Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

For Immediate Release


Ted Miller, 202.973.3032

Press Release

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.


NARAL Pro-Choice America logo

NARAL Pro-Choice America fights for reproductive freedom for every body. Each day, we organize and mobilize to protect that freedom by fighting for access to abortion care, birth control, aid parental leave, and protections from pregnancy discrimination.

Norwegian 'People vs. Arctic Oil' Case Heads to European Human Rights Court

"We have to take action now to limit irreversible damage to our climate and ecosystems to ensure livelihoods for the coming generations," said one activist.

Jessica Corbett, staff writer ·

'Let Scientific Evidence Determine Origin' of Covid-19, Say Heads of US National Academies

"Misinformation, unsubstantiated claims, and personal attacks on scientists surrounding the different theories of how the virus emerged are unacceptable."

Jake Johnson, staff writer ·

ICC Request to Probe Duterte's Brutal Drug War Hailed as 'Crucial Step for Justice'

The leader of one human rights group called the request "yet another damning indictment of the Duterte government's murderous policies that have killed—and continue to kill—thousands of Filipinos with impunity."

Brett Wilkins, staff writer ·

EU Parliament Overwhelmingly Votes to End Caged Animal Farming

1.4 million people across Europe signed a petition to "End the Cage Age," and MEPs are now calling for a ban by 2027.

Julia Conley, staff writer ·

Frontline Foe of Formosa Plastics Plant in 'Cancer Alley' Among 2021 Winners of 'Green Nobels'

Sharon Lavigne, the North American recipient of the Goldman Environmental Prize, is being recognized for stopping construction of a plastics manufacturing plant in her Louisiana community.

Andrea Germanos, staff writer ·