Dem. Senators Adjust Presidential Campaigns to Support Roe v. Wade

By Randy Hall | July 7, 2008 | 8:29 PM EDT

( - Democratic senators who are already involved in the 2004 presidential race took special pains to be in Washington on Wednesday so they could cast votes in support of the Supreme Court decision that established a woman's "right" to have an abortion.

John Edwards (N.C.), Bob Graham (Fla.), John Kerry (Mass.) and Joe Lieberman (Conn.) were all asked by Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) to be present and "express the sense of the Senate concerning the decision of the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade" in 1973.

The non-binding amendment passed 52-46 with all four candidates present and voting in favor of the measure.

Edwards postponed a campaign speech at nearby George Washington University so he could cast his vote on the resolution, as well as an amendment to weaken the partial birth abortion bill being considered by the Senate.

Being present for the vote was the most difficult for Graham, who is recovering from heart surgery he underwent on January 31. According to spokesman Paul Anderson, the Florida senator had been raising money for a presidential bid at his home in the Miami area until he spoke with Daschle on Tuesday; Graham caught a flight to Washington, D.C., on Wednesday morning.

Kerry was traveling from campaign fund-raisers in Boston and New York on Wednesday, but he made a stop in Washington to cast his vote just after 4 p.m.

The only contender who was in Washington and present for all votes taken on Wednesday was Lieberman.

Then on Thursday morning, the Senate passed the ban of partial birth abortions by a vote of 64 to 33. While Graham and Lieberman were present and voted against the measure, both Edwards and Kerry had returned to the campaign trail by that time.

That legislation now moves to the House, where Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) predicted the section regarding Roe v. Wade will be dropped

The presidential candidates will probably miss many votes while campaigning, but they have all agreed to make a special effort to be in Washington when the Democrats need their support.

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