Pro-Life Groups Condemn Obama Abortion Litmus Test for Supreme Court Pick

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 23, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Life Groups Condemn Obama Abortion Litmus Test for Supreme Court Pick

by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 23
, 2010

Washington, DC ( — Leading pro-life organizations are awaiting the upcoming Supreme Court battle and fully expect President Barack Obama to name a pro-abortion replacement for retiring pro-abortion Justice John Paul Stevens. They say Obama, despite his protests to the contrary, issued an abortion litmus test this week.

During a meeting with Republican and Democratic leaders, Obama said he is "somebody who believes that women should have the ability to make often very difficult decisions about their bodies and the issues of reproduction."

He claimed he had no litmus test but, in the next breath, said he would appoint someone who "who is going to be interpreting our Constitution in a way that takes into account" legal abortions.

Tony Perkins, the head of the Family Research Council, asks rhetorically, "President Obama may be picking a Supreme Court Justice for life, but will he choose someone in favor of it?"

"Without hesitation, President Obama made it abundantly clear that whomever he selects will be no friend to the unborn," Perkins said.

Perkins says Americans need to watch the nomination closely and the rhetoric Obama backers are using to give him an out to appoint a left-wing, pro-abortion nominee.

"Interestingly enough, Democrats are lobbying the White House to select someone outside of the judicial mainstream, perhaps to help avoid the scrutiny over prior opinions. It would also give President Obama an opportunity to plant a liberal activist on the court who would be potent on the bench but palatable in the confirmation process," Perkins warns.

Charmaine Yoest, the president of Americans United for Life, also has something to say about the nomination process and abortion.

"Given his judgment in choosing Justice Sonia Sotomayor last August, we can expect his next nominee to be equally pro-abortion, with negative repercussions on the pro-life movement in the decades to come," Yoest said in an email to

"The damage that another pro-abortion Judge could do to the cause of life is immeasurable. Future life-related cases could include limits on later-term abortions, enhanced informed consent regulations, abortion pre-screening requirements, and perhaps overturning Roe v. Wade itself. Imagine the consequences of having a pro-abortion judge deciding these cases," Yoest continued.

Yoest said a new pro-abortion justice could wind up determining whether taxpayers will fund abortions under the new health care plan Obama signed.

"Obama’s nominee will be in a position to review the health care law as it is written. How do you think an Obama-appointed, pro-abortion Supreme Court Justice would rule on his new health care bill?" she asked.

Americans United for Life has evaluated some of the contenders on the Supreme Court nomination short list and Yoest says they’re not good for the pro-life movement.

"Obama’s current short list of contenders for this lifetime position contains all pro-abortion candidates that would delight Planned Parenthood," she said.

"For example, Janet Napolitano vetoed at least 12 pro-life bills as Governor. She even appointed Planned Parenthood’s CEO to the Governor’s Commission on the Health Status of Women and Families! As if that wasn’t enough, she branded pro-life advocates as "domestic terrorists,’" Yoest explained.

"Pro-abortion Governor Jennifer Granholm is no better. Helen Milliken, wife of former Michigan Governor William Milliken, once praised Granholm by stating, "Granholm may well be our last line of defense if Roe v. Wade is overturned,’" she added.

Solicitor General Elena Kagan and Judges Diane Wood of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and Merrick Garland of the United States Court of Appeals for the District Circuit are considered leading candidates.

Judges Sidney Thomas of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit; Ann Williams of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit; pro-abortion Gov. Jennifer Granholm of Michigan and former Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears of the Georgia Supreme Court are other potential nominees.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, who backs abortion and Martha Minow, dean of Harvard Law School, and Justice Carlos Moreno of the California Supreme Court are other potential replacements for Stevens.

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