In a later exchange with Senator Ben Sasse, a Republican of Nebraska, Jackson said, “after Casey, the court has determined not so much that the right to terminate a woman's pregnancy is fundamental; the right exists and it's subject to the framework in Casey that allows for regulation so long as there is not an undue burden on the exercise of the right, pre-viability.”
Pro-life leaders have expressed concern with Jackson’s past in regards to abortion. In addition to having the support of abortion groups for her nomination, Jackson co-authored an amicus brief in 2001 in support of a Massachusetts law that created a “buffer zone” preventing pro-life sidewalk counselors from approaching women outside of abortion clinics, according to Susan B. Anthony List. Jackson’s past clients include pro-choice groups such as NARAL and the Abortion Access Project of Massachusetts.
In a letter dated March 21, a coalition of nearly 40 national and state pro-life leaders led by SBA List expressed concerns about Jackson’s record on abortion to the chairs of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“Ketanji Brown Jackson’s record of hostility to pro-life Americans is radically out of step with the majority of the country,” Marjorie Dannenfelser, the president of SBA List said in the accompanying press release. “Her nomination fulfills Joe Biden’s promise to only appoint justices who support the Roe v. Wade regime and his party’s broader agenda of abortion on demand up to birth, without limits of any kind.”
“We urge senators to stand with unborn children and their mothers and reject this nominee,” she said.
Other Catholic and pro-life leaders have added that Jackson clerked for Breyer at the Supreme Court when he issued an opinion in Stenberg v. Carhart, which struck down a Nebraska law banning “partial-birth” abortion in 2000.
In a statement following the first day of confirmation hearings, Lila Rose, founder and president of pro-life group Live Action, commented that “there is no right to abortion in the Constitution.”
“On the contrary, there IS a right to equal treatment under the law for ALL,” she said. “Understanding that should be the absolute minimum bar for a prospective Justice on our nation's highest Court.”
Joe Bukuras contributed to this report.