More Namesake Anti-Abortion Factions Clash

As we wrote yesterday, James Dobson’s applause for the Supreme Court’s decision upholding the “Partial Birth Abortion Ban” led to an unusual row between far-right anti-abortion groups: One group claiming the name Operation Rescue condemned Dobson for backsliding and called on him to “please repent,” while another group also calling itself Operation Rescue defended the Focus on the Family leader. Oddly enough, a similar dispute emerged out of the same anti-Dobson campaign.

Colorado Right to Life joined Flip Benham’s Operation Rescue/Operation Save America in taking out a full-page ad in the Gazette, the newspaper in Colorado Springs, where Focus on the Family is located. Focus’s Citizenlink web site responded with an article that enlists the support of Colorado Right to Life’s parent group, National Right to Life:

The National Right to Life Committee said it’s “in complete disagreement” with an ad sponsored by a state affiliate that attacks Dr. James Dobson, founder and chairman of Focus on the Family Action. …

David O’Steen, executive director of National Right to Life in Washington, D.C., said the Colorado affiliate is wrong about the court ruling. “It’s the first time that the court has allowed the legislative branch to outlaw a specific abortion procedure,” O’Steen told CitizenLink. “We think it’s a great victory.”

The Colorado affiliate is also wrong about Dobson, he explained. “We appreciate Dr. Dobson, and we appreciate his support to end partial birth abortion,” O’Steen said. “We agree with him that the decision is a breakthrough.”

As the New York Times reported, National Right to Life sees the Supreme Court’s decision as a vindication of its strategy emphasizing that abortion restrictions are important because women don’t know better – an idea seemingly echoed by the court’s majority opinion.