Watch This Federal Judicial Nominee Evade Questions About Whether Planned Parenthood Kills 150,000 Females a Year

She also won’t say if Brown v. Board of Education was decided correctly.

Bill Clark/ASSOCIATED PRESS

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Wendy Vitter, Trump’s judicial nominee for a district court in eastern Louisiana, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday morning, moving one step closer to earning a lifetime appointment as a federal judge. As expected (and as I wrote earlier), she faced extensive questions about her record of anti-abortion activism—in particular, about a statement she made at a rally against a Planned Parenthood clinic in 2013: “Planned Parenthood says they promote women’s health,” Vitter said, according to New Orleans’ Clarion Herald. “It is the saddest of ironies that they kill over 150,000 females a year.”

In her hearing this morning, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-C.T.) asked her repeatedly if she stood by that statement. Vitter refused to give a yes-or-no answer: 

NOLA.com / YouTube

Tensions were even higher when Vitter answered questions from Sens. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) about a panel she facilitated in 2013 at a conference hosted by Louisiana Right to Life.  At the panel, Vitter promoted brochures that claimed birth control increases women’s chances of dying a violent death. At the hearing this morning, Vitter downplayed her role, saying she was only encouraging participants to discuss the information in the brochures with “medical professionals.” 

NOLA.com / YouTube

But while Vitter tried to make her actions at the 2013 event sound neutral, that’s not how they seem if you look back at a video from 2013:  

 

As I wrote previously, Vitter failed to disclose this event—as well as an array of speeches and other public statements—in her Senate questionnaire, a form that all nominees submit as part of the confirmation process. 

Beyond her views on abortion, Vitter also caught heat Wednesday for her inability to answer questions from Sen. Blumenthal on whether she believed Brown vs. Board of Education was decided correctly. 


 


 

After today, Vitter’s nomination will be voted on by the Senate Judiciary Committee and then move to the full Senate for a final vote.

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You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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