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Wednesday, May 18, 2005


NAF Communications Department

NAF Opposes Extreme Anti-Choice Nominees and Urges Senators to Reject the Nuclear Option

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

We expect the Senate today to debate the nominations of Priscilla Owen and Janice Rogers Brown, two extreme anti-choice judicial nominees. The National Abortion Federation stands firm in our opposition to these nominees because their appointment to lifetime federal judgeships would jeopardize the ability of women to access safe and legal reproductive health care and would negatively impact the rights of all Americans.

Priscilla Owen has voted against a woman's right to choose in almost every case concerning reproductive rights she has heard. In her opinions concerning abortion, Owen has disregarded established precedent and rewritten legislative intent in her attempts to push her radical agenda. Even President Bush's own Attorney General and former White House Counsel, Alberto Gonzales, has called Owen's opinion where she attempted to impose religious and other strict criteria in a judicial bypass case an act of "unconscionable judicial activism."

Janice Rogers Brown has attempted to interpret the California Constitution, which protects the privacy of "all people" so it would not give the same rights to emancipated minors as to adults. In some of her dissents she has characterized her colleagues' opinions as "bizarre," "schizophrenic," and "lame." More recently, Rogers Brown dissented from a case that upheld the Women's Equity in Contraception Act and its requirement that organizations provide health insurance coverage for prescription contraceptives. She not only opposes access to legal abortion, but she also opposes equitable access to contraception.

It is truly unconscionable that President Bush and the Senate leadership are attempting to force through these extreme anti-choice nominees for lifetime appointments. But what is even worse is that they are willing to break Senate rules that have been in place and followed for over 200 years in order to implement the nuclear option.

We urge Senators to vote against Priscilla Owen and Janice Rogers Brown and stand firm on upholding our government's system of checks and balances.

For full reports on nominees that NAF opposes, visit www.prochoice.org/policy/courts/nominations/index.html.

The National Abortion Federation is the professional association of abortion providers in North America dedicated to ensuring that abortion remains safe, legal, and accessible.

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