Tuesday, May 17, 2005
MMfA: FRC's Perkins falsely claimed that Justice Owen voted with majority in parental-notification case - May 17
On the Family Research Council's (FRC) radio broadcast Washington Watch Weekly, FRC president Tony Perkins falsely claimed that Texas Supreme Court justice Priscilla Owen, nominated by President Bush to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, voted with the majority in a 2000 case involving a minor seeking a judicial bypass allowing her to receive an abortion under Texas' parental notification law. In fact, Owen wrote a dissent in the case of Jane Doe 1(II), 19 S.W.3d 346, for which her then-colleague on the court, Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, accused her and the other dissenters of advocating "an unconscionable act of judicial activism."
Perkins claimed that Owen "ruled with the majority against the exemption." In fact, the majority ruled that the minor had met the statutory requirements for a judicial bypass, a ruling from which Owen dissented. She and her fellow dissenters earned a rebuke from Gonzales, who was then on the court, for what he described in a concurring opinion as an effort "to create hurdles that simply are not to be found in the words of the statute."
From the May 14 broadcast of Washington Watch Weekly:
PERKINS: Now liberals point to a Texas case in 2000 where a minor who lived at home with her parents sought a court exemption to the state law requiring her to notify her parents when she was having an abortion. It's called parental notification. Well, Justice Owen ruled with the majority against the exemption. Now, that would indicate it felt like parents need to be involved in these important decisions that children make when it comes to life and death in abortion.
According to the FRC, Washington Watch Weekly is broadcast on more than 250 American Family Radio network stations as well as the Bott Radio Network, a group of Christian radio stations mostly in the Midwest.
You may contact Perkins and the FRC at:
D.H.: I clicked on this link and sent Mr. Perkins this note:
You said on your radio show that Justice Owen voted with the majority in the 2000 case of a 17 year old girl wanting an abortion without notifying her parents.
That is incorrect. In fact, Owen wrote a dissent in the case of Jane Doe 1(II), 19 S.W.3d 346, for which her then-colleague on the court, Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, accused her and the other dissenters of advocating "an unconscionable act of judicial activism."
Owen's opinion would have allowed the trial judge to require the girl to get religious instructions, among other things, and then get the abortion without her parents' consent.
Owen's opinion did not at all require the girl to get parental consent to get the abortion. That issue was not even in the case.
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