Planned Parenthood launches ad blitz against Trump judicial nominee
April 11, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) -- The political arm of America’s largest abortion provider has just identified one of President Donald Trump’s latest judicial nominees as its next target.
In January, Trump nominated Wendy Vitter, an attorney for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans and wife of former Republican Sen. David Vitter, to serve on the U.S. District Court in New Orleans. As her Senate confirmation hearings begin this week, the Planned Parenthood Action Fund has announced that it will try to torpedo her appointment.
"Wendy Vitter advocates for an extreme, anti-abortion agenda, making her unfit for a lifetime seat on the federal bench. We must stop her nomination!" reads one of the organization’s social media ads. The Hill reported that the ad is part of a five-figure advertising campaign spanning Facebook and Twitter. Newsweek added that Planned Parenthood has gathered 20,000 signatures for a petition urging senators to vote against her.
“Vitter’s record of opposing women’s health and rights is far outside the mainstream," Planned Parenthood’s vice president of public policy and government affairs Dana Singiser claimed.
Chief among the abortion giant’s objections is that Vitter has a history of publicly opposing abortion. It cites a dossier from the left-wing Alliance for Justice compiling her past pro-life advocacy, including that she spoke at a 2013 rally outside the site of a new Planned Parenthood facility in New Orleans, and that she moderated an “Abortion Hurts Women” panel for Louisiana Right to Life in 2013.
“Planned Parenthood says they promote women’s health,” Vitter said at the rally. “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.” The figure is derived from Planned Parenthood’s admission that it performs more than 300,000 abortions a year, and estimates that nearly half of all births in a given year are girls.
Planned Parenthood also attacks Vitter for not disclosing these and other abortion-related statements on her nominee questionnaire to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Democratic senators pressed her on the subject during Wednesday’s hearing, Newsweek reported.
Sen. Kamala Harris, D-California, highlighted a "The Pill Kills" brochure authored by one of the panel speakers and generally endorsed by Vitter at the time, particularly the brochure’s claim that birth control indirectly leads to women having “more infidelity or adultery.” Vitter answered that she was not aware of that particular item in the brochure and that she didn’t believe it was “based on reason.”
More generally, Vitter followed the common practice of previous Republican judicial nominees and declined to expressly state her personal views on abortion. She declined to answer whether she stands by her past statement on the number of females killed by Planned Parenthood, and pledged to regard Roe v. Wade as “precedent.”
"I understand the gravitas of the position you're considering me for," she said. "If I say I will take a conscious effort to put aside my personal, religious and political views and judge a matter based on facts presented to me in the law, that's what I'll do."
Despite the objections of abortion advocates, Vitter receives accolades for her legal acumen and ethics from prosecutors and attorneys who worked with her in the past, as well as attorneys for the opposing side of several of her cases. “Her work ethic was tireless and her legal knowledge vast,” the latter group wrote. “Throughout our long association with Wendy we have known her to always conduct herself in an ethical and appropriate manner.”
Trump’s overall record of judicial appointments has received high praise from pro-life leaders, though the slow pace of confirmations remains an ongoing issue. The president has promised that all of his judicial nominees will oppose Roe v. Wade and follow a strict interpretation of the Constitution.