NARAL will spend $500,000 to frighten cable news watchers and the people of Maine and Rhode Island, home to three liberal Republican senators. The 30-second ad is titled "Speaking Out." Here's the script:Announcer: Seven years ago, a bomb destroyed a woman's health clinic in Birmingham, Ala.
Emily Lyons: When a bomb ripped through my clinic, I almost lost my life. I will never be the same.
Announcer: Supreme Court nominee John Roberts filed court briefs supporting violent fringe groups and a convicted clinic bomber.
Lyons: I'm determined to stop this violence, so I'm speaking out.
Announcer: Call your senators. Tell them to oppose John Roberts. America can't afford a justice whose ideology leads him to excuse violence against other Americans.
The ladies who gave Plato's "noble lie" new uses in the hearings of Clarence Thomas are at it again. NARAL is using the image of the abortion clinic bombing by Eric Rudolph to suggest that Judge Roberts would excuse such violence--even though NARAL's leaders have admitted to the press that Judge Roberts has condemned clinic violence. Indeed, the Washington Post reported last week that in 1986, when he was an assistant in the White House counsel's office, Mr. Roberts wrote a memo recommending against a presidential pardon for abortion-clinic bombers. "No matter how lofty or sincerely held the goal, those who resort to violence to achieve it are criminals," Roberts wrote.
In fact, the 1993 case whose name NARAL shows in its ad, Bray v. Alexandria Women's Health Clinic, had nothing to do with Eric Rudolph or violence against abortion clinics. As a deputy solicitor general in the first Bush administration, Mr. Roberts filed a friend-of-the-court brief arguing that the Civil Rights Act of 1871, enacted to protect blacks from the Ku Klux Klan, did not prohibit peaceful pro-life demonstrators from standing outside of abortion clinics. The high court agreed 6-3, with Justices Anthony Kennedy and David Souter among the majority.
It is important to point out such a distortion as this for what it is: a lie. Yet my initial reaction was not the same as other conservatives who went on defense. Rather, it was something like this: Do it again, harder, harder--and bring your friends. Having extremist groups spend big money to win over liberal GOP senators is a no-lose proposition, especially when they have to tell lies to do so.
Then OpinionJournal goes on to suggest that NARAL's real interest may be abortion profits, not abortion rights:
In September 2002, when Democrats first blocked Justice Priscilla Owen from a circuit court nomination over a Texas Supreme Court ruling that upheld a parental notice law, Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah put it this way:I fear the opposition to Justice Owen from the abortion lobby is not at all about abortion rights, because abortion rights are not affected by a mere notice statute. The opposition to Justice Owen is not really about abortion rights, it is about abortion profits. Simply put, the abortion industry is opposed to parental notice laws because parental notice laws place a hurdle between them and the profits from the abortion clients--not the girls who come to them but the adult men who pay for these abortions. These adult men, whose average age rises the younger the girl is, are eager not to be disclosed to parents, sometimes living down the street. . . . At nearly one million abortions per year, the abortion industry is as big as any corporate interest that lobbies in Washington. They not only ignore the rights of parents, they also protect sexual offenders and statutory rapists.