Biden Makes ‘No Apologies’ for Late-Term Abortion Vote

Apr 24, 2007 5:08pm

ABC News’ Teddy Davis Reports: Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., said Tuesday that he makes "no apologies" for being the only Democratic presidential candidate who voted for a late-term abortion ban which was upheld last week by the U.S. Supreme Court.

"I voted for the partial-birth abortion ban," said Biden while answering a woman’s question at a conference sponsored by the National Jewish Democratic Council. "I think it’s an extraordinary circumstance, I make no apologies for it."

While standing by his own vote for the late-term abortion ban, Biden excoriated the Supreme Court for including in the non-controlling portion of its judicial opinion that it is "appropriate for the Court to consider the mother’s well-being" and for saying, in Biden’s words, that they want to "save the mother from making a serious mistake."

Biden called it the "most parental, condescending judgment" he has observed in a Supreme Court decision since Justice Rehnquist said that Biden’s Violence Against Women Act would "encourage women to just leverage it for divorce settlement purposes."

Biden also objected to what he called the opinion’s merging of "the first trimester and third trimester" which he said "blurred the distinction and said that the state has compelling interest in the beginning."

"It does not," said Biden. "That’s not what Roe v Wade said."

Asked what specific steps he would take as president to ensure abortion is available, Biden said he would "put people on the Court who support Roe v Wade" or consider a "constitutional amendment in reverse." Biden said that a constitutional amendment enshrining abortion rights is "not a bad idea." He added, however, that "the problem is the idea you think you’re going to get a constitutional amendment passed in order to guarantee in this circumstance is not likely."

Asked following his remarks whether he was opening himself up to the criticism that he supports a judicial litmus test on abortion, Biden told ABC News that there are
"certain staid principles" of constitutional law which have become "settled law."

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