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MARCH 13, 2003
10:16 AM
CONTACT:  NARAL Pro-Choice America
Carlyn Foster (202) 973-3032.

Can't Take No for an Answer?
WASHINGTON - March 13 - "President Bush's re-nomination of Priscilla Owen to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals is a slap in the face to the Senate Judiciary Committee, and demonstrates the President's determination to pack the federal courts with conservative ideologues. Owen's nomination was and still is a threat to the civil and constitutional rights of women and working families.

"Bush says he wants judges who won't legislate from the bench, yet he nominated and then re-nominated one of the most activist judges possible. Priscilla Owen poses a serious threat to freedom of choice and would likely vote to erect barriers between a woman and her constitutional right to choose if confirmed to the Fifth Circuit.

"Federal judges have lifetime appointments and will have long lasting consequences for generations to come. We cannot risk allowing activist opponents of reproductive rights to dominate in the federal judiciary. NARAL Pro-Choice America urges Senators to stand firm and continue to vote against nominees who will roll back constitutional rights."

Background: Priscilla Owen is a dedicated conservative judicial activist who repeatedly rewrote a Texas statute from the bench in an attempt to make it almost impossible for a young woman to get an abortion without notifying potentially abusive parents. Justice Owen is widely recognized as one of the most conservative justices on an already conservative court. (NARAL Pro-Choice America Priscilla Owen Report, 2002)

If Bush's nominees are confirmed ten of twelve regional federal circuits will have majorities of judges nominated by anti-choice presidents and they may have the opportunity to restrict Roe or set in motion its reversal. (


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