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“Access to safe and legal abortion has been the law of the land for more than 40 years, and is a part of the fabric of American jurisprudence.”


Washington, DC –– Today, in anticipation of President Trump unveiling his nominee to fill Merrick Garland’s Supreme Court seat, Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards sent Senate leaders McConnell and Schumer a letter making clear that it is unacceptable to appoint any justice to the highest court in the land who will attack a woman’s right to reproductive freedom. Americans overwhelmingly support keeping abortion safe and legal, which has been the law of the land for more than 40 years.

Judges, and especially judges on the Supreme Court, must uphold the fundamental rights of people to control their own bodies and make decisions about whether and when to have children. This letter argues that whoever this nominee is, they be held to the high standards the position demands, and that the confirming Senate body be held to the same judgement.

Just over a week ago, millions of people turned out to march across the country to show their support for health, rights, and full equality for all – including access to safe and legal abortion. In fact, public support for abortion is at an all time high with 70% of Americans opposing overturning Roe v. Wade.

No matter who the Supreme Court nominee is, our Senate leaders must hold them accountable to the sanctity of the office and to the sanctity of the U.S. constitution, including the rights it confers upon all people in this nation. 

Key excerpts from Cecile Richard’s letter: 

Based on the events of the last week coupled with the historic import of the Supreme Court in our society, it is clear the courts are going to be the last -- and sometimes only -- line of defense against dangerous and unconstitutional attacks on our basic rights -- not only protecting women’s basic right to control their own bodies and access health care, but protecting all people in this country from discrimination based on who they love, where they come from, their race, their religious beliefs or their right to vote." 

“Any nominee to the Supreme Court must at minimum be independent, have a demonstrated record of mainstream jurisprudence, and be prepared to defend the Constitution against actions that show little regard for the rule of law or our shared American values.”

“Access to safe and legal abortion has been the law of the land for more than 40 years, and is a part of the fabric of American jurisprudence, reaffirmed just months ago in the case of Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt.”

Read the full letter from Cecile Richards to Senators Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer linked here.


Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With over 650 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.


Planned Parenthood Federation of America


Planned Parenthood Federation of America media office: 212-261-4433


January 31, 2017