Pro-Life Groups Blast Ad Suggesting Roberts Backs Abortion Violence

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

Pro-Life Groups Blast Ad Suggesting Roberts Backs Abortion Violence Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 9, 2005

Washington, DC ( — Pro-Life groups are condemning a new NARAL television commercial making it appear that Supreme Court nominee John Roberts backs abortion-related violence. They say the abortion advocacy group has severely distorted his record.

"This clearly is a smear campaign designed to ignore the facts and make assertions that are simply untrue," Jay Sekulow, chief attorney at the American Center for Law and Justice, said of the ads.

"The Supreme Court correctly concluded that the application of this 120-year-old law to silence the pro-life community was not permissible," he explained. "Those involved in the case worked to ensure that a misapplication of the statute would not be allowed to continue."

In the NARAL ad, Emily Lyons, an Alabama woman who was a victim of the 1998 abortion facility bombing by Eric Robert Rudolph, 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. It said a federal law not intended to prosecute such violence shouldn’t be applied in addition to state laws prosecuting those committing illegal acts.

"Protecting the constitutional rights of the pro-life community does not equate to endorsing violence," Sekulow explained.

The NARAL ad, funded to a tune of $500,000, will air nationally on the Fox News Channel and CNN as well as local outlets in Maine and Rhode Island to target pro-abortion Republican senators in those states and urge them to vote against Roberts’ confirmation.

C. Boyden Gray of the Committee for Justice, a conservative political group that is promoting President Bush’s judicial picks, says he’s not surprised by the tone of the NARAL ad because they need something bombastic to gain attention.

"A respectful debate is not what NARAL’s clients demand, does not get Nancy Keenan on TV, and does not bring in revenue from women frightened by NARAL’s scare tactics," Gray explained. "There is a whiff of desperation about this ad."

Sekulow agreed and said NARAL is guilty of "being disingenuous in its ad campaign."

Related web sites:
American Center for Law and Justice –