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Election 2004

Lieberman disputes story about views on 'Roe vs. Wade'

By Associated Press
Published December 27, 2003

WASHINGTON - Democratic presidential candidate Joe Lieberman said Friday he doesn't want to revisit the Roe vs. Wade decision that legalized abortion, disputing a New Hampshire newspaper story that suggested he believes the historic ruling should be updated to reflect medical advances.

Lieberman said late Friday that the Union-Leader of Manchester "misreported that he thinks the Roe vs. Wade case should be revisited."

"I said in that interview what I have said for years - namely that medical science has advanced the time of legal viability to approximately 24 weeks," Lieberman said. "In response, the courts have determined that the viability standard has replaced the original trimester formulation of Roe."

A fetus is considered "viable" when it can survive outside of the womb.

Lieberman said Friday the court's shift to a viability standard has actually "lengthened the time of a woman's clearly protected right to choose in Roe from the first trimester to 24 weeks."

The Union Leader reported Friday that Lieberman supports a woman's right to choose, but also recognizes that the period of time in which a woman has a right to get an abortion is gradually shrinking. Because of advances in medical science, a fetus can survive if born or delivered earlier in a pregnancy, Lieberman said in the newspaper story.

Although abortion has not been a point of debate among Democratic rivals, the senator said in the newspaper interview he thinks a lot about the issue.

If elected president, he said, "I'll follow a policy that makes abortion safe, rare and legal."

Dean says bin Laden deserves death, beef farmers need aid

WASHINGTON - Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean on Friday assailed the Bush administration for failing to set up a livestock tracking system he said could have averted the current mad cow scare and said he supports federal aid to help the American beef industry weather the storm.

In a wide-ranging interview with the Associated Press, Dean also said he wants Osama bin Laden to get the death penalty, seeking to minimize fallout from a New Hampshire newspaper story Friday in which he was quoted as saying the terror leader's guilt should not be prejudged.

"As a president, I would have to defend the process of the rule of law. But as an American, I want to make sure he gets the death penalty he deserves," Dean told the AP in an phone interview.

The former Vermont governor, who solidly leads the field of Democratic presidential candidates in both polls and money, said he was simply trying to state in the Concord Monitor interview that the process of trying bin Laden needs to be fair and credible.

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