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October 1, 2008

Palin and Biden offer Roe v. Wade views

Sarah Palin and Joe Biden discussed their opposing views on Roe v. Wade with Katie Couric in a CBS interview posted today.

Their answers are below, but many news outlets focus on Palin's difficulty naming another Supreme Court case she disagreed with besides Roe V. Wade.

Joe Biden

Katie Couric: Why do you think Roe v. Wade was a good decision?

Joe Biden: Because it's as close to a consensus that can exist in a society as heterogeneous as ours. What does it say? It says in the first three months that decision should be left to the woman. And the second three months, where Roe v. Wade says, well then the state, the government has a role, along with the women's health, they have a right to have some impact on that. And the third three months they say the weight of the government's input is on the fetus being carried.

And so that's sort of reflected as close as anybody is ever going to get in this heterogeneous, this multicultural society of religious people as to some sort of, not consensus, but as close it gets.

I think the liberty clause of the 14th Amendment … offers a right to privacy. Now that's one of the big debates that I have with my conservative scholar friends, that they say, you know, unless a right is enumerated - unless it's actually, unless [it] uses the word "privacy" in the Constitution - then no such "constitutional right" exists. Well, I think people have an inherent right.

Sarah Palin

Couric Why, in your view, is Roe v. Wade a bad decision?

Sarah Palin: I think it should be a states' issue not a federal government-mandated, mandating yes or no on such an important issue. I'm, in that sense, a federalist, where I believe that states should have more say in the laws of their lands and individual areas. Now, foundationally, also, though, it's no secret that I'm pro-life that I believe in a culture of life is very important for this country. Personally that's what I would like to see, um, further embraced by America.

Couric: Do you think there's an inherent right to privacy in the Constitution?

Palin: I do. Yeah, I do.

Couric: The cornerstone of Roe v. Wade.

Palin: I do. And I believe that individual states can best handle what the people within the different constituencies in the 50 states would like to see their will ushered in an issue like that.

Couric: What other Supreme Court decisions do you disagree with?

Palin: Well, let's see. There's, of course in the great history of America there have been rulings, that's never going to be absolute consensus by every American. And there are those issues, again, like Roe v. Wade, where I believe are best held on a state level and addressed there. So you know, going through the history of America, there would be others but …

Couric: Can you think of any?

Palin: Well, I could think of … any again, that could be best dealt with on a more local level. Maybe I would take issue with. But, you know, as mayor, and then as governor and even as a vice president, if I'm so privileged to serve, wouldn't be in a position of changing those things but in supporting the law of the land as it reads today.


How can Palin say she disagrees with Roe v. Wade, but in the next breath say she believes in the right to privacy, which is the foundational legal principle upon which the Roe decision rests. If you believe that there is a Constitutional right to privacy, as Palin insisted she did, then it is a right that is by definition elevated to the Federal, not the state level, making her follow on comments not simply contradictory, but illogical. Palin can believe what she wants, and for any reason she wants, but it would be helpful if she understood the legal frame work in which the abortion issue has been framed, and that by acknowledging that there is a Constitutional right to privacy she has undermined completely, and made irrelevant her state's rights counter argument. Palin simply does not seem to understand that. You'd think that the one Supreme Court case she actually knew and cared about, that she'd at least understand it, the basis upon which it was decided, and the consequence of agreeing that there was a Constitutional right to privacy. It's not that her answers are bad, but that she simply does not seem to actually understand the question.

that's because Palin is a brainwashed dolt.

Right to privacy and right to abortion are two different things. They are not necessarily based on one another.

It pains me to have to point out to the person who wrote "Right to privacy and right to abortion are two different things. They are not necessarily based on one another" that his/her lack of basic understanding about this issue disqualifies him/her from comment. The plain and simple fact is this: a woman's right to determine whether or not to elect an abortion, which as an absolute right is actually limited by Roe v. Wade to the first trimester, is based upon the notion that the Constitution of the US guarantees a persons right to privacy. If there was no right to privacy, the Court in Roe could not have concluded that a woman had the right to seek an abortion. To put it plainly, if there is no right to privacy, there would be no right to abortion! The later is completely dependent upon the existence of the former. Please don't speak about that which you simply have no knowledge, as is evidenced by your comment. It makes you look uninformed, if not worse.

Sarah Palin may have been chosen for the VP spot for the wrong reasons - possibly to try and get more women voters and evangelicals. Mrs. Palin is not too educated on certain issues and stumbles when interviewed. Is she VP material? However, Mrs. Palin does say that she is a born again Christian and a follower of Jesus Christ. I believe our God wants us to have people serving this country who represent Him and His will. We need to pray for God's will to be done in this election. Pray for Sarah Palin and that she seeks God in all things.

Hi Trish,
I understand your sympathy for Gov.Palin. She has certainly endured her share of criticism over the past few weeks. I might suggest that she not only seek God in all things, but that she seek all things in God. In other words, when she speaks it is her faith, which you have affirmed, that dominates her thinking. However,what many, many observers in both parties are becoming impatient with is her seeming incapacity to join together faith and reason in articulating clear, thoughtful answers and responses. Yes, we need to seek God in all things; but we also need to seek all things in God by learning to love God with our minds in acquiring knowledge, understanding, and wisdom This is what Gov. Palin's detractors do not see in her thus far. Peace,

Leo, my words are factually true. The right to privacy is not this same thing as the right to an abortion. You are trying to assert that we don't have a right to privacy, the previous commenter to mine was trying to assert that we don't have a right to privacy.

I am simply trying to say that while Roe V Wade used the right to privacy as one of it basis it is not the only basis for abortion and it is possible to maintain a right to privacy while eliminating abortion.

I actually think that the right to privacy is fairly important. You seem to be suggesting either that we don't have a right to privacy or that if we do we should get rid of it. Both seem to me to be wrong.


Obviously, you have never actually read the text of Roe v. Wade, nor Casey v. Penn, which codified Roe, for if you had you would realize that you simply do not have the slightest clue about which you are speaking. The right to an abortion as articulated in Roe is squarely found on the right to privacy that Court had been developing and articulating in various cases since Griswold v Connecticut. Now, you are backtracking in your comments, from what you said earlier ie, "Right to privacy and right to abortion are two different things. They are not necessarily based on one another" Now you are saying the opposite, that you can have the right to privacy without having the right to an abortion. True enough, you can argue that the right to privacy does not extend to abortion, or that the rights of the fetus trumps the right to an abortion, which is exactly what Roe articulates in the 3rd trimester, but you cannot as you have said, say that abortion is not dependent or based upon the right to privacy. I appreciate your interest in this topic, and attempt to stay relevant, but unless you actually know what you are talking about, sometimes its better to simply read, listen and think than to open your mouth only to put your foot in it! Cheers.

You who criticize Palin on her response probably would also criticize the authors of the 14th amendment. Abortion was not even on the radar screen then as a possible application. How could they have even imagined that mothers, let alone society, would endorse the killing of babies in the womb - all in the name of privacy. They would be appalled at your irrational interpretation. In fact they would see your interpretation as sick and disgusting unworthy even of serious consideration. And Leo, as to your pompous admonition to Adam, you need to take your own advice. And by the way: Have you thanked your mother for not aborting you? Cheers!

"probably would also criticize the authors of the 14th amendment. Abortion was not even on the radar screen then as a possible application. How could they have even imagined that mothers, let alone society, would endorse the killing of babies in the womb - all in the name of privacy. They would be appalled at your irrational interpretation." Amen

For Trish: God miraculously put this minister-missionary in front of Palin to give her His prophecy:
It was at this moment Sarah Palin, reached out for me to help her up and as I was assisting her to stand I was now face to face with her and GOD said, "Open up your Mouth and I will fill it."
Here is what came out...
"God wants you to know that you are a present day Esther!"
[She immediately began to cry]!
"God wants to tell you that you are Chosen for such a time as this!
You are called, and chosen to be a leader. Don't lose heart and don't fear man. The news and nay-sayers and criticizers are going to be very hateful toward you... and in the days ahead they are going to turn up the heat...but do not fear. You are a present day Esther. You are an Esther. You are an Esther! Keep your eyes on GOD and know that He has chosen you to Reign! Stay strong...be strong...don't tire. Don't be weary in well-doing. Be strong."

Her husband Todd came over and I told him what I told her. He began to cry.

I emphasized the fact that he was to guard her at this time...and know that "...she is GOD-CALLED and GOD-ANOINTED." "...this is a GOD-THING and your wife is a Present day Esther...she is for God to use at this time...She is an Esther...she is an Esther...she is an Esther. You will be hated...but stand strong...GOD has called both of you to stand!"
"We are praying and I am praying for you...!"

True Christians are teachable and have easily breakable hearts. They are definitely Christians. It takes one to know one. She doesn't talk it, but she walks it.

Anyone who thinks that a woman's right to have an abortion is an absolute right ought to have his head examined. An abortion is the murder of ANOTHER PERSON, na d a totally innocent one at that. Roe v wade removed the issue from the states. That is plain bad law, considering how it is so contentious.

Abortion is NOT a privacy issue of a mother alone because it already involves the unborn child. This is the fact that pro-aborts try to hide.

I can't help but believe Ms. Palin is being disingenuous re her responses to Katie Couric on abortion. Steve Waldman (on beliefnet) has a very good post on Gov. Palin's comments where he notes that her argumentation sounds pro-choice. Her pro-life position is argued only from a "choice" perspective, to the point she is (after some badgering by Couric) even forced to admit she does not favor making the "Morning After" pill illegal (a position contrary to the official Republican platform).

But let's go to a larger view. Can we really continue clinging to the idea that electing Republicans to the Presidency will lead to Roe being overturned? After all, two of Reagan's and one of George Herbert Walker Bush's appointees to the Court voted FOR Roe -- look it up!. Attempting to effect the overturn of Roe via Presidential elections is like trying to change a light bulb with a wrecking ball.

A growing number of Evangelicals and other Christians committed to life no longer agree that we can continue writing blank checks to a party which is certainly *not* pro-life in any larger sense of the word. I am hopeful that in Barack Obama we have a candidate who, while supporting choice (for reasons I disagree with but respect) also readily admits that the pro-life movement is legitimate and brings up moral issues that cannot be ignored while we all search for solutions.

I myself believe that the real solution to this is in our (the Evangelical world's) hands. If we want it, that is. If a mass movement of Evangelical Christians picked up where the old Operation Rescue failed (failed ethically, in my opinion, by selling out to the GOP and later on endorsing violence), we could massively affect the abortion narrative in America. But as we know from history, Evangelicals are not really as pro-life as they say they are. And this will not happen.

All I'm saying is, don't keep electing Presidents who systematically reward the rich while punishing the poor simply because they promise -- emptily -- to repeal Roe v. Wade. They are NOT going to do it.

Abortion – Who is responsible for what?

There is one major position that separated the Democrats from the Republican in their platforms, and that is abortion. I have heard a tremendous amount of rhetoric about the issue from pro-life, “Christian” camps about sin, and the pro-choice camps boiling down to “Rights of Privacy”, but have never heard either group actually get it right. I would have expected the Pro-life groups representatives to get it right, but oddly, they never quite got to that point of understanding.

Not to long ago, I read over some of the high lights, and statements of the Supreme Court Judges on Roe vs. Wade decision. Armed with an outline of that event and what knowledge I have of the Bible. I was able to figure out the quintessential truth of all of this.

The Pro-choice position is essentially a reflection of what the Supreme Court has put forward as its decision. In a nutshell, women have full authority over a fetus prior to its delivery, and taking its first breath.

The Pro-life position is far cloudier, because they tend to make it up as they go along. Pro-lifers know that they are against the introduction of legalized abortion to this nation as a product of “Roe vs. Wade”. I have never seen them get a handle on who is doing what wrong, and who is responsible for what. I will weigh in here in order to bring some clarity to the issue. I am against abortion, and I do know exactly why.

The Pro-life folks throw aborting women, doctors, nurses, politicians, and the nation in the same boat. The reality is that Supreme Court forced the nation into a sin before God, but not abortion. Abortion’s sin remains upon the woman having the abortion as it has always been.

At this point I ask you to take my word that I can validate what I say is from the Bible. If you need the references I will provide them.

The most conservative interpretation of the Bible tells us that life actually begins at the moment of conception, and the most liberal interpretation tells us that it begins around day seventeen after conception. If a women choices to abort the fetus she commits a sin (murder), and is responsible to God for that sin. Salvation is given as gift to us upon repentance of our sins, and accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. After we die, at the time of judgment, God holds us accountable for our sins (I am not going into depth here about salvation, judgment, etc), though the believers' salvation is secure.

The question that logically comes to mind is where is the nations responsibility in all this. After I got done reading on Roe vs. Wade I was able to put my finger on it. The nation has a responsibility, but it is not as the sin attached to abortion.
The sin associated with abortion falls directly upon the woman (and company) as it has always been. Oddly, the Supreme Court put upon this nation a different sin. The Supreme Court made their decision to remove God from His seat of judgment of people. The Court said that the woman is the final judge in the matter of the unborn fetus. The Justices in effect ruled that God no longer would have any decision on this matter, ever. The Supreme Court put the nation in God’s seat of judgment. The removal of God from His seat of judgment will render retribution on this nation, in this world, for that alone, if nothing else.

The Supreme Court could have easily avoided all of the nations responsibility by recognizing God’s position of authority in all of this. They opted to not do that. They could have easily said, “Abortion will no longer be prosecuted in this nation, because we do not want to clutter up court calendars, and prisons with women for this sin against God.” This would have put pro-life and pro-choice camps on the same side trying to the best that can be done for the women in such a difficult time. That simple recognition of God by the Supreme Court on this point would have done away with the strife of over the years on this subject, and put all the forces involved on the same page instead of at each other’s throat.

What the nation has done in this case is to make itself God. As we watch the nation slowly declare itself free of God in other arenas (school, pledges, etc), we can assuredly await God’s rebuke. It could come in a myriad of ways. Terrorism, disease, natural disasters, economic failure, and internal corruption just to mention a few that are at the disposal of an infinite God who wants us to love and serve Him.

From what I understand our country is suppossed to have a separation of church and state. We as a country are not supposed to enact laws that are based on one's religous beliefs. This however becomes clouded by what is moral and immoral, what is a moral law or an immoral law? For many their moral code is their religous belief. Laws created to protect humans, animals, plants were concieved from morality. What stopped "separate but equal", that it is morally wrong to discriminate? There is the letter of the law and spirit of the law. What does the law say and how do we interpret it based on our peticualr morals. Separation of Church and Sate is not possible because we create and interpret laws based on our morals.
For this particular issue, there should be more science involved and less religous opinion. Science is objective. Religion is not. It is however impossible to be completely un-biased.