Abortion Rights Group Plans All-Out Attack on Bork Nomination
WASHINGTON (AP) _ The National Abortion Rights League on Saturday vowed an all-out attack, ″the likes of which has never been seen,″ on President Reagan’s nomination of federal Judge Robert H. Bork to be a Supreme Court justice.
Bork’s confirmation ″could mean an end to legal abortion,″ NARAL Executive Director Kate Michelman said in a keynote speech at the organization’s convention in Washington.
″We are about to enter the fight of our lives. It is a fight for our lives and a fight ... for the very soul of American itself. Our most basic and cherished rights are at risk, and with it, the values of choice and freedom that lie at the heart of America’s identity,″ she said.
NARAL and other women’s rights groups have expressed heated opposition to Bork as a successor to retired Justice Lewis Powell, a moderate conservative. The Senate has not yet begun hearings on Bork’s nomination. Bork, a judge of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia, is known for his conservative views and his disagreement with the Roe vs. Wade decision legalizing abortion.
Michelman said NARAL will devote itself to lobbying Congress to vote down the Bork nomination.
″To those who are wondering about our mood, we say: Yes, we feel a bit threatened. But we also pledge an activism the likes of which has never been seen before,″ she said to applause from the NARAL members.
She asserted that approval of Bork means ″an about-face on civil liberties. It means cutbacks in many of our cherished freedoms.″
NARAL spokesman Richard Mintz said that until the sudden resignation of Powell and Reagan’s selection of Bork, the organization had intended to focus its convention on broadening the group’s focus beyond the abortion issue.
Now, however, he said, the group’s energies have been centered on the Bork nomination, and the expansion will have to wait.
The new issues the groups will be advocating in addition to the pro-choice viewpoint include birth control, sex education and counseling, health care for pregnant women and social support for disadvantaged children.