EDITORIAL: Obama Chooses Senator Biden for VP and the Battle for Life is Engaged
words, he also "strongly supports Roe v Wade”, which was the Supreme Court decision that entrenched unrestricted abortion as the positive law in America.
While still a candidate for the Presidency himself, he participated in the NBC sponsored Presidential debate of April 27, 2008 in South Carolina. The venue gave him the opportunity to summarize his position as he responded to a question concerning the nomination of potential Supreme Court Justices and the decision of that Court in affirming the federal ban on partial birth abortions:
MODERATOR: Senator Biden, as president would you have a specific litmus test question on Roe v. Wade that you would ask of your nominees for the high court?
BIDEN: I strongly support Roe v. Wade. I wouldn't have a specific question but I would make sure that the people I sent to be nominated for the Supreme Court shared my values; and understood that there is a right to privacy in the United States Constitution. That's why I lead the fight to defeat Bork. Thank God he is not in the court or Roe v. Wade would be gone by now.
Number two, that's why I was so outspoken and have been criticized for being outspoken and leading the effort to try to defeat Roberts and Alito. That's why I opposed, the other, Thomas on the court. The truth of the matter is that this decision (Ed: referring to Partial Birth Abortion) was intellectually dishonest. I think it is a rare procedure that should only be available when the woman's life and health is at stake.
But, what this court did is it took that decision, and it said -- put a Trojan horse in -- through dishonest reasoning, laid the groundwork for undoing Roe v. Wade. That's the danger of this decision. Not the specific procedure, but the rationale offered to justify, I think, the next step they're going to try to take.”
So, Senator Biden has tried to have it both ways. To say that he supports the ban on “Partial Birth” abortion but also opposed the Supreme Courts decision to uphold it? In an April 29th interview with the late Tim Russert on “Meet the Press” the now Vice Presidential candidate was asked to elaborate further on this position:
MR. RUSSERT: Let me talk—turn to abortion. The ban on partial-birth abortions or late-term abortions, you supported that ban.
SEN. BIDEN: I did and I do.
MR. RUSSERT: And the Supreme Court came and basically upheld that ban...
SEN. BIDEN: That’s right.
MR. RUSSERT: ...and you criticized the Supreme Court.
SEN. BIDEN: I’ll tell you why I criticized the Supreme Court. They upheld the ban, and then they engaged in what we lawyers call dicta that is frightening. You had an intellectually dishonest rationale for an honest justification for upholding the ban, and that was this: They went further, and then they, in the language associated with the decision said, by the way, they blurred whether there is the first trimester and third trimester in how much—I know this is going to sound arcane to the listeners—but whether or not they blurred the distinction between the government’s role in being involved in the first day and the ninth month.
They blurred the role in terms of whether or not there is—they became paternalistic, talking about the court could consider the impact on the mother and keeping her from making a mistake. This is all code for saying, “Here we come to undo Roe v. Wade.” And it went on to say, by the way, that the life of the mother was, in fact, permissible exception, and it went on to say that even—that any woman could challenge, even if her health is at risk, could come back to the court to challenge that. So the bottom line here is, what they did is not so much the decision, the actual outcome of the decision, it’s what attended the decision that portends for a real hard move on the court to undo the right of privacy. That’s what I’m criticizing about the court’s decision.
MR. RUSSERT: You have changed your position on abortion. When you came to the Senate, you believed that Roe v. Wade was not correctly decided and that you also believed a right of abortion was not secured by the Constitution. Why did you change your mind?
SEN. BIDEN: Well, I was 29 years old when I came to the United States Senate, and I have learned a lot. Look, Tim, I’m a practicing Catholic, and it is the biggest dilemma for me in terms of comporting my, my religious and cultural views with my political responsibility. And the decision that I have come to is Roe v. Wade is as close to we’re going to be able to get as a society that incorporates the general lines of debate within Christendom, Judaism and other faiths, where it basically says there is a sliding scale relating to viability of a fetus. We can argue about whether or not it’s precisely set, whether it’s right or wrong in terms of its three ...
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
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