NARAL Staffer Resigns Over John Roberts Abortion Ad Flap

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 15, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

NARAL Staffer Resigns Over John Roberts Abortion Ad Flap Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 15, 2005

Washington, DC ( — Less than 24 hours after NARAL pulled its much-maligned television commercial attack Supreme Court nominee John Roberts on abortion, its top media spokesman resigned. David Seldin, director of communications, said his stepped down was already planned, but the timing comes on the heels of NARAL’s receiving national criticism for its treatment of Roberts.

In comments to the Washington Post, Seldin defended the NARAL ad as "100 percent accurate."

"I’m very proud of the work I’ve done here in the past two years, and especially proud of the leadership role this organization is taking both in the current Supreme Court debate, and in its efforts to change the dynamics of the political debate around reproductive freedom" Seldin said in an email to friends obtained by

In the note, Seldin told friends he’d been considering leaving NARAL after the conclusion of the Roberts confirmation vote. By leaving now, however, Seldin said he can vacation with his family on Cape Cod.

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.

The commercial, which ran nationally on CNN and Fox News Channel as well as local stations in Rhode Island and Maine, came under heavy fire from pro-life groups and even abortion advocates.

Frances Kissling, the president of "Catholics" for a Free Choice, told the New York newspaper she is "deeply upset and offended" by the ad and called it "far too intemperate and far too personal."

Republican Sen. Arlen Specter and Democratic Sen. Pat Leahy, the top two lawmakers on the Senate Judiciary Committee, both blasted the ad. A letter to NARAL from Specter prompted the pro-abortion group to pull it.

NARAL plans on revising the ad and says it will be back on the air shortly.

Seldin is a former press staffer for the Clinton administration and served as chief spokesman for pro-abortion Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, a Democrat.