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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Monday, October 31, 2005

CONTACT:

NAF Communications Department
202-667-5881

The National Abortion Federation Opposes Nomination of Samuel Alito to be Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court

Confirmation Would Jeopardize the Lives and Health of Women

Washington, DC - The National Abortion Federation today opposed the nomination of Samuel A. Alito to be an associate justice of the United States Supreme Court. "With this nomination, President Bush fulfilled his promise to the radical right to nominate a conservative justice in the mold of Antonin Scalia," said Vicki Saporta, President and CEO of NAF. "If confirmed, Alito would shift the court to the right and would be a vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, thereby jeopardizing women's lives and health."

Alito currently serves on the Philadelphia-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit where he has supported restricting access to abortion and limiting the right to privacy. For example, in the 1991 case of Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, Alito would have upheld a provision requiring women to notify their husbands prior to having an abortion. Justice O'Connor, whose seat he is nominated to fill, voted to strike down that provision, joining the plurality opinion that found women most affected and most afraid to notify their husbands of their pregnancies were in the gravest danger.

His hostility toward abortion continued in the 2000 case Planned Parenthood of Central New Jersey v. Farmer, where he did not join the majority opinion in striking down a ban on abortion that lacked an exception to protect women's health. Instead, he wrote his own opinion making clear he joined the decision only because he was required to follow the Supreme Court precedent of Stenberg v. Carhart, a precedent he no longer will be required to follow as a Supreme Court justice.

"President Bush today missed a golden opportunity to unite and strenghthen the country by nominating a moderate, consensus candidate to the Supreme Court," said Saporta. "Instead, he chose to cave in to the pressures and demands of his far right base and nominate a candidate whose judicial philosophy is clearly out of the mainstream. The fact that the President chose such an extreme candidate to replace Justice O'Connor, who cast the swing vote in many Supreme Court cases, is unacceptable. Americans will not tolerate a return to the days of back-alley abortions when a woman had to sacrifice her life and health to terminate an unwanted pregnancy."

"The National Abortion Federation today calls on the United States Senate to defeat the nomination of Samuel Alito to the U.S. Supreme Court."

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NAF is the professional association of abortion providers in North America. NAF members care for more than half the women who choose abortion each year in the United States. They include clinics, doctors' offices, and hospitals, including premier teaching hospitals.

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