by Steven Ertelt
August 11, 2005
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Calling its ad "blatantly untrue and unfair," Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Arlen Specter, a Pennsylvania Republican, called on pro-abortion group NARAL to pull a national television commercial attacking Supreme Court nominee John Roberts.
Specter said the ad, which has received criticism from pro-life groups and other abortion advocates, is inaccurate and hurts the pro-abortion cause. The senator is a longtime abortion advocate.
"The NARAL advertisement is not helpful to the pro-choice cause which I support," Specter wrote in a letter to Nancy Keenan, president of the group. "When NARAL puts on such an advertisement, in my opinion it undercuts its credibility and injures the pro-choice cause."
"Judge Roberts did not act improperly in his advocacy before the Supreme Court," Specter told Keenan.
According to an Associated Press story, NARAL has not responded to the letter.
Specters comments come day after Sen. Pat Leahy, the top Democrat on the Senate panel, said the ad was a waste of money because it would not change any senators’ minds.
NARAL has spend $500,000 to run the ad on cable news networks and television stations in Rhode Island and Maine to target pro-abortion Republican senators with the hope of persuading them to vote against Roberts.
The ad claims Roberts backs abortion violence because he wrote a legal brief for the former Bush administration siding with abortion protesters. However, he merely said an 1800s civil rights statute should not be used to prosecute protesters who break the law when state statutes are sufficient to prosecute them.
At least one station has refused to run the ad.
Mike Young, vice president and general manager of WABI in Bangor, Maine, told AP that he ran the ad until noticing the national criticism of it from all sides.
"After careful thoughtful analysis, we determined the ad was at worst false, and at best misleading," he said.