Center for Reproductive Rights Statement on Judge Neil Gorsuch’s Evasion of Questions on Roe v. Wade and Constitutional Right to Privacy

This week before the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary, despite being asked repeatedly, Judge Neil Gorsuch refused to clarify whether he would uphold Roe v. Wade and more than four decades of high court precedent if appointed to the Supreme Court.

Said Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights:

“During his campaign President Donald Trump repeatedly promised he would only name a nominee to the Supreme Court who would seek to overturn Roe v. Wade, yet after three days of hearings, we still don’t know whether Judge Gorsuch passed this litmus test.  

“It is unacceptable that Judge Gorsuch refused at every turn to state a position on whether he would uphold a woman’s constitutional right to a safe and legal abortion that the Supreme Court has affirmed time and again. In his silence, Judge Gorsuch failed to prove that he will be the justice the American people deserve—one who will protect our constitutional rights over politics and ideology.”

“With dozens of reproductive rights cases making their way through the lower courts, and states continuing to move at an alarming rate to enact bills designed to deny a woman’s constitutional right to safe and legal abortion, a reproductive rights case is all but certain to arrive at the Court in the years ahead. It’s imperative that Judge Gorsuch give specific answers to specific questions and show the American people that constitutional protections will prevail over politics or ideology when our fundamental reproductive rights are on the docket.”

In his time on the bench, Judge Gorsuch has compiled a record of hostility towards women’s equality and reproductive rights that raises significant concerns about how he would rule in future cases. While on the 10th Circuit, Judge Gorsuch has ruled in favor of employers imposing their religious beliefs on employees by denying them access to contraception.

Earlier this year, the Center for Reproductive Rights released a comprehensive report titled What if Roe Fell?, detailing the troubling consequences for the health and safety of American women if Roe were overturned. The report determined that more than 37 million women in 33 states are at-risk of living in a state where abortion could become illegal if the Supreme Court’s landmark decision were reversed. It is important that nominees to the Supreme Court understand and respect the fundamental rights of women. 

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