FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 18, 2013
This week, NARAL Pro-Choice America and RH Reality Check urged their members to sign a petition demanding that Nebraska investigate Judge Peter Bataillon for his outrageous statements in connection with his ruling to deny a young woman’s request for an abortion because, in his words, it would “kill the child inside” her. The complaint, supported by the petition of members of NARAL Pro-Choice America and RH Reality Check, was filed at the Nebraska courthouse with the assistance of local family-practice attorney Sue Ellen Wall.
NARAL Pro-Choice America released the following statement from president Ilyse Hogue:
“When Judge Peter Bataillon told the young woman – in foster care because of an abusive home – seeking permission to have an abortion that doing so would ‘kill the child inside’ her, it was clear he had no intention of giving her desperate pleas a fair hearing. Holding a young woman’s life in your hands requires an unimpeachable respect for constitutional rights and an impartial ability to judge the case on its merits. This judge threw both of those principles out the window when his statements from the bench proved his desire to put his own personal beliefs above the welfare of the minor.
“Peter Bataillon is entitled to help Operation Rescue activists — whose slogan is ‘If you believe abortion is murder, act like it’s murder’ — beat criminal charges and he’s entitled to serve as president of Omaha Right to Life. However, when Judge Bataillon dons his robes and steps up to the bench, the citizens of Nebraska deserve a representative who holds his responsibility to the law of the land higher than his personal beliefs. Anything less is an affront to the judicial branch of our government.
“That’s why NARAL Pro-Choice America activists around the country joined forces with a family practice attorney in Nebraska to file a complaint asking officials to sanction this judge for holding this young woman hostage to his ideology. Doing so would send a clear message that judges are not above the rule of law that makes our country great.”
RH Reality Check released the following statement from Jodi Jacobson, president and editor-in-chief:
“This is judicial activism at its worst. Judge Batallion should be immediately removed from the bench for substituting his personal ideology for the impartial legal judgment he is bound by law and ethics to employ in a court of law. His decision to harm to a 16 year old girl, by literally forcing her to bear a pregnancy against her will in service of his own ideology and personal political affiliations, is unconscionable. Women cannot afford one more day of a ‘judge’ like Batallion. That is why we are joining a formal complaint calling on the Nebraska Supreme Court to remove him from the bench.”
NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates are dedicated to protecting and expanding reproductive freedom for all Americans. NARAL works to guarantee that every woman has the right to make personal decisions regarding the full range of reproductive choices, including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion. In recognition of its work defending our constitutional right to choose, Fortune Magazine described NARAL as “one of the top 10 advocacy groups in America.”