Sonia Sotomayor Continues Ducking Abortion Questions in Wednesday Hearing

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 15, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Sonia Sotomayor Continues Ducking Abortion Questions in Wednesday Hearing

by Steven Ertelt Editor
July 15
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — Sonia Sotomayor continued ducking abortion questions during questioning on Wednesday from members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. She also told one member that President Barack Obama never asked her about abortion and another member that states should have input on abortion.

During the questioning, pro-life Sen. John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, asked Sotomayor whether Obama asked her about abortion during their private meetings prior to his nominating her for the Supreme Court.

"I was asked no question by anyone including the president about my views on any specific legal issue," she said.

Cornyn asked her how her former associate George Pavia, the head partner of the law firm where she worked before she was a judge, could "guarantee" she would, like Justice David Souter, the pro-abortion judge she would replace, uphold decisions allowing virtually unlimited abortions.

"I have no idea," Sotomayor responds adding that she never had a discussion with Pavia about abortion.

Sotomayor also refused to be drawn out by pro-abortion Sen. Arlen Specter, a Pennsylvania Democrat who asked her about Supreme Court precedents.

She refused to respond when asked if she agreed with a lower court judge who called the 1992 Casey decision a "super" precedent that permanently entrenched Roe v. Wade, the 1973 case allowing abortion on demand.

Sotomayor also would not yield to questions from pro-life Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, who engaged in a lengthy discussion on abortion with the nominee.

Coburn asked Sotomayor whether technological advances in ultrasound technology and the ability to save unborn children born prematurely or very prematurely made any difference to her in the abortion debate.

"All I’m asking is, should technology at any time be considered as we discuss these issues?" he asked.

"All I can say to you is what the court’s done and the standard that the court has applied," Sotomayor said. "We don’t make policy choices on the court; we look at the case before us."

Coburn sayid decisions have been made on basis of viability. "If we now have viability at 21 weeks, why would that not be considered?

"I can’t answer that in the abstract," she responded.

Later, Sotomayor said the issue of abortion "becomes one of state regulations."

In responding to the questioning, Americans United for Life president Charmaine Yoest tells that the answer "points us directly back to her record of service with the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund," the pro-abortion group on which Sotomayor served as a member of the board of directors.

"The question of state regulation of abortion connects her PRLDEF record with her judicial philosophy," Yoest says. "Unfortunately, Judge Sotomayor is seeming to forget or purposefully mislead the committee on her pro-abortion record, particularly as it relates to legislatively-passed regulations on abortion."

Yoest says the totality of Sotomayor’s record and judicial approach to the law is unequivocal during her 12 years with the pro-abortion group.

"As a 12-year board member of PRLDEF, in association with that organization’s legal strategy, she opposed any and every example of common-sense abortion regulation, including parental notification, informed consent and bans on partial-birth abortion, as well as advocating for mandatory taxpayer funding of abortion," Yoest says.

"PRLDEF asserted under her watch and in multiple briefs that abortion was a fundamental," Yoest concluded. "A vote for Judge Sotomayor is a vote for unrestricted abortion-on-demand without any common-sense restrictions — a position far outside the mainstream of the American public."

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