In an interview with NBC News’ “Meet the Press” on Sunday, Democratic National Committee Chair Howard Dean said that he favored state-by-state ethical rules governing late-term abortions. “I’d prefer to see medical practice boards around the country set ethical guidelines for abortion…There are ethical constraints around the issue of abortion. There is no question about that. I think those ought to be done state by state. And I think doctors ought to have a lot more say about it than they do now,” said Dean.
Dean continued by saying that “it is time now for pro-life Americans and pro-choice Americans or Americans who believe in individual freedom to get together, and we have common ground. The common ground is we’d all like to reduce the number of abortions.”
The Senate is poised for a vote on the nuclear option, which, if it passes, would prevent a filibuster against any of President Bush’s judicial nominees, including Supreme Court nominees. Bush has publicly stated that he would choose Supreme Court justices in the mold of Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, both of who are ardently anti-abortion. Right now, abortion hangs by a thread in the US Supreme Court – the last decision protected abortion rights by a narrow 5-4 margin. President Bush could have the opportunity to shift the balance on the Court in favor of overturning Roe v. Wade.
“While Democrats like Dr. Dean talk about finding a ‘common ground’ with those who oppose abortion, women could lose the fundamental right to privacy, upon which not only the right to abortion but also birth control depends,” said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority.