NARAL Ad Attacks John Roberts, Claims He Backs Abortion Violence

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 8, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

NARAL Ad Attacks John Roberts, Claims He Backs Abortion Violence Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 8, 2005

Washington, DC ( — Leading abortion advocacy group NARAL has released a new television commercial attacking Supreme Court nominee John Roberts and implying he supports abortion-related violence. The ads features a victim of a bombing at an abortion facility and cites his legal work on behalf of activist pro-life group that engages in protests outside abortion businesses.

In announcing the commercial, slated to air nationwide, NARAL said it focuses on Roberts’ "siding with groups like Operation Rescue and other anti-choice extremists who use bombings and other forms of intimidation."

NARAL president Nancy Keenan says the ad is necessary because it shows a side of Roberts it claims the American public does not know.

“This ad showing a disturbing part of Roberts’ record is even more important since the White House decided to withhold critical information about Roberts from the public," she said.

Emily Lyons, an Alabama woman who was a victim of the 1998 abortion facility bombing by Eric Robert Rudolph, appeared with Keenan at a press conference to announce the ad. She’s also featured in the commercial.

In the ad, Lyons blasts Roberts for his amicus brief filed on behalf of the Bush administration in a 1991 case involving Operation Rescue and Michael Bray, who was found guilty of bombing abortion businesses.

While not defending the acts of violence or any illegal actions, the brief argued that pro-life organizations have a right to free speech whether their protests against abortion took place outside an abortion center or at another location.

Pro-life groups say the ad and Lyons’ appearance in it makes it appear Roberts endorses abortion-related violence.

The ad says Roberts "filed court briefs supporting violence fringe groups and a convicted clinic bomber."

NARAL says Roberts would be a "justice whose ideology leads him to excuse violence against other Americans."

Keenan defends the ad saying, “I want to be very clear that we are not suggesting Mr. Roberts condones or supports clinic violence. I’m sure he finds bombings and murder abhorrent."

However, "his ideological view of the law compelled him to go out of his way to argue on behalf of" Operation Rescue and Bray.