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Thursday, December 1, 2005


NAF Communications Department

Alito Memo Further Illustrates Hostility to Women's Reproductive Choice

Responding to recently released documents concerning Samuel Alito's hostility toward Roe v. Wade and women's reproductive freedom, the National Abortion Federation today again called on the United States Senate to reject his nomination to be an associate justice of the Supreme Court. At issue is a 1985 memo written by Alito as then-assistant to the U.S. Solicitor General in which he specifically argued for the piecemeal dismantling of the landmark 1973 Roe decision and wrote, "...[W]e should make clear that we disagree with Roe v. Wade and would welcome the opportunity to brief the issue of whether, and if so to what extent, that the decision should be overruled."

"This memo is a significant piece in an ever-increasing collection of evidence that illustrates Samuel Alito's goal of overturning Roe and taking away women's reproductive freedom," said Vicki Saporta, President and CEO of NAF. "There is little doubt that Alito, if confirmed to the Supreme Court, will vote to overturn or weaken Roe v. Wade."

The newly released 17-page memo, voluntarily written by Alito, recommended that the Regan administration submit a brief in the Supreme Court case Thornburgh v. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists as a means of chipping away at Roe rather than launching a "frontal assault" on the law. This kind of tactic has widely been adopted by the anti-choice community as a way to eviscerate Roe. Alito wrote this memo six months before he wrote in a job application that he was "particularly proud" of his contribution to cases in which the administration argued "that the Constitution does not protect a right to an abortion."

"Everything we know about Samuel Alito shows that he is out of the mainstream and would be a champion of the anti-choice community," said Saporta. "In his own words, he has told us his method for gutting a women's right to choose and that he is proud of his efforts to do so. No plaintiff in front of Alito can ever be assured of an impartial hearing in cases concerning reproductive rights. By threatening to return us to the days of back alley abortions, this nomination clearly jeopardizes women's lives and health."

"Once again, we call on the United States Senate to defeat the confirmation of Samuel Alito. We call on President Bush to give the American people a nominee who will respect well-established precedent, not one who will legislate from the bench."


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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