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New Research Shows the Next Supreme Court Justice Must Support Privacy and Access to Reproductive Health Care


Planned Parenthood Federation of America


August 03, 2005

WASHINGTON, DC — New research by The Mellman Group released today shows Americans want U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge John Roberts to affirm his commitment to constitutional protections for women's health and rights before he is confirmed. The research also shows overwhelming support for Roe v. Wade and deep concerns about Supreme Court nominees who would overturn the decision. The findings confirm the American public considers this a high-stakes nomination process, one that deserves thoughtful and deliberative review by the Senate. Planned Parenthood, in coalition with other leading national pro-choice organizations, commissioned the poll to investigate the public's attitudes about the nomination of John Roberts to the Supreme Court.

"What we know now of John Roberts's record is very troubling — and we have only seen the tip of the iceberg," said Karen Pearl, interim president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA). "The American people want and deserve straightforward answers from Judge Roberts on his commitment to constitutional protections for women's health and reproductive rights. Americans are gravely concerned that he intervened on behalf of the government in support of a dangerous anti-choice organization that uses violence and intimidation against women's health centers. They also find it disturbing that Roberts co-authored a brief that states Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided."

The focus groups, conducted online by pollster Mark Mellman, indicate that the American public wants a Supreme Court justice who is open-minded and committed to upholding the core tenets of Roe v. Wade. After learning about Roberts' previous efforts on behalf of the government to undermine Roe, participants were very worried that Roberts will not have an open mind on issues they care about, like privacy and access to health care.

"John Roberts's role in Bray v. Alexandria Women's Health Clinic could be an ominous indicator of his position on women's rights," said Pearl. "As participants in the focus groups concluded, if John Roberts agrees with the legal position taken by Operation Rescue, there are reasons to be seriously concerned about whether he would vote to protect women's health and safety in cases such as Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood, which the court will hear this fall. It is of utmost importance that the White House release all documents related to Roberts's role in Bray and other related cases."

The executive summary of the report is available at: https://media.interfacevideo.com. Username: brief, Password: presspdf

PPFA has expressed serious and grave concerns about the nomination of John Roberts to the Supreme Court.

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Americans Want to Know: Will Judge John Roberts Uphold Protections for Women's Health and Safety?