Obama Nominee for Judge Says Abortion Frees Women From “Conscription Into Maternity”

National   |   William Saunders and Mary Harned   |   Sep 16, 2013   |   10:08AM   |   Washington, DC

The United States Senate Judiciary Committee will vote this week on President Obama’s nomination of Cornelia Pillard to the court that many consider the second-most powerful and important in the land, the Court of Appeals of the D.C. Circuit. Of President Obama’s judicial nominees who have exhibited hostility towards unborn children, perhaps none is as flagrant, or as out-of-touch, as Cornelia Pillard.

In a 2007 law review article, Pillard wrote that “[r]eproductive rights, including the rights to contraception and abortion, play a central role in freeing women from historically routine conscription into maternity” (emphasis added). She believes there is an “equal protection” right to abortion—a position never adopted by the United States Supreme Court.

In other words, she believes that women cannot be equal citizens unless they have an unlimited right to abortion, and rather than suggest that the Constitution be amended if her views win favor with the American people, she asserts that the Constitution already protects abortion by forbidding states to deny anyone the equal protection of the laws.

Given Pillard’s views on equal protection and abortion, she would likely find most laws enacted to protect unborn children and their mothers invalid, including such widely-supported measures as late-term abortion restrictions, parental involvement and informed consent requirements, and clinic regulations.

Pillard writes that “[a]ntiabortion laws and other restraints on reproductive freedom not only enforce women’s incubation of unwanted pregnancies, but also prescribe a ‘vision of the woman’s role’ as mother and caretaker of children in a way that is at odds with equal protection” (emphasis added).

As the mother of two children, Pillard certainly understands that only women can bear children. This is a privilege that men are physically incapable of fulfilling. Obviously (except to Ms. Pillard), the ability for women to carry unborn children predates our Constitution and country.

Any “vision” of women which includes motherhood is based not on animus against women, but on biological facts. To suggest this “conscripts” women into maternity is truly bizarre and underscores why she should not be given a judicial platform from which to “legislate” her views.

Pillard has also ridiculed the dissemination of scientific facts regarding, and images of, fetal development, inexplicably characterizing these efforts as popularizing “deceptive images of fetus-as-autonomous-being.” What can she possibly think is “deceptive” about this?



Science has given us a window into the womb that enables us to fully understand the miraculous development that occurs before birth. This is fact, not ideology. Americans know that unborn babies are not “autonomous.” They are entirely dependent on the women who carry them—their lives literally depend on their mothers. Again, this is obvious – except, apparently, to the ideologically-blinded Cornelia Pillard.

The images of unborn babies unquestionably show us that, while not autonomous individuals, unborn babies are human individuals, none-the-less, deserving of protection because they are small and defenseless. Pillard’s abortion ideology is so engrained that she cannot acknowledge biological realities.

Someone, like Pillard, who is so “conscripted” by her own ideology that she cannot acknowledge fundamental facts about children and women would be a very dangerous person to put in a seat on America’s second-most powerful court.