Gorsuch Promises Fair Supreme Court Hearing for National Law Banning Late-Term Abortions

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 22, 2017   |   9:40AM   |   Washington, DC

Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch yesterday promised he would give a national law banning late-term abortions a fair Supreme Court hearing if he is confirmed for the nation’s highest court.

Congress is currently considering legislation highlighting the pain unborn babies feel in abortions and using it as a basis for banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Such a law would essentially prevent late-term abortions that put the United States in a terrible list of nations that allow virtually unlimited abortions late in pregnancy.

Below is the exchange between judge Gorsuch and pro-life South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham who is the sponsor of the Congressional legislation. After this exchange, Gorsuch said: “Senator, I can promise you no more than that, and I guarantee no less than that in every single case that comes before me.”

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GRAHAM: “Let’s talk about Roe V. Wade. What is the holding of Roe V. Wade in 30 seconds? (Laughter)
GORSUCH: “The holding of Roe V. Wade in 30 seconds senator is that a woman has a right to an abortion. It developed a trimester scheme in Roe that specifies when the state interests and when the women’s interests tend to prevail.”
GRAHAM: “OK. So let me just break it down. The court said that there is a right to privacy, that the government can’t interfere with that right in the first trimester. Beyond the first trimester, the government has more interest as the baby develops, is that fair to say?”
GORSUCH: “That was — that was the scheme set forward.”
GRAHAM: “And I think medical viability was the test that the court used.”
GORSUCH: “Well, that’s the test that the court came around and applied in Casey in 1992.”
GORSUCH: “And so, viability became more of the touchstone rather than a rigid —“ [crosstalk]
GRAHAM: “Is it fair to say that medical viability in 1992 may be different than it is in 2022, medically?”
GORSUCH: “Senator, I’m not a scientist or a doctor.”
GRAHAM: “I would suggest that medical viability may change as science progresses. So you may have people coming in and saying in light of scientific medical changes, let’s look at when medical viability occurs. That’s one example of litigation that may come before you. I have legislation that says at 20 weeks, the unborn child is able to feel excruciating pain and the theory of the legislation is that the state has a compelling interest to protect and unborn child for an excruciating pain which is caused by an abortion. I’m not asking you to agree with my legislation, I’m saying that I am developing — we are 1 of 7 nations that allow wholesale on demand unlimited abortion at 20 weeks, the 5th month of pregnancy. I’d like to get out of that club, but we are going to have a debate in this body in the House about whether or not we want to change the law to give an unborn child protection against excruciating pain at 20 weeks because you can — the standard medically is if you operate on an unborn child at 20 weeks, the medical protocols are such that you have to provide anesthesia because you don’t want to hurt the child in the process of trying to save the child. So medical practice is such that when you operate on it unborn child at 20 weeks, which you can do, yet have to provide anesthesia. And my theory is, well, let’s just look at it the other way. Should you allow and abortion on demand of a child that couldn’t excruciating pain? Is that what we want to be as a nation?”