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FACT CHECK: Gingrich Claim on Obama Infanticide Vote A Stretch FACT CHECK: Gingrich Claim on Obama Infanticide Vote A Stretch

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The Trail: 2012 Presidential News from the Field / CAMPAIGN 2012

FACT CHECK: Gingrich Claim on Obama Infanticide Vote A Stretch

Obama did not vote to legalize infanticide, and the media did not ignore the issue.

photo of Naureen Khan
February 22, 2012

In answering a CNN debate question about birth control, Newt Gingrich lashed out at the media for giving President Obama a free pass during his 2008 bid.

“Not once did anybody in the elite media ask why Barack Obama voted in favor of legalizing infanticide,” Gingrich said.

Gingrich was presumably referencing Obama’s opposition to Illinois’ proposed version of a “born alive” law, intended to require doctors to administer immediate medical care to any infant that survived an intended abortion.

 

According to Politifact, an independent fact-checking organization that looked into similar claims made by former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum on the campaign trail, Obama voiced his opposition to the new legislation as a state senator because it would have given legal status to fetuses and would thus have been struck down by the courts, and because Illinois already had laws to ensure infants who survived abortions would be given medical attention.

FactCheck.org found holes in Obama’s explanations as to why he did not support the “born alive” legislation. However, by opposing the bill, Obama was not voting to legalize infanticide (as Gingrich said) or to prevent doctors from giving infants medical attention.

Furthermore, the media, including CNN, reported on and discussed Obama’s opposition to the legislation during his 2008 presidential campaign.  

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