Statement of Nancy Keenan, President of NARAL Pro-Choice America, on Justice John Paul Stevens’ Retirement from the Supreme Court

For Immediate Release


Ted Miller, 202.973.3032

Statement of Nancy Keenan, President of NARAL Pro-Choice America, on Justice John Paul Stevens’ Retirement from the Supreme Court


"NARAL Pro-Choice America salutes Justice John Paul Stevens'
commitment to public service. Stevens is among the strongest supporters
of the right to choose currently serving on the Supreme Court, and his
retirement serves as yet another stark reminder of the important role
the Court plays in our everyday lives.

"Stevens consistently voted to uphold American liberties, as set
forth in the landmark Roe v. Wade decision. His record reflects a
respect for individual freedom and opposition to political interference
in our most personal, private decisions. Stevens' retirement now gives
President Obama the opportunity to nominate a fair-minded individual
who, like him and the majority of Americans, supports the
constitutional right to privacy as reflected in Roe.

"The nine-member Court includes two Justices, Antonin Scalia and
Clarence Thomas, who have voted to overturn Roe, and two more members,
Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito, whom President
Bush appointed because he wanted Justices who reflected the
Scalia-Thomas mold.

"Given the current composition of the Court, we will assess the
eventual nominee's complete record on privacy and other relevant issues
in the same way we did during Justice Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation
process. Unlike Chief Justice Roberts or Justice Alito, Justice
Sotomayor articulated several times throughout her hearing that the
constitutional right to privacy includes the right to choose, and thus
we supported her nomination for a seat on the nation's highest court.

"One thing is certain: opponents of women's freedom and privacy will
use this vacancy on the Court as an opportunity to further their
attacks on nominees who have taken pro-choice positions. America's
pro-choice majority will fight back.

"This vacancy could make choice an even more prominent issue in the
2010 mid-term congressional elections. Americans will be watching to
make sure senators understand the need for a Justice who respects a
woman's ability to make the personal, private decisions that are best
for her and her family."

Additional Resources:

More information about Justice Stevens' decisions on choice-related cases.

Information about the Supreme Court's decisions on key cases related to reproductive rights.


For more than 30 years, NARAL Pro-Choice America has been the nation's leading advocate for privacy and a woman's right to choose. With more than one million members and supporters, NARAL Pro-Choice America is fighting to protect the pro-choice values of freedom and privacy. With the Supreme Court one vote away from overturning Roe v. Wade and many state legislatures under anti-choice control, our work has never been more important.

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