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Abortion Notification ‘Outrageous’?

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Abortion rights groups are questioning Supreme Court Nominee Samuel Alito's (search) 1991 opinion defending a Pennsylvania law requiring any woman seeking an abortion to notify her spouse, a requirement The New York Times called "outrageous." But polling analysis by the Pew Research Center shows that the public agrees with Alito's position by a margin of nearly 3 to 1.

A 2003 Gallup poll (search) found that 72 percent of Americans supported a law requiring the husband of a married woman to be notified if she decides to have an abortion, results that were nearly identical to polls taken in 1996 and 1992. Democrats supported the provision by a margin of 2 to 1.

Liberal Support

Meanwhile, even some liberal lawyers and judges who know Alito are wholeheartedly supporting his nomination, calling him an impartial jurist. One former clerk who worked on John Kerry's presidential campaign told the Los Angeles Times, "[Alito's] opinions don't demonstrate an ideological slant," while another self-described Democrat says Alito "didn't decide cases based on ideology and his record was not extremely conservative."

And former 3rd Circuit Court Judge Timothy Lewis (search), who had a liberal record on the court, says, "contrary to what the Republican right is saying about him being a 'home run' Alito does not have an agenda."

Carter Contradiction?

Former President Jimmy Carter (search) joined Senate Democrats Wednesday in charging that the administration's pre-war claims that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction "were manipulated at least to mislead the American people into going to war." Promoting his new book on TV Wednesday, Carter said, "I haven't seen proof yet. I think that's what's going to come out. But there are all kinds of allegations which have not been denied."

But just a month before the Iraq invasion, Carter himself, though he opposed the war, told a British paper that Saddam "obviously has the capability and desire to build prohibited weapons and probably has some hidden in his country."

Catholic Censorship

Two Catholic universities have censored students this week for defending the church's teachings on homosexuality. Cybercast News reports that Duquesne University (search) in Pittsburgh ordered one student to remove his website opposing a "gay-straight alliance" on campus and to write an essay on Catholic teaching about human dignity. The student took down the site, but refused to write an essay, claiming his post was a paraphrase of Catholic teachings.

And at Gonzaga University (search) in Spokane, Washington, officials ordered students not to advertise a lecture on the medical implications of homosexual sex fearing it might stir up anti-gay sentiment. Despite, or perhaps because of the ban, Gonzaga students packed the auditorium for the event.

— FOX News' Aaron Bruns contributed to this report

With more than 35 years of journalism experience to draw from, Brit Hume currently serves as a senior political analyst for FOX News Channel (FNC) and contributes to all major political coverage. Hume also is regular panelist on FOX's weekly public affairs program, "FOX News Sunday."