NARAL and John Roberts
I've actually donated money to the people at the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL). However, after their recent television commercial smearing Supreme Court nominee John Roberts using misleading and false information, they'll never see another dime from me until NARAL President Nancy Keenan resigns and anybody even remotely associated with the airing of the ad in question is fired.
NARAL was busted by non-partisan web site Factcheck.org, which explained that the ad "misleads when it says Roberts supported a clinic bomber. It is true that Roberts sided with the bomber and many other defendants in a civil case, but the case didn't deal with bombing at all. Roberts argued that abortion clinics which brought the suit had no right use an 1871 federal anti-discrimination statute against anti-abortion protesters who tried to blockade clinics." Additionally, the images used in the ad feature a clinic bombing that happened nearly seven years after Roberts signed the brief in question.
The NARAL ad is basically a pack of lies that preys on pro-choice advocates' fear that John Roberts may rule to overturn Roe v. Wade. I'm sure that NARAL fears exactly what all pro-choicers fear: that Roberts and President Bush had a conversation in which Roberts indicated he would overturn Roe v. Wade given the chance. It's a hard thing to stomach, but it doesn't mean that we reduce ourselves by becoming the same jackasses, liars and scum that we despise.
What President Nancy Keenan apparently doesn't understand is that honesty and integrity matter. She also doesn't understand that when you start lying, you undermine your position. Sure, such tactics work for Karl Rove and a lot of other Republicans, but that's precisely why I don't support such people. I like having integrity. I'm also no hypocrite, and if Nancy Keenan can't do her job without lying, she should go work for Focus on the Family on their latest campaign to convince gullible Christians that SpongeBob is taking it up the ass.
I don't want another Supreme Court nominee who is against abortion any more than Keenan does, but it's debatable whether or not opposition to Roe v. Wade necessarily disqualifies somebody from being on the Supreme Court. However divisive, abortion is an extremely complex issue with so many sides and so many possible relationships to the law that it's hard to know how Roberts might rule on any one case. Here's one example: Can a mother who smokes crack throughout her pregnancy be charged with a crime if the baby is damaged by her drug use? If so, doesn't that assign some right to an unborn baby?
Let me be clear: I am an unwavering supporter of the right to abortion. The reason: I am a realist and not a hypocritical moralist. In my opinion, that's generally the difference between being pro-choice and not. When abortion was illegal, back alley abortions were common and the danger to women was substantial. Does anybody think that making abortion illegal will stop abortions? Upper and middle class women will simply travel outside the country to get their abortions, leaving poor women at the mercy of coat hangers and unlicensed medical practitioners. If anti-abortionists really wanted to stop abortions, they would work tirelessly for free birth control and other such things, but they don't. They are fucking hypocrites. They just want the issue off their conscience. They just want to force their morality on everyone else. They live in a fantasy world where opposing abortion somehow means there won't be any abortion and supporting abstinence means there won't be any pre-marital sex. What are these people smoking? They can't even keep their own children from fucking and having abortions and doing drugs. And to be clear again: I'm not advocating creating drive-through abortion clinics or dismissing the moral ramifications of the issue. I'm saying that women in dire situations deserve decent medical care.
NARAL should simply ask the question: Should being opposed to abortion keep you off the Supreme Court and does John Roberts oppose abortion? These are two questions for which we simply don't have answers right now. However, from what I can see, there's ample evidence that politics doesn't play a huge role in Roberts's decision-making. He seems to interpret the law in a fairly strict way. He worked on the case that eventually overturned Amendment 2, the anti-gay rights amendment in Colorado. Because of that, conservative groups have pulled their support for him. He also has two adopted children, which is admirable. If he is against abortion, he certainly has stepped up to do his part. If nothing else, he's an intriguing guy and should be given a fair shake and we should debate his nomination on the merits of his record, which is how it's supposed to work in our so-called democracy.
As far as I can tell, he has a lot more integrity than NARAL. NARAL and its supporters should be ashamed of themselves.