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Confirming John Roberts Is a Gamble

WASHINGTON, DC — Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) today expressed deep disappointment over the Senate Judiciary Committee's vote of 13 to 5 on the nomination of John Roberts as chief justice of the United States. During last week's Senate Judiciary Committee hearings, Roberts failed to provide assurance that he would uphold Supreme Court precedent safeguarding reproductive freedom and basic protections for women's health and safety.

"Without knowing Judge Roberts' views on reproductive rights, confirming him to the most influential position in our judicial system is a gamble," said PPFA Interim President Karen Pearl. "We applaud Senators Biden, Durbin, Feinstein, Kennedy, and Schumer who held fast to their principles and voted against Judge Roberts' nomination. However, we are concerned that a majority of the Senate Judiciary Committee is willing to roll the dice with women's health and safety by voting for Judge Roberts."

During the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings, John Roberts failed to answer questions about his judicial philosophy on the constitutional protections for women's right to choose and women's health and safety. He repeatedly refused to state that he will uphold a woman's constitutional right to choose abortion, a right that has been part of the fabric of our society for more than three decades.

"Judge Roberts has not provided assurance that he would support our reproductive freedoms," Pearl continued. "The American public deserves Supreme Court nominees who clearly and unequivocally state their position on constitutional protections for women's health and safety. John Roberts is not that nominee."

Last week Karen Pearl testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the potential threat Judge Roberts poses to the millions of women, men and teenagers across America who rely on Planned Parenthood services. Our action network — more than two million strong, more than 50,000 local leaders and activists, and 171 campus groups across all 50 states, demand a chief justice of the United States who will uphold constitutional protections for women's health and safety.


Planned Parenthood Federation of America


Erin Kiernon (202) 973-4975
Erin Libit (202) 973-4883


May 12, 2014