This article originally appeared in the Fall 2007 issue of Human Life Review. Used by Permission. For a free sample issue of Human Life Review, call 212-685-5210 or visit www.humanlifereview.com.
A Lack of Prudence
by Clarke D. Forsythe
President, Americans United for Life
In June, certain anti-abortion activists bought full-page newspaper ads featuring an “open letter” criticizing James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, for his “approval” of the Supreme Court’s April 18 decision in Gonzales v. Carhart, which upheld the constitutionality of the federal Partial- Birth Abortion Ban Act (PBABA) of 2003. The crux of the criticism seems to be that the Gonzales decision was “brutally wicked,” because the Court didn’t prohibit all abortions (or at least D&E abortions). The impact of the “open letter” was multiplied by newspaper reports about the letter in the Washington Post on June 5 and the Los Angeles Times on June 6.
The letter’s criticism of Dobson (and other organizations) for publicly supporting the Court’s decision contained innumerable misstatements, including misunderstandings about the proper role of the Supreme Court, how the Supreme Court operates, why the PBABA was written, the limits of the PBABA, the Court’s abortion doctrine, the records of Justices Scalia and Thomas, the language of the Gonzales opinion, and the future implications of the Court’s decision. Since the “open letter” was published for millions to read, its numerous misstatements deserve a public correction.