Pro-Lifers Blast NARAL Abortion Report On Alito

A faith-based pro-life group denounced a new report by NARAL Pro-Choice America as being outside of the mainstream and called it one of the first attacks against Supreme Court Nominee Samuel Alito.

A Catholic pro-life group denounced a new report by NARAL Pro-Choice America as being outside of the mainstream and called it one of the first attacks against Supreme Court Nominee Samuel Alito.

The nominee is currently preparing for Jan. 9 Senate Judiciary Committee hearings where senators will question him on his legal views. The head of the committee, Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Penn.) says his first line of questioning will be on abortion.

"The report clearly shows that NARAL views any regulation on abortion - however beneficial to women, children, and parents – as an assault on their radical agenda,” said Fidelis President Joseph Cell in a statement. “Their views are far outside the mainstream of the great majority of Americans.”

In the report, titled "Liberty at Risk: The Vulnerability of Reproductive Rights Under Alito,” NARAL argues that overturning the Roe v. Wade decision will not be the way in which abortion rights are curtailed for the time being. Apart from helping install conservative Supreme Court justices such as Alito, it states that pro-life activists will seek legal means to place tight restrictions on abortion services, in effect neutralizing the legality of the Roe decision.

Past and present efforts by pro-life groups to restrict access to abortions have included attempts at passing legislation that requires certain steps before obtaining an abortion, including spousal notification, parental notification and consent for minors, requirements that say women must be informed about the consequences of abortions, and a ban on partial birth abortions.

The Nov. 30 Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood of New England case argued before the Supreme Court is one example cited by NARAL where a decision unfavorable to the group could spell an erosion in abortions rights.

Supreme Court Justices in the case did not focus on the legality of parental notification, the main thrust of the law in question. Instead, they dissected the law to approach the key issue of in how emergency abortions are treated under the law.

Planned Parenthood, an abortion provider, argued that without an emergency exception clause, the law could not adequately protect the health and lives of women. The state of New Hampshire argued that doctors would not be prosecuted in extreme cases where the life of a mother was truly at risk.

Many abortion opponents do not agree with the current Roe precedent, which they say includes a health exception is too broad, providing women almost unlimited reasons for being allowed to abort. Under the current understanding of the law, they say "health" can refer to physical, emotional and mental health.

Alito has previously stated to Senators interviewing him ahead of the hearings that decades of legal precedent in the 1973 Roe decision deserved respect.

NARAL cites future cases as further battlegrounds where the abortion wars will be fought.

Opponents of Alito also say that his role as an appellate judge required him to be faithful to Supreme Court precedent. They fear that as a Supreme Court Justice, he would not be constrained in the same way and might vote to overturn protections for abortion granted by previous Supreme Court justices.

Legal documents from the 1980s, during Alito’s time as an attorney in the Reagan administration, have shown that Alito strongly supported overturning the Roe v. Wade decision at the time, holding that it was unconstitutional.

Alito, however, also told senators that as a judge, his job is much different than that of an advocate and that his personal views would not be brought into play on the bench.

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