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Lieberman defends abortion stance after article

Senator says he never called for re-examination of Roe v. Wade

Lieberman and his wife, Hadassah, serve meals earlier this week at a charity in Washington for homeless and elderly people.
Lieberman and his wife, Hadassah, serve meals earlier this week at a charity in Washington for homeless and elderly people.

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Joe Lieberman
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(CNN) -- Sen. Joseph Lieberman worked Friday to clarify his position on abortion rights after an article was published that said the Democratic presidential candidate believes abortion laws should be re-examined in the wake of improved medical science.

The article was published Friday and posted on the Web site of The Union Leader of Manchester, New Hampshire, under the headline: "Roe v. Wade should be updated says Lieberman."

Lieberman is never quoted as saying he would reconsider the law.

In the article, he discusses how medical advancements have lengthened the window of when a fetus is viable, or able to survive outside the womb. According to Roe v. Wade, a woman's right to have an abortion is protected in the period before a fetus is viable. After that, the state may impose limits or even ban abortions.

The article quotes the Connecticut senator saying he "remains staunchly pro-choice."

But Lieberman released a statement Friday afternoon denying he ever said the decision should be reconsidered and seeking to clarify his position.

"I did not say nor do I believe that Roe should be looked at again, revisited or reconsidered," Lieberman said. "I said in that interview what I have said for years -- namely that medical science has advanced the time of fetal viability to approximately 24 weeks. In response, the courts have determined, as the article pointed out, that the viability standard has replaced the original trimester formulation of Roe.

"And it is critical to note that while these miraculous medical advances have shortened the time to fetal viability, they have also lengthened the time of a woman's clearly protected right to choose in Roe from the first trimester to 24 weeks," Lieberman said.

Lieberman told the paper he thinks about the issue a lot and if elected president he would "follow a policy that makes abortion safe, rare and legal."

Lieberman's spokesman, Jano Cabrera, defended the senator's position in a telephone interview Friday.

"He is without a doubt pro-choice," Cabrera said. "He never suggested that Roe v. Wade be reconsidered."

Reached by phone, managing editor Ed Domaingue said the paper stands by what it reported.


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