by Steven Ertelt
January 6, 2005
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A leading abortion advocacy group opposes President Bush’s nomination of White House legal counsel Alberto Gonzales as the next Attorney General.
In a statement Wednesday, NARAL complained that Gonzales encouraged the president to only pick pro-life advocates to be nominated to federal courts.
NARAL called on members of the Senate to ask Gonzales tough questions about his role in using what the group terms an "anti-choice litmus test" on judicial nominees.
"We have grave concerns about Mr. Gonzales’ views on a woman’s right to choose," NARAL president Nancy Keenan said.
"The American public has a right to know that the nation’s highest law-enforcement official will recognize Roe v. Wade as the law of the land," Keenan added.
The group points out that, while Gonzales served as the lead attorney vetting court selections, no one was nominated to a federal appeals court who backed abortion. On the other hand, the group noted, nearly one-third of Bush’s 52 appellate court picks weren’t just pro-life, but "activists" on the issue.
Keenan said he group doesn’t want another Attorney General like John Ashcroft. Pro-life groups credited him with strongly defending the federal partial-birth abortion ban and taking steps to make sure federally-controlled drugs were not used in assisted suicides.
However, Keenan noted the Justice Departments pursuit of medical records related to partial-birth abortions in the defense of the law. She said "Americans individual freedoms [were] trampled," in Ashcroft’s efforts to obtain the records.
Justice Department attorneys blacked out any personal information and were only interested in whether the partial-birth abortion was medically necessary and found most are not.
"Senators should not rubber-stamp [Gonzales’] nomination without getting strong assurances that he will enforce laws protecting women’s rights even as President Bush seeks to overturn them," the group concluded.
Political observers say Gonzales’ nomination is expected to be approved.