Abortion Advocates Launch Attack on Bush Pro-Life Judicial Nominee

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 24, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Abortion Advocates Launch Attack on Bush Pro-Life Judicial Nominee

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
May 24, 2004

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — After President Bush and Senate Democrats put an agreement in place to allow a vote on one controversial federal judicial appointment, it didn’t take long for abortion advocates to fire the opening salvos in the battle to confirm him.

President Bush nominated Leon Holmes, an attorney and former president of Arkansas Right to Life, for a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas.

Abortion advocates oppose Holmes because of his pro-life stance but, specifically, due to his comments on rape and abortion.

Holmes has said abortion advocates who say abortion should be legal for cases of rape and incest are using the argument as a "red herring" because "conceptions from rape occur with approximately the same frequency as snowfall in Miami."

In an email alert to its supporters, NARAL blasts Holmes as "the worst of Bush’s bunch."

"He’s shown shocking ignorance on facts surrounding the right to choose and reproductive health," the lobbying group wrote.

While NARAL condemns Holmes for not knowing the facts surrounding rape and abortion, figures from a national coalition of abortion businesses lend credence to Holmes’ arguments.

The National Abortion Federation reports that only 5.4 percent of rape victims become pregnant. Of the more than 1.2 million abortions that take place annually in the United States, only 16,000 abortions (just over one percent) are performed each year on women who conceive after suffering from a rape.

Pro-life groups say more should be done to provide women who are raped with counseling and pregnancy resources and more attention should be paid to prosecuting the rapist than making sure abortion is available.

NARAL is hoping to motivate 50,000 of its members to call or write their senators opposing Holmes’ nomination.

In April 2003, the Senate Judiciary Committee, on a 10-9 party line vote, passed on the Holmes nomination to the Senate floor for consideration. That’s as far it went thanks to a small group of pro-abortion senators who filibustered his nomination.

Unlike with other pro-life nominees to federal courts, pro-abortion Republicans stalled the Holmes vote on the Senate floor instead of leading Democrats who back abortion.
Republican senators Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, and Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine are played the role of obstructionists.

That gives abortion advocates some wind in their sails and they think they have a good chance to defeat Holmes’ nomination when it comes up for a vote.

NARAL understands the importance of the Holmes vote. They say it is a precursor for future battles over Supreme Court nominees — especially if President Bush is re-elected in November.

"The fight against Holmes may be a dress rehearsal for a bigger fight looming on the horizon: the Supreme Court," the group writes.

ACTION: Express your opinion on the nomination of pro-life Judge Leon Holmes. Contact any Senator by calling 202-224-3121 or find specific contact information at https://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm