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Nov. 18, 2005
Alito's Dissent in Casey Suggests that Fathers Do Matter 
Judge Sam Alito has had the opportunity to rule in four cases involving abortion during his 15 years of service on the 3rd Circuit U. S. Court of Appeals. In three instances, Elizabeth Blackwell Health Center v. Knoll, Alexander v. Whitman, and Planned Parenthood v. Farmer, his rulings were based on precedents that supported the pro-abortion side.

In the case of Planned Parenthood v. Casey, Judge Alito dissented from the majority opinion, saying that requiring a married woman to notify her husband before obtaining an abortion was not an "undue burden" under Roe's definition, especially since a woman who claimed she feared abuse from her husband was exempted from the requirement. This could be called a pro-life decision, but it was one in which Alito tried to stay within the Roe framework. ("Smiles for Scalito," by Joseph Agostino, Population Research Institute Weekly Briefing, 11/4/05).

Pro-lifers are concerned that, if his nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court is confirmed by the Senate, Judge Alito may be too dependent on legal precedent to rule in favor of life. Pro-abortion left wingers, on the other hand, are apoplectic about statements he has made and memos he has written that indicate he may, in fact, be pro-life. They are vigorously attacking this nomination through aggressive and expensive television advertising and every media source they can get their hands on.

From the pro-life perspective, it may be useful to examine what may have motivated Judge Alito to dissent in Casey on the basis that a married woman should be required to notify her husband prior to securing an abortion. Bear in mind that the requirement was not that she obtain his permission, not even that he be consulted, but only that he be told in advance about the abortion.

Could it be that Judge Alito, himself a husband and father, thinks that fathers matter? After all, a husband and his wife, who have together generated a new life, both have a fundamental, basic interest in the child in question. Once a new life has been conceived they are no longer simply husband and wife, they are father and mother as well. How is it that a mother can hire a hit man, in the form of an abortionist, to kill their baby, and do so legally, and the father has absolutely no right to even know about it?

Under Roe v. Wade, fathers don't matter. Perhaps Judge Alito thinks they do.

We wish all mothers, fathers and friends of RNC/Life a very happy Thanksgiving.

The challenges to our nation are great, but together, with the help of God, we will one day restore legal protection of the right to life in America and, along with it, renewed peace and security, with liberty and justice for all.


Republican National Coalition for Life    Box 618    Alton    Illinois 62002
618-462-5415    Fax: 618-462-8909    E-mail