Pro-Abortion Group Attacks John McCain on Pro-Life Judicial Nomination

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 10, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Abortion Group Attacks John McCain on Pro-Life Judicial Nomination Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
January 10,

Washington, DC ( — A top pro-abortion organization is attacking John McCain and saying he can’t claim to be an independent voice within the Republican Party if he doesn’t oppose a pro-life nominee President Bush has submitted for a federal judgeship. NARAL wants McCain to oppose allowing Wyoming attorney Richard Honaker to be a federal district court judge.

Bush nominated Honaker to the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming over the summer and it has drawn opposition from pro-abortion groups.

Saying that McCain is now one of the front-runners in the race for the GOP nomination for president given his victory in New Hampshire, NARAL president Nancy Keenan emailed her group’s supporters on Thursday.

She said, "McCain will use his win to bolster his claim that he’s an independent voice and try to capture voters in the middle."

However, when it comes to abortion, Keenan says "McCain is as anti-choice as President Bush."

She wants her group’s backers to put McCain "to the test" by urging him to oppose the Honaker nomination.

"McCain has a chance to stand up against the right wing by opposing the judicial nomination of anti-choice extremist Richard Honaker," Keenan says.

"If he supports the nomination of Richard Honaker to the federal bench, he’ll be supporting a man who has tried and failed three times to ban nearly all abortion care in Wyoming," Keenan argues. "If McCain refuses to oppose Honaker, we can show swing voters just how anti-choice and out of the mainstream he really is."

Keenan argued that McCain would not get the support of independent and women voters if he supports the Honaker nomination and promised the abortion advocacy group would let such voters know about McCain’s vote.

McCain’s campaign did not return an email requesting a comment in response to Keenan’s email. reported last month that NARAL was leading the charge to generate calls to members of the Senate Judiciary Committee to urge a no vote on Honaker’s nomination.

Honaker is a well-respected attorney who has practiced in Wyoming for over 30 years and served as a member of the Wyoming State Senate.

He is known in pro-life circles for proposing the Human Life Protection Act in the state legislature in 1991 and was behind the subsequent state ballot vote in 1994. Voters defeated the ballot measure that year.

Honaker would fill the seat vacated by U.S. District Judge Clarence Brimmer, who is retiring and taking on senior status.

ACTION: Contact your senator and urge support for Richard Honaker’s nomination by calling 202-224-3121 or going to