| Feb. 11,
Porn Attorney: #2 at Justice Department?
WASHINGTON - If David Ogden is confirmed as Deputy Attorney General, do not
expect any rigorous enforcement of laws against child pornography, obscenity,
partial birth abortion - or in favor of parental notification of minors seeking
For 25 years Ogden has represented such clients as Playboy, Penthouse and the
ACLU, arguing against laws limiting pornography and abortion. For example, he
opposed filters on library computers to protect children from Internet smut and
successfully defended the right of pornographers to produce material with
Yet when he appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, he
asserted, "I believe that child pornography laws are extremely important. Child
pornography is abhorrent."
He "apparently experienced a `Confirmation Conversion'" as he "abandoned the
library of liberal views he spent his career advancing," quipped Brian Burch,
President of Fidelis, a Catholic legal watchdog consortium.
Conservatives are mounting a fight against David Ogden that will be aided by the
fact there is a Congressional recess next week, giving time to mobilize. I
attended last week's Senate Judiciary Committee's hearing of Ogden. While
Republicans asked good questions of the porn attorney, they did so with little
passion. Not one declared, "I can't vote for you."
So this is an uphill fight. But it is worth the fight.
"David Ogden is a hired gun from Playboy and the ACLU. He can't run from his
long record of opposing common sense laws protecting families, women and
children," argues Burch. "The United States Senate has a responsibility to the
American people to insure that Mr. Ordgen's full record is fully reviewed before
any vote on his nomination."
President Obama says he wants to curb sexual trafficking in women and children
and sexual exploitation of children, and reduce the number of abortions.
With a veteran pornography & abortion defense attorney as the Number Two man at
Justice, the nation's top law enforcement agency?
"Who's next?" asks columnist Janet LaRue.
"Jack Kevorkian as Surgeon General?"
Consider Ogden's record on two cases. He co-authored a 1987 brief for the
American Psychological Association arguing that parental notification was an
unconstitutional burden on 14-year-old girls seeking an abortion:
"Empirical studies have found few differences between minors aged 14-18 and
adults in their understanding of information and their ability to think of
options and consequences," he argued.
Fortunately, dozens of states ignored his pro-abortion logic. During the 1990s,
even through pro-abortion Bill Clinton was in the White House, 27 states passed
laws requiring abortion providers to obtain parental consent if a minor was
seeking an abortion. Another 32 states passed similar, less demanding parental
With what result? One of the early states with a parental involvement law was
Minnesota, where abortions by teenagers fell by one-third. National Right to
Life reports that states with parental consent or notification laws had a
teenage pregnancy rate 16 percent lower, and abortions of 15-19 year-olds
dropped 25% compared to states without these laws. What's more, the overall U.S.
teen birth rate fell by a third from 1991-2006.
If teen girls know that their parents will have to be informed, or consent to an
abortion, fewer will become sexually active in the first place.
One problem is that increasingly available pornography sends the opposite
message. Dr. Jill Manning, author of "The Impact of Pornography on Women," saw
a young teenage woman with a pink tank top that read "Future Porn Star."
That symbolizes how porn has degraded the culture, making it more daunting for
young girls and sexually aggressive, even by them!
Yet David Ogden opposed porn filters for minors on behalf of the American
Library Association, the Internet Protection Act of 2000, because it would
impair "the ability of librarians to fulfill the purpose of public libraries -
namely, assisting library patrons in their quest for information."
A recent study reports that teens spend 31 hours per week (4.5 hours per day!)
on line - two hours of which are on hard core sites. No wonder, as Manning
reports, "Adolescents are engaging in sexual intercourse earlier than previous
With what result? Some get addicted to obscenity. From a fifth to a third of
all web searches are for porn. One impact is shattered marriages, for example.
At a 2002 meeting of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers 62 percent said
Internet porn was "a significant factor" in their divorces.
David Ogden is the last man who should be Deputy Attorney General.
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