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Alito Memo Outlines Political Strategy to Gut and Eventually Overturn Roe v. Wade; Nomination Poses Direct Threat to Women's Health and Safety; Alito Should Not Be Confirmed

WASHINGTON, DC — In a 1985 memo released Wednesday by the National Archives, Judge Samuel Alito outlines a legal and political strategy to chip away and eventually overturn the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade. Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) Interim President Karen Pearl issued the following statement in response.

    "The legal strategy outlined in this memo is clearly that of an attorney committed to overturning Roe not that of a civil servant asked to promote a given position on a legal case. In this memo, Judge Alito sets forth a roadmap first to eviscerate Roe v. Wade, with the hope of eventually overruling the case altogether.

    "What this document makes clear is Judge Alito's commitment to gutting women's access to essential reproductive health services. Planned Parenthood has opposed his confirmation to the Supreme Court because we know he would undermine basic reproductive rights and given the chance, would likely vote to overturn Roe v. Wade.

    "In the memo, Alito advises against a frontal assault on Roe, but instead suggests a chipping away by supporting state-level restrictions on abortion access, with the ultimate goal of a future in which extreme restrictions on abortion would be upheld by the Supreme Court. He strongly advocates the promotion of so-called informed consent laws. He equates the decision by a woman to have an abortion with a decision of a judge to impose the death penalty. And, he argues that some of the most common forms of birth control ought to be considered abortion. He also disparages doctors who perform abortions by suggesting they are motivated more by profit than by the best interests of their patients.

    "The evidence is unequivocal. Judge Alito's views are extreme and he will work to restrict access to abortion and common forms of birth control in this country. We at Planned Parenthood will do everything in our power to ensure that the American people know what is at stake and we will fight to protect rights that are central to all Americans."


Planned Parenthood Federation of America


Gustavo Suarez 212-261-4339
Erin Libit 202-973-4883


May 12, 2014