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September 27, 2008
Fact-checking on Gianna and Obama ads

Only 4 days ago Michelle Malkin called's output "pure garbage."

I'm here to corroborate.

On September 24, FC posted an article supposedly fact-checking's Gianna ad as well as Barack Obama's retaliatory attack ad.

There was no excuse for Jessica Henig's hit piece, at times deliberately deceptive and at times woefully ignorant. We know this because we provided every bit of documentation she requested and some she didn't think to request in the days before she posted her liberal spin.

In addition, we emailed protests with the same corroboration on September 25 to FC's editor, Brooks Jackson, and he, too, lacked the objectivity or understanding to do the right thing as requested, disable the post pending further investigation.

The title of Henig's piece gives its bias away: "'Born Alive' baloney."

I wrote Jackson that Henig's article was wrong from the very first word, indicative of shoddy work to follow. Henig should have started with "An," not "A," and 3 days later it's still wrong:

But that was nothing....

Gianna Jessen did not "say" she survived a failed abortion, verbiage indicating a mere claim has been made. Jessen's legal birth records prove she was aborted. Henig reviewed these records, as evidenced by her email to me stating, "Actually, I feel pretty solid on the circumstances of Gianna's birth, as they're detailed on the website."

If Henig were "solid," she would have reported the nature of Gianna's birth as factual, scanned and posted here and here.

Then, in the blink of an eye, after restating Jessen's thesis, "if Barack Obama had his way, I wouldn't be here," Henig remarkably changed it: "She's wrong. If she'd been born in Illinois, Illinois law would have protected her with or without the 'born alive' legislation that Obama opposed and that this group supports."

But obviously Jessen did not say "If Illinois law had its way....." Jessen's statement had nothing to do with IL law. It focused squarely on Barack Obama and his strong opposition to giving legal status to abortion survivors and providing them medical care.

Did Henig read Obama's 2001 and 2002 floor speeches from the IL Born Alive Infants Protection Act debate? Did she even view Obama's website?

No, Henig ignored irrefutable evidence of Obama's disregard for the postnatal personhood of abortion survivors and instead scampered off on a diversionary rabbit trail.

Had Henig factchecked the right fact, she would have found this immediate example from Obama's own "factcheck" page about an earlier component of IL's Born Alive Act, demonstrating he clearly does not believe abortion survivors like Jessen warrant legal or medical protection:

Given merely the above, how could Henig have determined any other than Obama believes killing abortion survivors like Jessen at birth is nothing more than 4th trimester abortions?

Nevertheless, this turtle will trudge down the rabbit trail after Henig if only to repudiate her misrepresentation of the IL Abortion Act of 1975, with a hat tip to Henig's listed source, Planned Parenthood, which everyone but Henig knows opposed IL's Born Alive.

My information comes from attorney Paul Linton, who represented the American Academy of Medical Ethics when 15 years ago it opposed the US District Court's decision to enjoin much of IL's Abortion Act of 1975.

One section of the IL Abortion Act enjoined in the 1993 Herbst v. O'Malley decision included the definitions of "born alive," "live born," and "live birth."

To restate, there was no enforceable definition of "born alive" in IL law when Obama opposed IL's Born Alive Infants Protection Act.

The IL Born Alive Act would have restored that language. By opposing Born Alive, Obama was agreeing with the Herbst decision that an infant born alive as the result of an abortion should not be protected by the IL Criminal Code.

Further, there are 2 loopholes in the IL Abortion Act.

1. The IL Abortion Act applies only to viable infants, while Born Alive applies to all live-born infants, regardless of viability. In other words, the former dealt with viability, the latter with live birth. Thus, in the case of the live birth of a child who was determined not to be viable at the time the abortion was committed, the 1975 law did not apply.

2. The one determining a baby's viability according to the IL Abortion Act is the abortionist, and s/he is allowed to determine viability pre-birth. Rational people understand the potential for the very person trying to kill the baby pre-birth to subjectively assess the baby's likelihood of survival post-birth.

That said, the IL Abortion Act states that in the event the abortionist determines a baby s/he is trying to kill might survive and might be viable, s/he was to call a 2nd doctor to assess the abortion survivor at birth.

And in this audio clip from Obama's 2002 IL Senate floor debate, he argued against making that very call, stating doing so would be a "burden" to the aborting mother's "original decision." Hear for yourself:

Obama's born alive but let die speech on mp3
Momentarily hopping off her rabbit trail, Henig added:

For the record, Obama says he would have supported "born alive" legislation in Illinois if framed in a way that did not pose a threat to abortion rights granted by the Supreme Court in its Roe v. Wade decision.
Actually, for the real record, Obama opposed identical Born Alive legislation in IL in 2003 that passed 98-0 in the U.S. Senate and for which the pro-abortion group NARAL even went neutral. Furthermore, upon its passage on August 5, 2002, and in the 6 years since, the federal Born Alive law has never been challenged in court.

Finally, after devoting 3/4 of her piece to's Gianna ad to incorrectly "factcheck" points not even in the ad, Henig finally poked her nose into the Obama attack response ad only to chase off on another rabbit trail to "fact check" an attack Obama made against John McCain in his ad, who had nothing to do with the Gianna ad.

Henig then repeated Obama's deceptive slurs against's Gianna ad as "sleazy" and "vile" without noting they were actually written by journalists about a completely different ad.

Henig ignored Obama's claim that his Born Alive votes were "taken out of context." The obvious fact check would have been to check their context.

Another fact not checked: Obama threw the word "infanticide" into his ad, never once mentioned by the ad, in a sentence taken completely out of context by Born Alive's 2003 senate sponsor.

Henig finally did note Obama misrepresented's ad as being sponsored by McCain only to fittingly close her piece by running off on a 3rd rabbit trail, to say, well, McCain did it, too, and to link to that ad.

Henig must be tired. But she deserves much credit for completely undermining's stated mission, "to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics."


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