Lieberman's Pro-Abortion Position Questioned

By Cheryl K. Chumley | July 7, 2008 | 8:26 PM EDT

( - Pro-life advocates are asking how Sen. Joseph Lieberman can square his pro-abortion stance with his oft-expressed religious faith and moral values.

Numerous media analysts have praised Lieberman the past couple of days for his ethics, but pro-lifers refute that claim by pointing to his "utter disregard for the right to life of unborn children."

"We think it is a moral issue," said Douglas Johnson, legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee, "because every abortion takes the life of a member of the human family."

To vote for Al Gore and Lieberman is to accept the "extreme pro-abortion ticket," Johnson continued, in that the senator has not only shown consistent support for partial birth abortion rights - in opposition to a majority of polled Americans - but has also rallied against Supreme Court rulings that limited government funding for the procedure and allowed the existence of parental notification laws.

In 1993 and during the health care debates, Lieberman supported the president's "standard benefit package that would have included unlimited abortions" and would have been a required purchase for all American workers, Johnson said. Three years later, he continued, Lieberman voted against a measure that would have protected certain medical facilities from retribution if staff did not offer "abortion training" classes.

"Some of these [medical] schools had the screws put to them," Johnson said, "but Lieberman voted against even that."
Lieberman also faces tough questions from conservatives who want to know why he criticized President Bill Clinton during the Lewinsky affair but then pressed others in Congress to refrain from impeaching Clinton, also why Lieberman petitioned entertainment industry executives to remove violent and sexual graphics from the screen while still holding stock in two of the targeted networks, Fox and CBS.

Lieberman may even face questions from a close friend, conservative author William Bennett - who previously joined forces with Lieberman to combat violence and sex in the entertainment industry.

"Lieberman came close to asking Clinton to resign," Bennett reportedly told CNBC Hardball host Chris Matthews this week.

Bennett was not available for comment Tuesday, but one of his press officers at Empower America confirmed the statement was made to Matthews. The spokesperson also said Lieberman's subsequent address to Congress advising against impeachment was in opposition to Bennett's own views.

"They're close, personal friends," the spokesman said of Bennett and Lieberman, "and they had a lot of discussions during that. I think Bill Bennett was making the point when he said that [to Matthews] that Mr. Lieberman knew what Clinton did was something wrong. But that was obviously Mr. Lieberman's decision [to advise against impeachment]. He obviously felt it wasn't an impeachable offense ... Bill Bennett did."