Stanek’s claim is that Obama was stopping a bill to outlaw infanticide and that such a law was required in Illinois because of what she claims occurred at Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn. However, the response from the Illinois Attorney General to the claims points out that if such events occurred, those events would already be illegal.
The July 2000 letter was a response from Ryan’s office to Concerned Women for America regarding a complaint by nurse Jill Stanek, who claimed that fetuses that were born alive at Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, Illinois, were abandoned without treatment, including in a soiled utility room. In a letter on Ryan’s letterhead, chief deputy attorney general Carole R. Doris wrote in part:
On December 6, IDPH provided this office with its investigative report and advised us that IDPH’s internal review did not indicate [emphasis added] a violation of the Hospital Licensing Act or the Vital Records Act.
No other allegations or medical evidence to support any statutory violation (including the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act about which you inquired) were referred to our office by the Department for prosecution.
While we are deeply respectful of your serious concerns about the practices and methods of abortions at this hospital, we have concluded that there is no basis for legal action by this office against the Hospital or its employees, agents or staff at this time.
From that letter, Freddoso concludes that the state found that “[i]n leaving born babies to die without treatment, Christ Hospital was doing nothing illegal under the laws of Illinois.” But the state’s conclusions regarding the law were reportedly the opposite of what Freddoso claims — IDPH reportedly concluded that if the hospital had done what Stanek alleged, its actions would have been illegal under existing law. (The word “indicate” is in italics above because in his quotation of the letter, Freddoso substitutes the word “include” for the word “indicate.”)
In an August 2004 email discussion with Stanek, Chicago Tribune columnist Eric Zorn quoted IDPH spokesman Tom Shafer stating, apparently in reference to Stanek and another nurse, Allison Baker: “[W]hat they were alleging were violations of existing law. … We took (the allegations) very seriously.” Zorn wrote further: “Shafer told me that the 1999 investigation reviewed logs, personnel files and medical records. It concluded, ‘The allegation that infants were allowed to expire in a utility room could not be substantiated (and) all staff interviewed denied that any infant was ever left alone.’ “
From Zorn’s 2004 blog post:
As you well know, Jill, the Illinois Atty. General’s office, then under abortion foe Jim Ryan, was quite concerned about your allegations and directed the Illinois Dept. of Public Health to conduct a thorough investigation of the claims made by you and Allison Baker.
“Because what they were alleging were violations of existing law,” IDPH spokesman Tom Shafer told me yesterday. “We took (the allegations) very seriously.”
Shafer told me that the 1999 investigation reviewed logs, personnel files and medical records. It concluded, “The allegation that infants were allowed to expire in a utility room could not be substantiated (and) all staff interviewed denied that any infant was ever left alone.”
Shafer was quick to add that neither he nor the IDPH report concluded that your testimony was untruthful or exaggerated to help advance your anti-abortion views — simply that their investigation did not substantiate the allegations.
In other words, contrary to Freddoso’s claim, the IDPH’s reported position supported Obama’s explanation: Current law already “mandated lifesaving measures for premature babies.” Freddoso writes of Obama’s assertion: “This is not true. Such measures were not already the law in Illinois. Not according to the Department of Public Health. Not according to Attorney General Ryan” [emphasis in original].But the letter does not, as Freddoso claims, assert that “[s]uch measures were not already the law in Illinois.” Nor does the IDPH; indeed, Zorn quoted the IDPH spokesman saying that the actions alleged by Stanek would have violated the law at the time.
The entire argument is bogus. Infants were protected in Illinois prior to 1999 and after 1999. No law had to be passed–it was a rather obvious effort to overturn Roe v. Wade.
And people who worked for Jim Ryan should know that.