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Beto O'Rourke: 'Everyone Nominated to a Federal Bench Should Believe in a Woman's Right to Make Her Own Decisons'

AP Photo/Kathy Willens

Failed Senate candidate and former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke argued that all judges should “believe in a woman’s right to make her own decisions” in reference to abortion Monday at the “We the People” summit in Washington, D.C.


“Our next Supreme Court justices and everyone nominated to a federal bench should believe in a woman’s right to make her own decisions,” the 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful argued, making it clear that he believed there should be an abortion litmus test for judicial appointments.

Earlier in his speech on the topic of judges, O’Rourke commented that the courts “long after the term of the next president will have an impact on our lives and the lives of our kids, courts who can decide our reproductive freedoms.”

O’Rourke’s position on the abortion views of judicial nominees is in line with the talking points of Planned Parenthood and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).

The nation’s largest abortion provider, along with Schumer, called on the Senate to demand a new “personal liberty standard” of forcing the nominee to affirm abortion just prior to President Trump’s nomination of now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

“We are calling for a personal liberty standard,” Dawn Laguens, Executive Vice President of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund said at the time. “The Senate must only confirm a justice who firmly declares that the constitution protects individual liberty and the right of all people to make personal decisions about their bodies and relationships, including the right to have contraception, the right to an abortion, and to marry the person who you choose.”


O’Rourke has also taken the position on the campaign trail that late term abortion on viable unborn children is a woman’s decision.

"Are you for third-trimester abortions?" a woman asked O’Rourke at a campaign event in Ohio last month. 

"The question is about abortion and reproductive rights,” O’Rourke replied. “And, my answer to you is, that should be a decision that the woman makes. I trust her."

O’Rourke’s apparent backing of abortions past 28 weeks – which is widely understood to be past the point of fetal viability – marks a significant departure from public opinion and state laws.

According to the most recently available Gallup polling from June, only 13 percent of Americans support abortions in the third trimester.

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