Does Planned Parenthood kill more than 150,000 women every year? According to one of President Trump’s judicial nominees, Wendy Vitter, that answer is an astounding yes. Back in May 2013, the lawyer made a speech protesting a new Planned Parenthood in her hometown of New Orleans.
Vitter said in the speech:
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.
During a confirmation hearing Wednesday, Vitter avoided questions about those remarks.
While she did acknowledge she was making a blatant reference to aborted female fetuses, she avoided talking about it further – including avoiding an answer to a question about her stance on the topic now. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) asked Vitter if she stood by those claims.
Vitter responded by saying:
Senator, I don’t recall the exact context.
Blumenthal, openly pro-choice, asked her once again:
I’m asking you, very simply, you said Planned Parenthood kills 150,000 females a year. 150,000 people. Do you stand by that statement? It’s a yes or no.
And again, Vitter did not give an outright answer.
Senator, I feel, again, my pro-life stance has been very clear. I have been very upfront with this committee about my views and about how serious I take it.
Vitter claimed that she would put aside her conservative views if appointed. She would have a lifetime seat on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.
I am pro-life. I will set aside my religious or my personal views.
Many people seemed to agree with the lawyer and judicial nominee:
Well, it's true, so there is that…
— Dwarfclone (@Dwarfclone) April 12, 2018
Good morning. And she’s right and justified in making this fact based statement that the “party of science” keeps denying.
— jbee193 (@jbee193) April 12, 2018
We've got people calling their dogs “babies”, while others are literally murdering human babies… these are sad times.
— Garrett Vascil (@GarrettVascil) April 12, 2018
Some even argued that the number seemed a bit low:
That seems like a really low number.
— DJ Ellis (@Djell4jc) April 12, 2018
Others argue that she didn’t give a clear response, which is especially important in a confirmation hearing, and might show a bit of bias. But this isn’t Vitter’s only controversial statement.
She neither confirmed nor denied that she was against integration in public schools:
WATCH: During her confirmation hearing this morning (yes, this morning – in 2018), judicial nominee Wendy Vitter refused to say whether she agreed with the result in Brown v. Board of Education. #UnfitToJudge pic.twitter.com/RWroh0XUIC
— The Leadership Conference (@civilrightsorg) April 11, 2018
Vitter was silent when asked if she agreed with one of the basic fundamentals of the civil rights movement, Brown v. Board of Education. She refused to answer whether or not she agreed with desegregating public schools, which happened in the United States in 1954.
Blumenthal also prodded about this during the confirmation hearing, to which Vitter responded:
I don’t mean to be coy, but I think I get into a difficult area when I start commenting on Supreme Court decisions ― which are correctly decided, which I disagree with.
She did agree to uphold legal precedent and set her personal feelings aside:
Respectfully, I would not comment on what could be my boss’ ruling, the Supreme Court. I would be bound by it. And if I start commenting on, ‘I agree with this case, or don’t agree with this case,’ I think we get into a slippery slope.
Yes…I think it is nutty as hell to give that answer in a confirmation hearing. It shows personal bias instead of the neutrality a judge must show at all times. And listening to her answer on Brown vs. Brown led me to believe that she was either racist or had no idea what it was
— Carole Moss (@CaroleMoss5) April 12, 2018
She is now waiting for a committee vote, a process that could take a couple of weeks, or longer.