"Slow Joe" Pulls a "Pelosi" on Abortion

Carol Platt Liebau
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Posted: Sep 07, 2008 7:36 PM
This morning, among other topics, "Slow Joe" Biden talked abortion on "Meet the Press" (transcript here).  Here is part of the exchange:

SEN BIDEN:  I voted against telling everyone else in the country that they have to accept my religiously based view that [life begins at] a moment of conception. There is a debate in our church, as Cardinal Egan would acknowledge, that's existed. Back in "Summa Theologia," when Thomas Aquinas wrote "Summa Theologia," he said there was no--it didn't occur until quickening, 40 days after conception.  (emphasis added).

It's enough that Biden confessed in the same interview that he still wasn't up to speed with Governor Palin's views, a full 9 days after she was named to the ticket.  But, like Nancy Pelosi, it's apparent that Biden also is misrepresenting the existence and nature of any supposed "debate" in the Church over abortion.  Although some may have questioned when, precisely, life begins, that inquiry was never part of any larger "debate" over the morality of abortion itself.

For one thing, an Aquinas expert consulted in the wake of the Pelosi gaffe said that although Aquinas speculated about when life begins, "no way in life would Aquinas have accepted abortion."  And the US Conference of Catholic Bishops has spelled it out in recent days: "[M]istaken biological theories never changed the Church’s common conviction that abortion is gravely wrong at every stage. "

Second, wasn't Biden even listening to the statement of Cardinal Egan that Brokaw read in one of the questions to him?  Maybe this will clear it up for him:

We are blessed in the 21st century with crystal-clear photographs and action films of the living realities within their pregnant mothers. No one with the slightest measure of integrity or honor could fail to know what these marvelous beings manifestly, clearly, and obviously are, as they smile and wave into the world outside the womb.  . . . They are not parts of their mothers, and what they are depends not at all upon the opinions of theologians of any faith. Anyone who dares to defend that they may be legitimately killed because another human being “chooses” to do so or for any other equally ridiculous reason should not be providing leadership in a civilized democracy worthy of the name.

Now, what "debate" are you talking about, Senator Biden?