During an interview with Weekly Standard executive editor Fred Barnes about Supreme Court nominee Samuel A. Alito Jr. on the November 1 broadcast of Christian Broadcasting Network's The 700 Club, host Pat Robertson, founder of the Christian Coalition, reflected on the "age" in which he grew up, "where a man wanted a male heir." Referring to Alito's partial dissent in an abortion case, in which Alito argued that a Pennsylvania spousal notification requirement was constitutional, Robertson said, "And it's certainly the prerogative of the Pennsylvania legislature to say these guys at least should get notified before their wife kills their heir."
Barnes responded, "That certainly makes sense to me." Robertson and Barnes were discussing Alito's partial dissent in the 1991 Planned Parenthood v. Casey case, in which the majority struck down the spousal notification requirement, one of the provisions at issue in the case. The Supreme Court upheld the majority ruling on the spousal notification provision in a 5-4 decision, not a 6-3 decision, as Barnes incorrectly claimed.
From the November 1 broadcast of Christian Broadcasting Network's The 700 Club:
ROBERTSON: Fred, I don't know about you, but I grew up in an age where a man wanted a male heir, and if he had a son that he helped make with his wife, he was looking forward to the birth of that son so the son could grow up, take over the farm, the family business in his name. And to think that he doesn't have any voice in it is ridiculous. And it's certainly the prerogative of the Pennsylvania legislature to say these guys at least should get notified before their wife kills their heir.
BARNES: That certainly makes sense to me, but the Supreme Court, with the Sandra Day O'Connor being the swing vote, ruled that was -- that that represented an undue burden on the right to abortion. Actually, she wasn't the swing vote, I think it was a 6-3 decision actually.