Monday, August 08, 2005
Mario Cuomo misstates the law: Sunday's "Meet the Press" featured a conversation between law professor Douglas Kmiec and former New York Governor Mario Cuomo, a Democrat. The subject was Catholics and the Supreme Court and whether a devout Catholic can actually be allowed to serve on the Court.
If you didn't see the show, then you should definitely read the transcript. Cuomo's view of the Constitution's "religious test" ban is unique. Apparently the only thing that is "banned" by that clause in the Constitution is requiring someone to be "religious" or "not religious" -- any actual beliefs that flow from religious faith are fair game.
But Cuomo's real jaw-dropper has to be his assessment of what exactly Roe v. Wade allows.
Another very practical suggestion I made; I think it's important on stem cells, too. The president says life begins at conception. Is that a scientific conclusion? No. His science adviser, John Marburger, says that's a sacred issue, not a scientific one. Let's make it a scientific question. Give it to a task force on life and law like the one we created in New York state, with doctors, with experts, with ethicists, to decide: What does human life mean? It means consciousness. When does that occur? When does viability occur? Roe against Wade says 24 weeks, but that's old, old medical evidence. 1973 is the decision; evidence was from 1950. Why don't you measure that again? If viability is now, let's say, 20 weeks instead of 24, that's a lot of abortions that will be stopped because, as we all know, once it's viable, then you can only have an abortion to save the life of the mother. [emphasis added]
Is Cuomo really this ignorant, or is he a liar? Maybe it really is true that no one has informed Cuomo of the "health of the mother" exception that has been construed so loosely that what we have in this country is abortion on demand up until the moment of birth. The Supreme Court didn't ban abortions after 24 weeks -- and Cuomo of all people should know that.