by Steven Ertelt
July 21, 2005
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Now that President Bush has selected a candidate for the Supreme Court, groups on both sides of the abortion debate are stepping up the level of their campaigns to support or oppose John Roberts’ nomination.
On the pro-life side, the Family Research Council and Focus on the Family have announced they will stage a second Justice Sunday television program following on the heels of a successful one earlier this year on Bush’s appeals court picks that was seen by millions of churchgoers.
Titled "God Save the United States and this Honorable Court," it will be produced at a church in Nashville and shown nationwide.
"Our constituents understand what is at stake with this nomination and confirmation," said Tony Perkins, FRC’s president.
"We believe Judge Roberts will interpret the Constitution and not try to legislate from the bench, which has been the pattern in recent years," Focus on the Family chairman Dr. James Dobson added.
The Southern Baptist Convention will encourage the 16.3 million Southern Baptists to contact their senators and urge strong support for Roberts’ nomination and the American Center for Law and Justice plans to do the same with its 900,000 members and millions who listen to its radio program. ACLJ supporters will be asked to sign a petition backing Roberts.
Another conservative group, Progress for America, said it would spend $1 million on grassroots efforts and television, radio and Internet advertising. One ad asks, "Shouldn’t a fair judge be treated fairly? Urge the Senate to give John Roberts a fair up-or-down vote."
And the National Right to Life Committee says it will keep in touch with its millions of pro-life members throughout the confirmation process.
Meanwhile, NARAL is leading the way for abortion advocates and has already launched an Internet advertising campaign with the message: "Protect your right to privacy. Don’t let Bush’s choice end yours."
NARAL lobbyists have gathered outside the Supreme Court to ask summer tourists to sign petitions opposing Roberts and staged a small rally outside Senate offices.
The group will also begin a nationwide petition drive to counter the efforts of pro-life groups.
Abortion advocates are also doing what they do best — protest. Several hundred pro-abortion protesters gathered at the top court on Wednesday carrying signs saying "Save Roe!" and "Our bodies, our lives, our right to decide!"
Olga Vives, vice president of the National Organization for Women, said her group is getting in on the action and said NOW was planning a protest next month outside the Philadelphia office of Sen. Arlen Specter, chairman of the judiciary committee.
Ralph Neas, president of People For The American Way, told AP that his large pro-abortion group "will have the money to be in radio and TV and in print. It’s all a question of strategic timing."
Neas hasn’t started running ads, but an entire floor of his office is a war room with computers and faxes ready to go.
MoveOn.org, a liberal political action organization, is raising money and trying to get grassroots people to oppose Roberts and his "hard right philosophy." The group will set up tables at local malls to sign up opponents for action.