Pro-Life Groups Worry About Next NARAL Abortion Ad on John Roberts

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 12, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Life Groups Worry About Next NARAL Abortion Ad on John Roberts Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 12, 2005

Washington, DC ( — The pro-abortion group NARAL has pulled a national television ad attacking Supreme Court nominee John Roberts that’s been harshly criticized by those on both sides of the abortion debate for its inaccuracies. The organization has promised to come back with a new ad also blasting Roberts and pro-life advocates worry it, too, will be off base.

"While NARAL responded to sharp criticism from both ends of the political spectrum by pulling the ad, we are concerned that they are not really dropping their deceptive attack on John Roberts for his successful defense of constitutional rights," said Wendy Wright, of Concerned Women for America.

The NARAL ad suggested Roberts backs abortion-related violence because he filed a legal brief on behalf of the previous Bush administration saying a federal civil rights law should not be misused to prosecute those who engage in illegal activities when state laws are sufficient.

NARAL told viewers of the ad that the brief had Roberts backing convicted abortion center bomber Michael Bray but showed pictures of a bombing that happened seven years after Roberts filed the brief.

Wright is concerned because she says NARAL has already announced "that the replacement ad will refer to Roberts’ involvement in the Bray case and we fear that it will repeat the same false claim in a repackaged format."

In the Bray case, the Supreme Court sided with Roberts and the Bush administration 6-3 that the civil rights law shouldn’t be misused to prosecute pro-life protesters.

Sekulow, lead counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice, who argued the Bray case before the high court, said the NARAL ad was false and misleading and should never have aired on television.

"The NARAL ad should never have been produced in the first place and NARAL’s decision to pull it clearly reflects the fact that the ad was not only factually flawed and without basis in fact — but was totally ineffective as well," he said.

"Everyone understands that this ad was based on falsehoods and the attempt to link John Roberts to abortion clinic violence was absurd," Roberts added. "NARAL’s decision to pull the ad reflects what the American people already understand — that a smear campaign based on untruths will not be tolerated."

Wright said NARAL’s arguments in the commercial would subject abortion advocacy groups to prosecution under the 1800s law.

"Under NARAL’s reasoning, the National Organization for Women’s recent blockade and attempt to intimidate the FDA on a reproductive matter is a violation of federal civil rights law," Wright explained.

NARAL pulled the ad after receiving a letter criticizing it from Senate Judiciary Chairman Arlen Specter, a Pennsylvania Republican who backs abortion. The ad also came under fire from other abortion advocates, a nonpartisan political watchdog and Democratic lawmakers in the Senate.