As Republicans in Missouri, Alabama, and Georgia pass horrific anti-abortion legislation, there’s unfortunately more somber news: Wendy Vitter, a woman who once led a panel called “Abortion Hurts Women,” is likely to be confirmed to a lifetime seat on the federal bench on Thursday.
Like virtually all of Donald Trump’s nominees, Vitter is a threat to women, LGBTQ people, and people of color. In 2013, she endorsed a pamphlet at a pro-life conference that falsely linked birth control pills to increased risk of multiple forms of cancer, adultery, and “violent death.” She also applauded Texas Republicans for passing HB2, the law targeting abortion providers which the Supreme Court later struck down for placing an undue burden on patients accessing abortion. Vitter said Texas was “making great strides in making it very difficult to get abortions.” During her confirmation hearing in 2018, Vitter attempted to distance herself from the brochure, but asserted that she opposes abortion, saying, “My pro-life stance has been made very clear.”
“Wendy Vitter is dangerous, untrustworthy, and unfit for a lifetime appointment as a federal judge,” Planned Parenthood Vice President Dana Singiser said in a statement last April. “Vitter’s record of opposing women’s health and rights is far outside the mainstream. The bottom line is that Vitter can’t be trusted to be unbiased or fair-minded.”
Vitter’s nomination plays into a larger strategy for Republicans, who are aggressively pushing anti-abortion bans with the goal of triggering a legal challenge. Trump has been placing extremists in lifetime federal judicial appointments at a rate faster than any president in modern United States history, and Republicans are relying on an increasingly conservative court system to weaken and dismantle Roe vs. Wade piece by piece.
Update 5/16, 3:40 p.m: The Senate has confirmed Vitter for the US District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.