Hispanic Pro-Life Advocate Challenges Sotomayor to Reflect Culture on Abortion
by Steven Ertelt
May 27, 2009
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor has drawn the ire of some opponents for comments saying that she can make better legal decisions as a Hispanic woman than white males. With the controversial comment in mind, one pro-life Latino leader is calling on Sotomayor to reflect her culture’s pro-life values.
A quote from President Barack Obama’s high court judicial pick is making the rounds in the mainstream media and among conservatives who oppose her nomination.
In a 2002 speech in California as a federal appeals court judge, Sotomayor asserted that it is appropriate for judges to consider their "experiences as women and people of color" — factors that "should affect our decisions," she said.
"I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life," she said in the same speech.
Given that polling data consistently shows a majority of Hispanics not only oppose abortion but are the ethnic group most likely to do so, Raimundo Rojas challenges Sotomayor to uphold those cultural and religious pro-life values that are ingrained in the Latino community.
The director of Hispanic outreach for the National Right to Life Committee told LifeNews.comhe wondered if Sotomayor’s comment regarding the "richness" of her Latino experience includes abortion.
"Abortion is not a part of our cultural richness — it is not a part of our identity as Latinos," Rojas said. "We know from numerous polls and studies that Hispanics in the United States overwhelmingly disagree with the notion of abortion on demand."
Although political observers and the mainstream media say Obama’s selection will endear him to Hispanics, Rojas calls on pro-life Hispanics to be careful about supporting Obama simply because he picked someone to become the first Latino member of the Supreme Court.
"The fact that she has been nominated to the highest court in the land by the single most pro-abortion president in our history is not a source of pride for many Latinos. Pro-life Hispanics need to be very cautious in our enthusiasm because we just don’t know if she is Hispanic enough to not forget her pro-life heritage," Rojas said.
The Sotomayor nomination comes after a new poll showing more Hispanics than not want abortions illegal.
Asked whether they think abortion should be illegal, 47% of the members of the SusOpinions web site said yes, 38 percent disagreed and 15 percent had no opinion.
Other polls confirm a majority of Hispanics take a pro-life position.
The Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute polled Hispanic immigrants in the Washington metropolitan area in September 2007. The study consisted of 279 one-on-one interviews among immigrants of Hispanic descent.
In total, 83 percent of the Hispanics in the survey oppose abortion CHLI said and, even among liberals, 60% oppose abortion.
More specifically, 52 percent said they strongly opposed abortion and 28 percent said they were somewhat opposed to abortion. Only 15 percent said they support legal abortions.
And a January 2006 Zogby poll, sponsored by the Washington-based Latino Coalition, found 57 percent of Hispanics described themselves as "pro-life" while just 27 percent called themselves "pro-choice." Some 15 percent said they weren’t sure where they stood on the issue of abortion.
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