night a nursing coworker was taking a little baby boy who had been aborted alive at -- between 21 and 22 weeks because he had down syndrome to our soiled utility room to die because his parents didn't want to hold him, and she didn't have time to hold him that night, and when she told me what she was doing, I couldn't bear the thought of this suffering child dying alone, and so I did cradle and rock him for the 45 minutes that he lived.

HANNITY: Yes. Now I understand now the hospital is disputing this even though you say they admit that this -- this had happened.

STANEK: The hospital has never publicly disputed it before today. I've been publicly testifying under oath for years, and the hospital has never denied it, and the hospital has never sued me for libel, so.

HANNITY: All right, now.

STANEK: I'm not the only one who testified either. Another nurse testified in Washington.


STANEK: . about her experience, too.

HANNITY: All right, what was Barack Obama -- here you're telling this heart-wrenching story about the little baby that survived this abortion, and again this is the.

STANEK: Right.

HANNITY: . the Born Alive Infant Protection Act.

STANEK: Right.

HANNITY: In other words, if it's a botched abortion, the baby doesn't die, as, quote, "planned," that the baby would then be entitled to, as a person, to get medical care, et cetera.

When you told the story about cradling and rocking this baby for 45 minutes in the soiled utility room, what was Barack Obama's reaction?

STANEK: In committee he took the opinion of the ACLU attorney and said that he thought that this would be something that would overturn Roe v. Wade, and he opposed it in committee, and then he took a leadership role opposing this to go on and be the sole senator to speak against this bill on the Senate floor, not once, but two years in a row.

And he brags on his Web site now that he strategized with Planned Parenthood to defeat this bill.

HANNITY: Yes. Now -- and can you -- he was the sole senator now to speak out.


HANNITY: . when this bill was finally presented to the Illinois state Senate, what he said was this would have forbid abortions to take place if these babies were protected and that this would then be an antiabortion statute. That's now on the record. That's what he said at the time,.

But then ultimately he voted present which was often a practice of Barack Obama whenever a controversial vote came up, correct?

STANEK: Yes. He said on the Senate floor as a matter of fact that he thought that this would ultimately be considered unconstitutional, and he said that he strategized with Planned Parenthood to vote present because in Illinois a present vote is the same as a no vote.

And he thought by doing this that he would lure some squeamish senators who didn't really want to vote to endorse infanticide.


STANEK: . by opposing this bill to lure them to vote present, too, as well by doing that.

HANNITY: All right, now, I want to get into -- because this now has come to a head because Barack Obama.

STANEK: Right.

HANNITY: . is saying that those people are actually lying.


SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I hate to say that people are lying, but here's the situation where folks are lying.

I have said repeatedly that I would have been completely and fully in support of the federal bill that everybody supported, which was to say that you should provide assistance to any infant that was born, even if it was as a consequence of an induced abortion.

That was not the bill that was presented at the state level.


HANNITY: We've done our background, we've done our research. Tell us if I'm wrong here.

There were two separate years in which bills came before the Illinois legislature. The first was in 2001 when in that particular bill he spoke out against where it would have recognized premature abortion survivors as persons, and the bill was in response to the -- what had happened at the Chicago hospital.

STANEK: Right.

HANNITY: That's the one he voted present on -- present on.

In 2003, another bill that came before his health committee that he voted against, but this time the legislation was exactly identical to the federal Born Alive Infant Protection Act.

Is that right or is anybody lying about him supporting this radical point of view that you don't offer assistance to a baby that's living outside of a mother's womb?

STANEK: He's misrepresenting what happened. In -- by 2003 the Born Alive Act had passed on the federal level, 98-0 in the U.S. Senate. Hillary Clinton, Kerry, Boxer, Kennedy, all voted for it. In fact, Kennedy and Boxer spoke in favor of it on the Senate floor.

Nayrel went neutral on it, and it contained what they -- we call a neutrality clause. And so when the bill was introduced in Illinois in 2003, the crafter of the bill enters this neutrality clause into the bill and Barack Obama's state trying to help in Human Services Committee.

Barack Obama voted in favor of this amendment. In other words, he voted to make this bill identical to the federal bill, and then he voted against the bill. So -- and this is new information that National Right to Life uncovered last week.

So Barack Obama since-- 2004 has been maintaining, just what you read, as recently as less than a week ago, that had the bill have been worded identically as a federal bill, he would have voted for it and then it should not.

HANNITY: Well, not true. This is very key, because this goes to the heart.


HANNITY: . and soul of his truthfulness and his veracity for the man who wants to be president. So what he's saying is that, no, no, I would have voted for the federal bill -- the Born Alive Infant Protection Act. I would have voted for the federal bill, but he was given the opportunity on the state level to vote for an identical bill.

Were there any differences at all, any nuances at all? Because he's saying those of us that have research this are lying. Is he lying or are people that have researched it lying?

STANEK: It is indisputable. The language of the bill is indisputable. And if Barack Obama continues to deny that he voted for this -- what we say he voted for, then he has to come forward and either accuse somebody in the Illinois general assembly of forgery and command an investigation or say that he made a mistake and didn't -- didn't mean to vote the way he did, which would say that he's incompetent.

HANNITY: OK. Jill Stanek, thank you for being with us. We appreciate you being on the program tonight. Thank you very much.

STANEK: Thank you, Sean.


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