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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 17, 2003

CONTACT

Communications Department
202-667-5881

National Abortion Federation Urges Senate Committee to Reject Nomination of Bill Pryor to Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals

Statement of Vicki Saporta, President and CEO of the National Abortion Federation

"The Senate Judiciary Committee is slated to vote today on the nomination of Alabama Attorney General Bill Pryor to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. Committee approval of Pryor would put a stamp of approval on a radical agenda that conflicts with the values shared by mainstream Americans.

"For a democracy to thrive, its citizens must have confidence in the courts' ability to fairly evaluate the issues that come before them and to impartially interpret the law. Pryor's record of extreme partisanship and reactionary ideology makes clear that he does not meet even this most basic criteria.

"The White House has orchestrated a parade of the country's most extreme conservative and anti-choice judicial nominees, and Bill Pryor stands out as one of the worst. He is opposed to abortion even in cases of rape or incest, has called Roe v. Wade 'an abominable decision,' and has openly disparaged Supreme Court Justice Souter for not using his seat on the Court to further the political agenda of the President who nominated him.

"Some of the most serious antiabortion violence in the country has occurred in the three states that fall under the jurisdiction of the 11th Circuit: three murders, two clinic bombings - one of which killed an off-duty police officer - and nine arson attacks have all taken place within the last ten years. One of the bombings occurred in Alabama, during Pryor's tenure as the state's Attorney General. Yet Pryor still urged the Supreme Court to strike down the Driver's Privacy Protection Act, a law that protects abortion providers and patients from stalking, harassment, and violence.

"Pryor's activism on behalf of his narrow ideological agenda has been so intense that his nomination is opposed by a broad cross section of Americans, including civil rights advocates, religious groups, environmentalists, disability rights groups and labor unions.

"Bill Pryor's record makes clear that he cannot be trusted to serve as a fair and independent jurist, and the Senate Judiciary Committee must reject his nomination."

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