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Monday, August 15, 2005

In Case You Missed It: NARAL Withdraws Anti-Roberts Ad

In Case You Missed It: NARAL Withdraws Anti-Roberts Ad

From The Associated Press

By Jesse J. Holland
August 12, 2005

An abortion rights group is withdrawing a heavily criticized television ad that linked John Roberts to violent anti-abortion activists, saying its attempt to illuminate the Supreme Court nominee's record has been "misconstrued."

After protests by conservatives, NARAL Pro-Choice America said Thursday night it would pull the ad that began running this week.

"We regret that many people have misconstrued our recent advertisement about Mr. Roberts' record," said Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America.

"Unfortunately, the debate over that advertisement has become a distraction from the serious discussion we hoped to have with the American public," she said in a letter Thursday to Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., who had urged the group to withdraw the ad.

Specter, himself an abortion-rights supporter as well as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee that will question Roberts next month, earlier Thursday had called the ad "blatantly untrue and unfair." ...

Keenan's response said the group will replace the ad with one that "examines Mr. Roberts' record on several points," ...

At least one television station had already refused to run the ad. Mike Young, vice president and general manager of WABI in Bangor, said his station ran the ad before deciding to pull it Thursday after receiving a challenge from the Republican National Committee. ...

"This ad grossly distorts the record of John Roberts from start to finish," said former Judiciary Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah. "It has only one goal: to associate John Roberts with violent extremists."

Senate Democrats have not taken a position on the ad. ...

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