Factcheck: Yes, Ketanji Brown Jackson Would Uphold Roe v. Wade and Abortion on Demand

National   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Mar 29, 2022   |   5:23PM   |   Washington, DC

Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson carefully avoided making any statements about abortion last week during her confirmation hearing in front of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee.

But all evidence indicates Jackson would support Roe v. Wade and abortion on demand if she fills retiring Justice Stephen Breyer’s seat.

This week, however, Politifact attempted to refute what both sides of the abortion debate believe Jackson would do in a “fact check.”

Specifically, it honed in on a statement that U.S. Rep. Bob Good, R-Virginia, made March 22 on The John Frederick Show. Good told the host that Jackson “believes in abortion on demand up to the moment of birth.”

Politifact slapped Good with a “pants on fire” rating, saying he “invented” Jackson’s position on abortion.

“Jackson has never ruled on an abortion rights case nor said whether she thinks Roe v. Wade was correctly decided,” Politifact argued. “… Jackson says she would respect precedents in abortion and other matters that come before the Supreme Court.”

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While this is true, other factors indicate Jackson does support abortion on demand, and Good’s office pointed to several in its response to Politifact.

As one example, Good’s office said Jackson clerked for Justice Breyer when he opposed a law banning partial-birth abortions.

“At no time has Judge Jackson repudiated that opinion as one she disagreed with,” a spokesperson for Good told the fact checker. Politifact did not contend with this statement.

The Republican congressman also pointed to a case that Jackson was involved with that advocated for banning “pro-life Americans from exercising their free speech rights to protest.” Her clients in the case included NARAL and the Abortion Access Project of Massachusetts.

Politifact disputed this, arguing that “Jackson’s brief, however, specifically notes that the ban is content-neutral; its provisions apply to any protesters who block free entrance into clinics regardless of what they are protesting.” But that is an opinion, and lawyers representing pro-life advocates in the case argued the opposite. Opinions are not fact.

Politifact also disputed Good’s “abortion on demand” comment by claiming Roe v. Wade doesn’t “establish” unlimited abortion on demand up to birth.

According to its “fact check”:

The landmark Roe v. Wade court ruling doesn’t grant the right to an abortion on demand up to the moment of birth. It basically protects the right until a fetus can survive outside the womb, often at the 23rd or 24th week of pregnancy. After that, states may ban abortions, but they must leave an exception if a doctor determines one is needed to protect the life or health of a mother.

In other words, Roe and subsequent Supreme Court decisions upholding Roe did not establish an unfettered path to rare late-term abortions, let alone to “abortion on demand up to the moment of birth.”

But Roe v. Wade does allow states to legalize abortion on demand up to birth and some states do. That is what Good said and it is true.

Politifact also inserted its opinion into the “fact check” when it described late-term abortions as “rare.” Rare is a relative term, but the facts are that thousands of viable, late-term unborn babies, many for purely elective reasons, are killed in late-term abortions every year.

The Politifact “fact check” on Good and Jackson is more opinion than fact.

Though Jackson has “a scant record” on abortion and has “never ruled on an abortion case,” according to the American Bar Association, she has been involved in abortion-related cases for decades, including cases about pro-life advocates’ free speech rights, taxpayer funding for abortion groups, and bans on partial-birth abortion. In all those cases, she was on the pro-abortion side.

Jackson has the support of NARAL Pro-Choice America, which advocates for abortions without limits up to birth, as well as leftist “dark money” groups linked to pro-abortion billionaire George Soros.

President Joe Biden promised to nominate a justice who believes in the so-called “right” to abort an unborn baby, and both pro-life and pro-abortion activists believe she would do just that.