NARAL President: ‘We Take the President at His Word’ on Litmus Test for SCOTUS Justices to Overturn Roe v. Wade

By Melanie Arter | July 9, 2018 | 3:17 PM EDT

NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse (Screenshot)

( – NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue told “Fox News Sunday” she believes President Donald Trump will apply a litmus test to the potential Supreme Court justice he selects to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy.

“You know, we take the president at his word. He's the president of the United States, and he is certainly the first major party nominee who went on to be president to put a litmus test on Supreme Court justices, and that was to actually overturn Roe v. Wade. So, we believe him,” Hogue said.

“He's got a vice president who committed to, you know, throw Roe on an ash heap of history. So we think that's the mind-set that many Americans are actually going into this with because it was such a vocal talking point for him,” she said.

“We also know that the backpedaling that's happening now from people who have long been critics of Roe v. Wade is partially because they know what we know, which is most American people actually, regardless of how they feel personally about abortion, believe that legal access is core to our country's precedence,” Hogue said.

When asked whether she would be okay with letting states decide whether abortion should be legal, Hogue said, “I'm from Texas and so I'm very familiar with what happens when the state decides. It's, you know, similar to other freedoms and protections of people we've seen in this country without a federal guideline that affirms the fact that Roe should be legal.

“Many states already have decided that abortion should be criminalized. In fact, there are states with laws on the books right now that would make abortion the criminal act the minute Roe falls, and that makes women and doctors criminals,” she said. “And so we think that the federal protection is necessary.”

Hogue said people are “very uncomfortable sitting in judgment” of women who get abortions.

“Every individual has a story and that most people are compassionate and recognize that allowing people to make their own decisions about their families is that compassionate and healthy choice,” she said.

Fox News host Dana Perino played clips of how Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Sonia Sotomayor answered questions during their confirmation hearings about whether Roe v. Wade is settled law.

“So those two seem very similar to me. They're different from the ideological perspective, and if the new nominee actually were to answer it in that way, would that be satisfactory to you?” Perino asked.

“Because President Trump changed the rules of the game when he put a litmus test on the Supreme Court nominee, we think that there is actually -- we need an affirmative declaration, right? We need -- and I think even Susan Collins said this when she said she needs to see a nominees demonstrate their commitment to upholding Roe vs. Wade and keeping abortion legal,” Hogue said.

“But even Ruth Bader Ginsburg said in her hearing that she shouldn't be asked -- that she would never answer that because she would -- it's a hypothetical that she wouldn't answer,” Perino said.

“Yes, and, actually, Dana, she did answer that. She declared affirmatively that she believed that Roe should be upheld, but she was speaking to what we now call the Ginsburg rule, was speculation on future cases that had not yet come before the court,” Hogue said.

“So we believe that actually what Ruth Bader Ginsburg -- and we have the clips -- said is, in fact, perfect, which is that women should be afforded this right to privacy, to make their own decision. It was decided in Griswold. It was decided in Roe, and it is absolutely what most Americans want,” she added.


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