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May 16, 2019 / Press Releases

NARAL Opposes Confirmation of Anti-Choice Judicial Nominee Wendy Vitter

For Immediate Release: May 16, 2019
Contact: [email protected]

After the U.S. Senate voted to confirm 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:

“Wendy Vitter doesn’t even try to hide her true agenda, having spent her career spreading disinformation to fuel myths about abortion. Her record leaves no doubt that she’ll use junk science to chip away at reproductive freedom, and her confirmation should sound the alarm bells for anyone who believes in an unbiased and just judiciary.

“With extreme bans on abortion sweeping the country, we know that reproductive freedom is hanging on by a dangerously thin thread. Given an anti-choice majority on the Supreme Court, and abortion bans advancing in multiple states, lower federal courts play an urgent and essential role in defending our fundamental rights. Instead, Trump and anti-choice Republicans are stacking the courts with extremists, hoping to create a pipeline to overturn or gut Roe v. Wade, and Wendy Vitter’s confirmation is proof.

The Senate also voted to confirm Michael Truncale and Kenneth Lee, two additional staunchly anti-choice nominees, this week.

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 the 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. The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine also found that legal abortions in the United States are safe and effective.
  • 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 womenand 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 effectiveand gives millions of women in America more control over their own lives and futures.

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.[1] 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.”[2] 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.

[1] Claire Galofaro, Uptown clinic roils emotions, The Advocate (May 21, 2013)

[2] 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 and chapters are dedicated to protecting and expanding reproductive freedom for all. For more than 50 years, NARAL has worked 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. Since 1969, NARAL has made history, grown to over 2 million members, and met the moments that have defined this fight with action, power and freedom.  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.”

Everyone should be able to decide if, when, how, and with whom they start or grow a family.

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