Miers Nominated to Court
Firm Commitment to Women's Health and Safety Vital to Confirmation
WASHINGTON, DC — Following President Bush's nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court, Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) today called for the Senate to conduct a thoughtful and fully deliberated process that thoroughly examines Miers' judicial philosophy, including full access to her records, saying she must be prepared to demonstrate her commitment to constitutional protections for women's health and reproductive rights.
"We are concerned about the nomination of Harriet Miers and we demand she answer questions regarding her views of fundamental reproductive and privacy rights," said Karen Pearl, interim president of PPFA. "We expect Miers to make clear her views on reproductive rights during the hearing process, and the Senate should not confirm a nominee who is not willing to do so. Confirming a Supreme Court justice should not be an exercise of partisanship or clever gamesmanship — but rather an honest, thoughtful, thorough examination."
During Miers' tenure as head of the Texas Bar Association she was a leader in the campaign to reverse the American Bar Association's pro-choice position on the right to choose. Had this campaign been successful, which it was not, the ABA would have been returned to its former position of neutrality.
"During Justice Roberts' confirmation, much of his paper trail was hidden by the Bush administration, and Roberts was allowed to avoid legitimate questions about his judicial philosophy. As a result, senators allowed protections for women's health to be subject to a guessing game. We cannot allow this to happen again," added Pearl. "The public deserves to know if a nominee to our nation's highest court supports the rights that affect Americans everyday lives. Planned Parenthood calls on the Bush administration and senators to conduct a hearing with utmost transparency by demanding all relevant records and answers to questions."
The Supreme Court's decision to hear Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood in November spotlights the urgency of the threat to reproductive freedom. In this high-stakes case, the justices are expected to rule on whether a woman's health will remain the paramount concern in laws that restrict abortion access. The ruling may have an immediate impact on women's health across the nation and will determine whether a fundamental principle established in Roe v. Wade will remain the law of the land.