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Planned Parenthood Deeply Disappointed Over Roberts' Confirmation as Chief Justice Women's Health and Safety at Risk

Washington, DC  — Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) today expressed deep disappointment over the Senate vote of 78 to 22 to confirm Judge John G. Roberts as chief justice of the United States. PPFA opposed the confirmation of John Roberts because, in addition to a troubling paper trail, Roberts' testimony during the confirmation hearings left serious doubt about his commitment to upholding constitutional protections for women's health and safety.

"We are deeply disappointed that the Senate has confirmed Judge Roberts to the most powerful position in our judicial system without knowing his position on reproductive rights," said PPFA Interim President Karen Pearl. "Americans may find rights they take for granted — most significantly the right to make childbearing decisions without governmental interference — whittled away or gutted by a Roberts court."

A potential threat to reproductive freedom will quickly arise in the court's new session when Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood comes before the Supreme Court in November. The justices are expected to rule on whether women's health must continue to be the paramount concern in laws that restrict abortion access. Roberts' vote in the case, which could drastically affect women's health and safety if protections are not upheld, will illuminate his views on reproductive rights.

"Very soon, Justice Roberts will have the opportunity to decide if women's health matters. With Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood before the court, the American public will find out quickly what this roll of the dice means — and it is women and families who will feel the first impact," Pearl added. "Planned Parenthood stands firm: reproductive rights and protections for women's health are nonnegotiable. We will find out soon where John Roberts stands on the issue.

"Planned Parenthood remains concerned about the changing nature of the Supreme Court. It is at an ideological tipping point, and we urge President Bush to nominate someone to replace Sandra Day O'Connor who is committed to protecting the health and safety of American women"


Planned Parenthood Federation of America


Erin Kiernon (202) 973-4975
Gustavo Suarez (917) 902-6384


May 12, 2014