by Steven Ertelt
July 21, 2005
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Supreme Court nominee John Roberts appears to be pro-life in his views about the issue of abortion, but the philosophy his wife has on the topic is crystal clear. Attorney Jane Sullivan Roberts has been associated with the pro-life group Feminists for Life of America for more than a decade.
Mrs. Roberts, an attorney at the high-powered Washington law firm of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, currently serves as the pro bono legal counsel for the organization, which focuses on how abortion is a disservice to women.
From 1995 to 1999 she served as Executive Vice President on Feminist for Life’s board of directors.
"Jane is a brilliant attorney," says FFL executive director Serrin Foster. "We are very proud of her and appreciative of her service to Feminists for Life and women and children."
However, Foster told the Chicago Tribune that Jane Sullivan Roberts’ views doesn’t necessarily have a bearing on the Supreme Court nominee’s philosophy.
"In today’s world people know that spouses do different things," Foster said. "He is not associated with FFL. Her work and what she does should stand alone."
Roberts’ involvement underscores the unique approach the pro-life group takes as it seeks to educate society that women should not lose normal privileges because they are pregnant.
In 1998, she drafted an affidavit for the organization for a Kentucky case brought by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of teenage mothers denied membership in the National Honor Society. The academic group claimed the teen mothers should not be a part of the group because of their pregnancies, despite their achievement in the classroom.
Feminists for Life argued that the Grant County, Kentucky, school system had discriminated against the two students, violating Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the state and federal constitutions, and the Kentucky Civil Rights Act. The organization said the teenagers would have been able to be a part of the honor society had they had abortions — a situation Foster’s group deplores.
Ultimately, courts decided in favor of the students and ruled the pregnant teens must be allowed to be a part of the honor society because their grades warranted membership.
During Mrs. Roberts’ term on the FFL board, the organization joined other feminist groups in arguing for passage of the Violence Against Women Act, fought for enhancing child support enforcement, and fighting child exclusion provisions in welfare reform which would have encouraged abortions.
Now, Roberts primarily does work for the organization on trademark issues and contracts for employees.
The Robertses married in 1996, when they were both in their 40s and the couple tried to have children. The were not successful and the two have since adopted two children, Josephine and John, now 5 and 4.
Related web sites:
Feminists for Life of America – https://www.feministsforlife.org