Pro-Life Group Played Key Role in Abortion Case at Supreme Court

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 1, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Life Group Played Key Role in Abortion Case at Supreme Court Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
December 1, 2005

Washington, DC ( — A pro-life group that prefers to work behind the scenes to accomplish great things instead of seeking the public spotlight played a key role in helping New Hampshire officials prepare for Supreme Court hearings on their parental notification law yesterday.

The high court heard its first abortion case in five years and New Hampshire Attorney General Kelly Ayotte had to make the case for the law. But officials at Americans United for Life helped her and her staff every step of the way.

AUL, a Chicago based legislative and public policy group helped New Hampshire lawmakers craft the law, based on a parental notification model it’s used in other states.

When the lawsuit abortion advocates filed against it made its way to the nation’s top court, longtime AUL attorney Clarke Forsythe flew to Concord to help Ayotte and her staff prepare to argue it.

Dan Mullen, an assistant attorney general, told the Wall St. Journal that Forsythe and AUL staff were a "big help."

"They made themselves available for any information we may need," he said.

Forsythe told the Journal that his organization has to work carefully to determine which cases might draw the court’s attention.

"You don’t get a case to the Supreme Court by putting it in a brown paper wrapper and putting it on the Supreme Court steps," he said.

Abortion advocates belittle AUL has being the "puppet masters" controlling lawmakers to fight abortion.

"They really are the puppet masters behind President Bush and other antichoice politicians and they want to see Roe v. Wade overturned," NARAL president Nancy Keenan told the Journal. Keenan is a former Montana state official who frequently enjoyed the support of pro-abortion groups.

Still, she said AUL has "very effectively" taken its legislative campaign across the country.

Americans United for Life has worked with lawmakers and state officials throughout the country to pass pro-life legislation to help women and further limit abortions until there is an opportunity to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Its latest figures show that nearly 30 states have parental involvement laws similar to the one in New Hampshire. In fact, the New Hampshire law is based primarily on one in Minnesota that the Supreme Court already upheld as Constitutional.

AUL is helping other states, too, with potential Supreme Court cases, including assisting lawmakers in Virginia to defend it’s ban on partial birth abortions — written as a law against infanticide — which could head to the Supreme Court as early as next year.