by Steven Ertelt
November 23, 2004
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — After an intense battle in which pro-life organizations campaigned heavily to deny him the Senate Judiciary Committee chairmanship, Arlen Specter met with leaders of pro-life groups to discuss the issue of abortion and President Bush’s judicial nominations.
On Monday afternoon, Specter met with Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, former presidential candidate Gary Bauer, longtime conservative activist Paul Weyrich, and Richard Land, a pro-life leader from the Southern Baptist Church.
Perkins said that Specter reiterated comments he made publicly and in a pledge statement he released last week.
The pro-abortion Pennsylvania Republican said he would support all of President Bush’s judicial picks, regardless of their position on abortion. He also indicated that he promised to hold prompt hearings and have committee votes within 30 days of a nomination.
Though many pro-life groups were disappointed that Specter received the support necessary to retain his status as the next chairman of the key judicial panel, Perkins said the battle may have put the cause of confirming pro-life juges in better shape.
"In the end this could be much better than having a disgruntled Republican, ousted from a potential chairmanship, conspiring with the few remaining liberal Republicans in the Senate to derail the leadership’s effort to advance a conservative, pro-family agenda," Perkins explained.
Perkins echoed the thoughts of many pro-life supporters that having Specter’s promise to back nominees and get them moved quickly to the Senate floor would be better than not having Specter as chairman and worrying that he would derail nominees in committee by voting with abortion advocates.
However, Perkins said his groups and others would hold Specter’s feet to the fire.
"We will, however, make sure that those promises are kept alive," Perkins said.
Though pro-life advocates lost the fight to prevent Specter from becoming chairman, "your voices were heard on Capitol Hill, and they made a difference," Perkins indicated.
Related web sites:
Family Research Council – https://www.frc.org