After the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the nomination of Wendy Vitter to serve as the U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Louisiana, NARAL Pro-Choice America Vice President Adrienne Kimmell issued the following statement:
“Like many of Trump’s nominees, Wendy Vitter is dangerously biased and unqualified to serve on the bench. She has a long record of extreme comments targeting women and our access to healthcare, and has spent her career peddling the myth that abortion is dangerous. Her beliefs are rooted in junk science, far from the standards of evidence we rely on judges to uphold. Vitter’s record leaves no doubt that she’ll impose her extreme, anti-choice beliefs instead of protecting the fundamental freedoms of all women and families. If confirmed, Vitter would influence our country’s policies and laws for decades to come, and we’re confident she would use her power to further the most brutal aspects of Donald Trump’s backwards ideology.”
In recent days, NARAL led a coalition of reproductive rights advocates to send a letter to lawmakers on Capitol Hill opposing Vitter’s confirmation. Yesterday, NARAL and 47 reproductive rights, health, and justice organizations also sent a letter to lawmakers underscoring the importance of the federal court system in upholding constitutional protections, including reproductive freedom.
Examples of Wendy Vitter’s Anti-Choice Agenda
While moderating a panel called “Abortion Hurts Women’s Health” at the Louisiana Right to Life annual conference in 2013, Vitter made numerous inflammatory and factually-incorrect statements:
- Vitter led he panel to discuss medical falsehoods about abortion, asking those on the panel to discuss a “connection between cancer and post-abortive women” and “infertility problems and… other health concerns… in post-abortive women.”
There is widespread and longtime agreement within the medical community, including the National Cancer Institute and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, that there is no link between abortion and breast cancer.
Vitter praised Texas’ egregious TRAP laws (later struck down by Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt) and Louisiana’s restrictions on access to abortion care, saying “They’re taking it to the Supreme Court, but they are making great strides in making it very difficult to get abortions in Texas. And we’re going to be right there because our lobbying efforts in the Louisiana legislature are always, you know, right up front. The pro-life forces are there. We’re the ones who have mandated ultrasounds before anybody can have an abortion which has made a huge difference when a person sees that life in their body.”
Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers, or TRAP laws, like the ones Vitter has praised, actually hurt women and insert politicians into the doctor-patient relationship.
After one of the panelists referenced the anti-choice resources available on her website, including a brochure about “the four ways the pill kills,” Vitter encouraged the audience to, “download it and at your next physical, you walk into your pro-life doctor and say, ‘Have you thought about putting these facts or this brochure in your waiting room?’”
There is no scientific evidence that birth control pills harm women, as Vitter believes. Birth control is safe and effective and gives millions of women in America more control over their own lives and futures. It is also well-documented that contraception is an effective way to lower abortion rates.
Vitter also spoke at a 2013 rally at the construction site of a then-new Planned Parenthood to protest the new clinic and abortion access in general. She said, “Planned Parenthood says they promote women’s health. It is the saddest of ironies that they kill over 150,000 females a year. The first step in promoting women’s health is to let them live.” She spoke along with other anti-abortion activists including Abby Johnson, founder of And Then There Were None – a group dedicated to “saving” clinic workers “from a road of darkness, of pure evil”. Vitter was also given the “Proudly Pro-Life Award” from Louisiana Right to Life.
 Claire Galofaro, Uptown clinic roils emotions, The Advocate (May 21, 2013)
 Wendy Vitter, Questionnaire for Judicial Nominees: Attachments to Question 12(d) Supplemental Response, United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary
NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates are dedicated to protecting and expanding reproductive freedom for all Americans. NARAL works to guarantee that every woman has the right to make personal decisions regarding the full range of reproductive choices, including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion. In recognition of its work defending our constitutional right to choose, Fortune Magazine described NARAL as “one of the top 10 advocacy groups in America.”