by Steven Ertelt
November 15, 2005
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Abortion advocates reacted negatively to the release of a letter on Monday showing Judge Samuel Alito stating his opposition to abortion and saying there is no right to abortion in the Constitution. The letter is part of a group of Reagan administration documents sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Senator Ted Kennedy, a leading pro-abortion lawmaker, said the document was "deeply troubling" and he said Alito would face a "heavy burden" during committee hearings to show that he no longer believes abortion isn’t in the Constitution.
"This is the strongest statement we’ve seen from a nominee on this very controversial subject for a long time," pro-abortion Sen. Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, said.
He said Alito "has an obligation to answer tough questions from the committee about whether his views have changed and whether he would advance a particular ideological position that is contrary to decades of legal precedent."
Republican Arlen Specter, chairman of the judicial panel, agreed and said contents of the document would mean Alito would be questioned more closely on the subject of abortion.
"I think that it is more reason to question him closely at the hearing," he told the Washington Post.
But pro-life Sen. John Cornyn of Texas defended Alito, saying he "joins a long list of jurists who have written that Roe was wrongly decided, including Ruth Bader Ginsburg before she was confirmed to the court."
Meanwhile, Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL, said the document confirms the fears of abortion advocates who suspected Alito would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade if confirmed to the Supreme Court.
"Samuel Alito’s stated opposition to a woman’s constitutional right to choose as guaranteed by Roe v. Wade is further evidence that anti-choice groups got exactly what they ordered from President Bush," Keenan claimed.
"As a Supreme Court Justice, he would have the opportunity to dismantle reproductive rights to the point where Roe is almost meaningless or even vote to overturn Roe," she said.
She said her group wants the Senate to press Alito during confirmation hearings to determine whether he still opposes Roe today.