by Steven Ertelt
April 20, 2007
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Senator Harry Reid, the top Democrat in the Senate, is coming under fire for comments he made after the Supreme Court handed down its decision upholding the national ban on partial-birth abortions. Reid voted for the ban but his comments after the decision made it appear he disagreed with it.
The Supreme Court issued a 5-4 ruling this week with new Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Samuel Alito siding with the majority to overturn its 2000 decision against a Nebraska ban.
After news of the ruling became public Reid told the media at a press conference, "I would only say that this isn’t the only decision a lot of us wish that Alito weren’t there and O’Connor were there."
Pro-life groups quickly seized on the comments and blasted Reid for flip-flopping on the partial-birth abortion ban.
In a statement sent to LifeNews.com, Wendy Wright, the president of Concerned Women for America, said that "Denouncing a Supreme Court Justice for upholding a law that Sen. Reid voted for reveals Sen. Reid’s true beliefs and sneaky tactics."
"Reid voted for the partial-birth abortion ban, yet he also voted for amendments that would have gutted the ban," she explained.
She pointed out what numerous pro-life groups have said — that Reid, who formerly was a strong pro-life advocate, has shifted his position to try to have it both ways.
"His statement that he would rather have a justice on the Court who overturned the ban than a justice who upheld it reveals his modus operandi — act one way in actions that voters will see, yet vigorously work to ensure the opposite is the final result," Wright added.
However, a Reid spokesman told CBN News that Reid still supports the partial-birth abortion ban.
"Senator Reid opposes abortion except in the cases of rape, incest, and when the life of a mother is at risk," spokesman Jim Manley said. "Consistent with this position, Senator Reid supported the [ban] and supports the Supreme Court’s decision yesterday."
"However, Senator Reid continues to disagree with Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito on many issues and that is why he opposed their confirmation," he added.
But pro-life advocates like Wright say that Reid clearly was talking about the partial-birth abortion ban because that was the focus of the press conference during which he made his remarks.
"Sen. Reid’s comment reveals a sly ploy of some politicians — portraying themselves as pro-life to the folks back home, but working for opposite results when in D.C," Wright concluded.