Skip to comments.Roe v. Wade should be updated says Lieberman
Posted on 12/26/2003 6:50:08 AM PST by billorites
JOE ON ROE: Joe Lieberman said this week that extraordinary advances in medical science have forced a re-examination of the 30-year-old Roe V. Wade rulings trimester-based approach to the abortion issue.
In an interview with editors and a Union Leader reporter, the Presidential hopeful said he remains staunchly pro-choice. But he said he realizes the period of time a woman actually has a right to choose gradually grows shorter as medical science pushes fetal viability ever-earlier in pregnancy.
Since all nine Democrats in the race are pro-choice, abortion has rarely come up. Yet, Lieberman said, I think about it a lot.
And he said that as President, Ill follow a policy that makes abortion safe, rare and legal.
JOE LIEBERMAN To me, Roe v. Wade said that in the stages of pregnancy up to viability (of the fetus), the state basically cannot intervene in a decision a woman makes whether to go forward with a pregnancy or not. But after viability, the state can regulate that choice because the interest of the fetus goes up.
What has changed, Lieberman said, is that the court talked in terms of trimesters, but has viability because of the extraordinary advances in medical science begun to occur at an earlier stage?
Lieberman said he is consistent to both support Roe v. Wade and to realize that the period of time in a pregnancy when the right to choose prevails has been somewhat shortened.
He said most abortions occur in the first three months of pregnancy, but viability is now in some cases 24 or 25 weeks and in a few cases, a little bit less.
Lieberman said the U.S. Supreme Courts trimester approach was related to the state of medical science at the time. The decision was handed down in 1973.
But subsequent cases to Roe tend to put more emphasis on viability, he said.
In fact, the trimester-based approach has not been the Supreme Courts standard for more than a decade.
The courts summary of its original ruling said that for the stage prior to approximately the end of the first trimester, the abortion decision is left entirely to the woman and her physician.
The ruling said the state may impose regulations on, and may even ban, second- or third-trimester abortions except when the life or health of the mother is at stake.
But in 1992, in a decision on a Pennsylvania law, the Supreme Court said, We reject the trimester framework, which we do not consider to be part of the essential holding of Roe. . .The trimester framework suffers from these basic flaws: in its formulation it misconceives the nature of the pregnant womans interest; and in practice it undervalues the states interest in potential life, as recognized in Roe.
HOWARD THE OUTRAGEOUS. In the interview, Lieberman continued his diss Dean theme, focusing on Howard Deans latest slap at the centrist Democratic Leadership Council.
Lieberman said even after Dean backtracked from a portion of a speech in which he took on one of the central statements of the Clinton administration that the era of big government is over, he was at it again last Monday night.
In Pembroke, Dean called the DLC the Republican wing of the Democratic Party.
Its outrageous, Lieberman, a former DLC chairman, said.
Dean said Tuesday he wasnt serious.
I was having a little fun at their expense, Dean said. Theyve been having eight months of fun at my expense.
But Lieberman said Dean has dramatically diverged from where the party ought to be and put himself in a position where he will be the candidate of one wing of the Democratic Party, and thats not enough to win a general election.
When confronted with tough questions about taxes, national security or the capture of Saddam Hussein, Dean either changes the subject, or alters his comments or he throws back an invective, Lieberman charged.
He said that on both foreign and domestic policy, Howard has made statements that are puzzling and, I worry, impulsive. And some of them have been downright irresponsible.
Meanwhile, Lieberman parted ways (again) with his Democratic rivals by saying he supported the Bush administrations decision to ban French, German and Russian companies from bidding on Iraq contracts.
PARSING HOWARD. Newsweek reported two weeks ago that Dean and his staff stopped using a corporate jet owned by Leucadia National Corp. when they discovered that the company announced plans in 2002 to set up shop in Bermuda to take advantage of a tax loophole.
Dean spokesman Tricia Enright told Newsweek the campaign had reimbursed Leucadia and that Dean was in the process of paying for a personal trip on the plane to Laos to recover the remains of his brother.
So several opposing campaigns took notice of the following exchange at a town hall-style Dean meeting in Manchester last Sunday night.
A questioner named Neil from Manchester noted that Dean had just talked about how Republicans are tied very closely to the Bermuda tax loophole.
Neil went on, My question is: Isnt it true that you and members of your campaign staff the greater part of this year were flying around in corporate jets owned by a private company that used this exact same loophole that you discussed?
Dean answered, No, its not true, and he moved on to the next question.
Enright tells the Status that Deans quick response was accurate.
First, she said, Leucadia only plans to set up a headquarters in Bermuda. According to Enright and several business Web sites, the company announced its intention in the spring of 2002, but hasnt yet actually made the inversion as the process is known in the business world.
So, she said, Leucadia hasnt used the loophole.
Second, Enright said, We have taken hundreds of flights since last January and a total of three of those flights were on (Leucadias) plane. So much for the greater part of this year part of Neils query.
KERRYS NEXT BIG THING. Question: What can John Kerry do for an encore now that hes literally mortgaged the house for his campaign?
Kerrys answer: Roll out Jeanne Shaheen.
The Kerry campaign on Monday will begin airing a television ad featuring the former three-term governor, the national co-chair of his campaign.
The ad shows them walking side-by-side. Shaheen says: Let me tell you why I am supporting John Kerry. Were living in an increasingly dangerous world, and John Kerry has the experience and judgment needed to keep our nation safe.
We need a President who will really take on the special interests, and John Kerrys done it. Im supporting John Kerry and I hope you will join me in supporting him, too.
As expected, Shaheen wont leave the state between now and Jan. 27 and will be on the trail for the Massachusetts senator just about 24/7.
You know what they (and we) say about endorsements in a New Hampshire primary. They dont mean much.
But if anyone can influence Democrats in New Hampshire, youd have to think the most influential Democrat in the state in at least the past decade can.
KUCINICH REACHES OUT. Dennis Kucinich will be the first candidate to address a forum of Arab-American Granite Staters later today when he stops at the Islamic Society of Greater Manchester on Maple Street at 6 p.m.
Nabil Migalli of the states Arab-American Forum said he is impressed that Kucinich is reaching out to the estimated 5,000 Arab-Americans in New Hampshire.
And he completely reversed himself on all his prior positions once he joined the Gore ticket. The only way I'd ever vote for him is if McCain was his opponent.
How does being pregnant cause a rise in your blood pressure if you don't mind me asking?
A reasonable person, facing a moving target like this on a decision as monumental as a human life, could reasonably conclude that it would be more prudent to err on the conservative side-- say the date of conception-- until medical science finally got its' collective head out of its fifth point of contact.
Can't speak for Tax-Chick, or any other woman for that matter, but... My blood pressure was certainly a little high through the majority of my wife's pregnancy! ;>
I'm projecting a decrease sometime close to 18 years from now...
According to "What to Expect When You're Expecting," it has not been determined what causes high blood pressure in pregnancy. Kind of surprises me, actually. It can be extremely dangerous to the baby in the last weeks of pregnancy, so in severe cases the babies will be delivered early.
Mine is only up a little, and almost certainly due to the amount of weight I've gained, or the stress of having to take my other six children along on OB checkups. I'm looking forward to going back to Weight Watchers in just a few weeks! But seriously, anxiety about my weight could be considered a sufficient "health reason" for abortion, even at this stage, as could the inconvenience of getting the proper prenatal care with my horde along. Scary, isn't it?
Call me a cynic, but I think Joe's just sniffing the political winds...
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