by Steven Ertelt
August 12, 2005
Birmingham, AL (LifeNews.com) — Since the abortion facility where she worked was bombed in 1998, Emily Lyons has used her status as one of the victims to stump on behalf of abortion advocates. But her appearance in a NARAL ad attacking Supreme Court nominee John Roberts and claiming he backed abortion violence touched off a national firestorm of criticism she didn’t expect.
Lyons admitted to the Associated Press Friday that the ad, which NARAL pulled, is "confusing, but not false."
"We knew what we were getting in to," Lyons said about making the commercial. "We just didn’t know it would hit a nerve like it did."
In the ad, Lyons blasts Roberts for his amicus brief filed on behalf of the Bush administration in a 1991 case involving 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 a federal civil rights law should not be used to punish protesters who engage in illegal activities. Roberts simply argued state laws are effective enough.
However, Lyons appears in the ad and tells viewers about the bombing that injured her, even though it occurred seven years after the brief Roberts filed. The ad never mentions the reasons for Roberts’ brief but only insinuated he backs bombing abortion businesses.
But Lyons told AP she believes bombers like Bray and Eric Robert Rudolph, responsible for the 1998 blast, are linked together in a small fringe group of vigilante activists. Therefore, she sees nothing wrong with connecting Roberts to both Bray and Rudolph.
"Bray did bombs and Rudolph did bombs. They are all violent people," she said.
NARAL pulled the ad after it received strong criticism from both pro-life groups and abortion advocates alike, including the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Vermont Sen. Pat Leahy. The last straw came when pro-abortion Pennsylvania Republican Arlen Specter, the panel’s chairman, sent a letter to NARAL saying the ad was hurting the abortion advocacy cause.