Supreme Court Nominations

What is Jackson's record on reproductive rights? Anti-abortion groups oppose her Supreme Court nomination

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U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson has a scant record on abortion, but that hasn’t stopped groups supporting and opposing abortion rights from weighing in.

The Susan B. Anthony List and March for Life are among the anti-abortion groups opposing the Supreme Court nomination of Jackson, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columba Circuit and a former federal district judge.

Planned Parenthood and the NARAL Pro-Choice America, on the other hand, support the nomination.

MedPage Today summarized what’s at stake in an opinion article on Jackson’s health law record. The article noted that the Supreme Court is considering a Mississippi ban on abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The case challenges Roe v. Wade, which established a constitutional right to abortion.

“If Roe should fall, as many expect, states will be emboldened to further restrict sexual and reproductive health services,” the article reports. “The court will need a justice who understands the devastating health impacts of restricting abortion access, especially on the poor, young, uninsured and undocumented.”

Among the co-authors of the article is professor Lawrence O. Gostin of Georgetown University, where he directs the O’Neill Institute for National & Global Health Law.

Although Jackson has never ruled in an abortion case, she has taken these actions:

• In 2001, while working as an associate at Goodwin Procter, Jackson co-wrote an amicus brief on behalf of reproductive-rights groups. The brief supported a Massachusetts law that created a “buffer zone” to separate abortion opponents from women outside abortion clinics. A federal appeals court allowed the law to take effect. The case was McGuire v. Reilly. (The Susan B. Anthony List, MedPage Today, SCOTUSblog)

• In 2018, Jackson ruled against the Trump administration’s decision to stop funding a teenage pregnancy prevention program without explanation. Jackson ruled that the decision was arbitrary and capricious in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act. The case was Policy and Research v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (MedPage Today, the Center for Reproductive Rights)

• In 2018, Jackson ruled for grantees in a class action that also challenged termination of teen pregnancy funding. The case was Healthy Futures of Texas v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (The Center for Reproductive Rights)

See also: “Will Supreme Court nominee Jackson’s Harvard ties lead to recusal in race-conscious admissions case?” “Tucker Carlson wants to see SCOTUS nominee Jackson’s LSAT score; critics say demand is racist” “Biden nominates Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the US Supreme Court” “Op-ed shoots down criticism of SCOTUS nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson for ruling against class of Black workers”

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