Democrats Back Abortion, Attack Terri Schiavo Aid During First Debate

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 27, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Democrats Back Abortion, Attack Terri Schiavo Aid During First Debate Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 27
, 2007

Washington, DC ( — There’s one thing all of the Democratic candidates seeking the party’s nomination for president have in common — they all strongly support abortion. The candidates put those pro-abortion views on display last night in the first primary presidential debate of the election season.

Former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards left off the debate with the first question on abortion issues going to him.

He said he disagreed with the Supreme Court’s ruling upholding a national ban on partial-birth abortions and promised, if elected, to appoint justices to the Supreme Court who would promote abortion on the bench.

"I would say first that this decision by the Supreme Court is actually a perfect example of what’s at stake in this election. The kind of people that will be appointed to the United States Supreme Court by the next president will control whether [abortion is allowed]," he said.

Senator Barack Obama of Illinois also opposed the ruling and said the broader issue is whether abortion should be legal in general — and he said he supported that.

Joe Biden, a Delaware senator, got the next abortion question and indicated he "strongly supported Roe v. Wade" which allowed unlimited abortion throughout pregnancy.

He said he would "make sure that the people I sent to be nominated to the Supreme Court shared my values" and supported pro-abortion rulings like Roe.

"That’s why I led the fight to defeat Bork. Thank God he’s not on the court or this would — Roe v. Wade would be gone by now," Biden added about the battle over a pro-life nominee for the high court defeated in the 1980s.

Biden pointed to his opposition to Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, all of whom voted to uphold the partial-birth abortion ban.

Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd, who backs abortion, told the audience that he didn’t regret his decision to vote for Alito’s appointment but said he was "disappointed terribly by the decision." He claimed Alito violated comments he made in his confirmation hearings to respect precedent.

Asked to name his favorite Supreme Court justice, pro-abortion Gov. Bill Richardson chimed in and mentioned pro-abortion Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a former ACLU attorney. He said he made the choice because of her dissent in the partial-birth abortion case — a point on which Senator Dodd concurred.

Dennis Kucinich, a pro-abortion Ohio congressman, said during the debate that any of his appointments to the Supreme Court would reflect his pro-abortion views. "I don’t know how it could be otherwise."

Finally, during a question and answer phase about the biggest mistake each candidate has made during his political life, Senator Obama talked about Terri Schiavo.

"I think professionally the biggest mistake that I made was when I first arrived in the Senate. There was a debate about Terri Schiavo, and a lot of us, including me, left the Senate with a bill that allowed Congress to intrude where it shouldn’t have," he said.

"And I think I should have stayed in the Senate and fought more for making sure [Terri’s parents couldn’t take their case to federal court to save her life]," he explained.