"Gorsuch is a judicial activist plain and simple," says Planned Parenthood

WASHINGTON, DC -- As the Senate Judiciary Committee concludes its questioning  on Supreme Court Nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch, his repeated evasion of his extreme judicial philosophy and dangerous record on reproductive health and rights cannot be ignored.

Statement from Cecile Richards, President of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund:

Gorsuch is a judicial activist plain and simple. As the questioning confirmed, he went to extraordinary lengths to try to allow the state of Utah to block people from coming to Planned Parenthood for basic health care and education. Gorsuch may have paid lip service to Roe v. Wade, but his judicial philosophy and alarming record on reproductive rights leave no doubt that he would do everything in his power to restrict access to abortion. This is wildly out of step with where the country is on these issues, and the Senate must oppose Gorsuch’s nomination. At risk is a person’s fundamental right to decide whether and when to become a parent, the right to vote, and the right of all people in this country to be free from discrimination based on who they love, where they come from, their race, and their religious beliefs.

During past nomination hearings, judges hostile to reproductive rights have acknowledged Roe as precedent before, and then gone on to support extreme restrictions on abortion access. For instance, Judge Roberts, who voted to uphold the Texas restrictions struck down by the Court last summer.

Today representatives from the National Women’s Law Center and Whole Woman’s Health will testify on the tremendous threat Gorsuch poses to women's reproductive health and rights if confirmed. In every case related to reproductive rights that Gorsuch considered as a judge on the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, he has ruled in a way that would have blocked women's access to reproductive health care. This includes:

  • In Planned Parenthood Association of Utah v. Herbert, Gorsuch went to extraordinary lengths to try to allow the state of Utah to block people from coming to Planned Parenthood for health care and education. Had this happened, it would have blocked thousands of Utahns from access to STI tests, sex education, and other preventive care.

  • Gorsuch ruled in favor of the idea that corporations are people and believes that bosses should be able to impede their employees' access to birth control. In fact, he wants to go even further than the Hobby Lobby decision in blocking employees' access to insurance coverage for birth control.

  • Gorsuch has a troubling record of opposing LGBTQ rights and ruled against an incarcerated transgender woman seeking access to medically necessary hormone treatment in Druley v. Patton.
     

Trump pledged to appoint anti-abortion judges to the Supreme Court and to nominate a judge in the mold of the late Justice Antonin Scalia. Judge Gorsuch has spoken approvingly of the “originalist” judicial philosophy of Scalia, who wanted to allow states to end safe and legal abortion, who opposed marriage equality and the voting rights act, who believed that corporations are people and a woman's employer should be able to decide whether or not she has access to birth control.


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