Planned Parenthood Opposes John Roberts Supreme Court Nomination

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 15, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Planned Parenthood Opposes John Roberts Supreme Court Nomination Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 15, 2005

Washington, DC ( — The nation’s leading abortion business says it now opposes the nomination of John Roberts to become the next head of the Supreme Court. The abortion advocacy group says it believes Roberts would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade and would not support its policy of abortion without restrictions.

After three days of confirmation hearings, Roberts "still refuses to answer" whether he would vote to uphold Roe v. Wade, Karen Pearl, Planned Parenthood’s interim president, said in an email alert to members.

"In light of this refusal to respond to direct questions about his commitment to [abortion], Planned Parenthood today announced its opposition to Roberts’ confirmation as chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court," Pearl explained.

"We now firmly believe that his confirmation will jeopardize [abortion]— and he must be stopped," Pearl said.

The Planned Parenthood email instructs its members to contact senators and urge strong opposition to Roberts’ nomination.

On the other hand, pro-life advocates are pleased with the way Roberts has answered questions about abortion.

Roberts has made sure he has not put himself in the position of not being able to participate in a case to reverse Roe by telling the Senate Judiciary Committee where he stands on the case. However, he laid out the groundwork for overturning the landmark decision by saying Supreme Court precedents can be overturned in various situations.

Cathy Cleaver Ruse, Family Research Council’s Senior Legal Fellow and former Chief Counsel to the House Subcommittee on the Constitution, congratulated Roberts on his "masterful" performance.

"Specifically we were pleased with Judge Roberts’ answers about Roe v. Wade," Ruse explained. "Judge Roberts refused to give hints or projections about how he might evaluate a future abortion case before the Court, but carefully stated what the law is on the matter of stare decisis and repeatedly pledged to follow the rule of law."

Some pro-life advocates worry that Roberts’ discussion of stare decisis means he will vote to uphold Roe, but others point to a comment from Justice Clarence Thomas, who, in his dissent in the 1992 Casey decision, which upheld Roe, said the Supreme Court is well within its rights to overturn the controversial decision.

"We believe that Roe was wrongly decided, and that it can and should be overruled consistently with our traditional approach to stare decisis in constitutional cases," Thomas wrote.

Roberts’ confirmation hearings continue today and the committee is expected to vote on Monday. Roberts will almost assuredly pass through committee on a party-line vote but a few Democrats may join Republicans in supporting him.