by Steven Ertelt
November 10, 2004
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Pro-life groups on Wednesday reacted favorably to President Bush’s appointment of White House counsel Alberto Gonzales to replace pro-life advocate John Ashcroft as the next Attorney General.
Despite some concern that Gonzales’ views on abortion may not line up with those of the president, pro-life group say they’re convinced Gonzales will support Bush’s pro-life policies.
"A new attorney general will give fresh inspiration and leadership to the Department of Justice as it continues the important work of enforcing our nation’s laws," Family Research Council president Tony Perkins said.
Perkins said his group expects Gonzales to continue pressing the Bush administration’s views against abortion and assisted suicide — "issues that were on the minds of values voters a week ago when they stormed to the polls," Perkins explained.
Whatever views Gonzales holds on top moral issues like abortion, leading pro-life organizations agreed that Gonzales wouldn’t stray from President Bush’s pro-life agenda.
"We are confident that as attorney general, Alberto Gonzales will faithfully carry out the pro-life policies of President Bush," Douglas Johnson, National Right to Life’s legislative director, told LifeNews.com.
President Bush last year signed the ban on partial-birth abortions and abortion advocates filed three lawsuits against it. The case is headed to the federal appellate court level next.
"The proponents of legal abortion have successfully challenged the partial-birth abortion ban, which now heads to the U.S. Supreme Court," Perkins added. "We are confident as the nation’s top lawyer, Mr. Gonzales will offer a strong defense."
Tom Minnery, of the new Focus on the Family Action group, said he thought Gonzales would continue fighting the partial-birth abortion ban legal battle "with excellence."
Meanwhile, Roberta Combs, president of the Christian Coalition "commended" Bush for the pick.
"We look forward to Alberto Gonzales — when he is confirmed as Attorney General — continuing the tough policies instituted by Attorney General Ashcroft," Combs said.
Combs indicated she thought the Senate would overwhelmingly confirm Gonzales’ nomination to the nation’s top attorney post.
However, leading abortion advocates are expected to tear Gonzales’ record apart during confirmation hearings and votes in the Senate.
American Civil Liberties Union executive director Anthony Romero wants the Senate to give Gonzales a "thorough thrashing” in scrutinizing his record.
FRC’s Perkins also said that his group was confident Gonzales would do a good job "shepherding the President’s judicial nominees through what could be a difficult Senate Judiciary Committee if Senator Arlen Specter is elevated to the chairmanship."
One sign that Gonzales won’t be a concern is his move early on in the Bush administration to dispense with the practice of having the American Bar Association, which typically has a pro-abortion slant, officially weigh in on any nominees to federal courts.
Bush received significant support from the pro-life community for his numerous pro-life picks to federal courts, including top appeals courts and Gonzales apparently did not counsel the president against them.